We have been led by Hollywood and fairy tales to believe that once we have found our soulmate, we will be carried in that relationship, complete with an idyllic storybook ending. Part of this myth is that we will find the “perfect person” for us; someone who fulfils all of our needs.
“We are all entitled to have a set of expectations of our partners and to communicate these expectations to them,” says The Divorce Source Founder and Relationship Expert, Stacey Lewis. “However, we often have the unreasonable expectation that our partner will fulfil all of our unmet needs, that their love will heal all of our childhood wounds and that they will be our everything,”
Here are Stacey’s 5 insights to create a loving, fulfilling relationship with your partner:
Make time for each other
Yes, it’s been a long day and you’re exhausted, but it is important to prioritise spending time together. Otherwise, you stand to lose out on vital opportunities to connect and strengthen the bond between you.
Lack of communication is one of the biggest causes of divorce. Learn how to communicate effectively. This means not allowing issues to burn deep inside of you. It is far better to deal with issues as they arise than ignore them until you literally explode.
Back to basics
Find 5 things about your partner that you love (on a daily basis) and tell them these things. We are so quick to criticise, yet somehow, we are not as generous with compliments. When you get into the habit of highlighting your partner’s good qualities, you actually feel more loving towards them. Even though a relationship involves two parties, the way you are towards your partner will have a direct effect on the way they are towards you.
Physical connection is an essential component of a relationship. Physiologically, physical contact with your partner creates the hormone oxytocin. This makes us feel more bonded to our partners, on a bodily level. Of course intimacy is an important part of a relationship, but intimacy is so much more than what happens in the bedroom. Hug your partner, kiss them hello and goodbye. Find opportunities to nurture physical closeness.
It’s about the small stuff
Ironically, it is often the most important person in our lives, our partner, who goes unacknowledged and taken for granted in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. You can turn this around. Find opportunities as often as you can where you acknowledge your partner – a little note in a lunchbox, a chocolate on a pillow, an IOU for a 5-minute foot massage. We all love to feel needed and appreciated.