Ahhh, the holidays are here. We’re in full swing with family gatherings, office parties, holiday traffic, and cooking galore. Our “to do” list has started to grow in length like the checkout lines at Walmart and all of sudden we’re feeling overwhelmed. All of these festivities are directed towards the common goal of coming together with friends and family members; but what about the connection closest to home, with your significant other (SO)? This month there has be an overwhelming request for romantic relationship help and I have come to deliver! It seems that even when we’re not bustling around, attempting to stay connected with our SO can be as difficult as getting Aunt Edna to leave after all the pie has been served. So here are the top three ways to make sure your relationship stays inviting and calm during this holiday season.
1) Know exactly what your needs are and how to describe them.
One of the main pitfalls of explaining yourself is that we tend to assume the other person knows what we’re talking about. “We’ve been together for 10 years, you should be able to know what I want.” is a common thinking mistake. Everyone brings to the table a different perspective and a different way of processing information. Here, we must spell out what our desired behavior looks like. For example:
“Clean up after yourself!” versus “Please put the ketchup back in the fridge after you’re done using it.”
“Just Love Me!” versus “I would like it if you sent me a “thinking of you” text message on the days we don’t get to see each other.”
2) Ask your partner to repeat back to you, your requested need (Also known as reflective listening or parroting).
This technique has to do with that silly little thing called listening. Sometimes, when attempting to apply tip number 1, our partner may be distracted. They may be hangry, sleepy, sick, or watching funny video animals on Youtube. To make sure you have your partner’s undivided attention, notice their eye contact and body language. If they’re knee deep in their favorite sitcom, you might want to postpone this conversation. When you have the opportunity to ask your partner to repeat back what they’ve heard it creates more space for clarification.
3) Know that it’s okay for you, or your partner, to have standards.
This lesson took me years (okay, decades) to fully understand and start to practice. When you set standards or “nonnegotiables” of the way you want and deserve to be treated, the universe will deliver. Through my experience, the quicker I set boundaries with unacceptable behavior and moved forward, the quicker I found my ideal partner. If you need support with this concept please visit my favorite dating advice guru Matthew Hussey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdaNmF-vtnc&list=PL9ZCLnpne9aS7c7KLSOXf89QD9G0_TFp_
Have an awesome holiday season with joy, laughter, and love! As always, if you feel this material could help out a friend or family member please be sure to pass it along.