Relationships // April 8, 2015
:: Express your needs.
Some people like to text every day. Some people need a lot of alone time. Some people want their partner to plan exciting dates. All of these needs are equally legitimate.
But your partner will never know what your needs are if you don’t tell them. You don’t need to open a first date with a checklist, but once things are clicking along, it’s okay to say, “I want you to feel loved and appreciated. How can I do that?” and when you’ve heard their suggestions, you can share yours. When they do what you asked? Lots and lots of acknowledgement and appreciation.
:: Give without any expectations.
I know it’s incredibly tempting (so tempting!) to keep a mental list of all the nice things you’ve done for your sweetie.
Picked up a new yoga mat because I saw hers was deteriorating...
Made reservation for Friday...
Bought his mom’s birthday present...
This mentality will only end in tears and resentment. We can nourish our relationships by removing the expectation that they to do the same things that we have done for them. Let your partner give to you because they want to, not because they feel as though they owe you.
:: Don’t stop caring about how you look!
Male or female, we’ve all done this, right? Constantly hanging out in our gym clothes and dirty hair, eating pizza for dinner three times a week. You want to find your partner attractive and – not surprisingly – they want to find you attractive. Help them do that by keeping up with your workouts and saving the sweatpants for alone time.
:: Cultivate intimacy and independence.
It might sound counter-intuitive but you can connect while also retaining autonomy. Don’t stop doing the things that filled you up now that you’ve found a partner. Keep attending those pottery classes, keep working on your novel – and keep telling your partner all about it and why you love it.
Just as important? Give them the space to pursue a few passions without you. You’ll both be that much more excited to come home and tell each other about your adventures.
:: Inspire your partner by loving yourself fiercely.
The more you love yourself, the more others will follow your lead. We’ve all witnessed it: the confident woman who maintains healthy boundaries always seems to attract amazing partners.
Do your best to identify your needs and meet those needs yourself. Need creative inspiration? Rather than trying to date an artist or force your accountant boyfriend to take drawing classes, buy a DSLR and get to shooting. Crave a more active social life? Don’t hassle your introverted girlfriend into house parties and nights out. Call up your most outgoing friends and schedule a night out, complete with cute shoes and cocktails.
We teach people how to treat us and when you nourish yourself with love and respect, the world – and your partner – take notice.