Celebrating your relationship
As a Couples Counsellor I often see couples who are struggling, stuck in the same fight over and over again, who might be unsure if they are going to make it.
I write a lot about the tools that can help you when you are fighting, when you feel disconnected, when you are upset or resentful or defensive.
In all this work, it’s easy to forget about all the good moments. Things that do work. Things that are wonderful.
The way our brain works, it automatically pays more attention to what doesn’t work than to what works. Even when everything is good, we are often scanning for what could possibly go wrong. Have you ever caught yourself trying to start a fight when everything was calm and peaceful? Too calm and peaceful? What’s up with that?
We need to train our brains to also notice what’s good, what’s working, what’s delightful, what’s easy.
In Couples Counselling session we often start a session by sharing what's good. In most session I guide couples through an appreciation practice. People are hungry for appreciation, and at times, they are starving for it. Even if they'll not admit it, and, sadly, even when their partner thinks that they appreciate them enough.
So let’s take a moment and do this right now.
(If you are single - you are in a relationship with yourself, and it needs to be celebrated and appreciated, or you can choose a friend or family member and celebrate your relationship with that person)
Think about or write down if you wish:
one thing that you love about your partner
one thing that you love about your relationship
something that you really appreciate about your partner
something you’ve been taking for granted because it’s always there, but is actually an awesome thing
something you appreciate about yourself and what you bring to the relationship
something your partner does that makes you happy
something you are proud of them for
something you want to celebrate about your journey together
and something that’s special to you about how you and your partner are as a couple
Now a bonus step - find your parter and share it with them. Not asking for anything in return, not needing them to even say anything, just simply share your list, give them a big hug, and continue with your day. If you can’t tell them in person, sent them a text.
Another way to practice is to do a dyad with your partner:
tell me something you appreciate about me
tell me something I do that makes you feel loved
tell me something that’s special to you about us
And if you really want to make a difference, commit to a 30 days appreciation and gratitude challenge.
Another idea is to plan (or spontaneously create) a ritual, a special date night in celebration of your relationship and your partner. Not waiting for an anniversary or a birthday, it doesn’t have to cost any money, it doesn’t have to be big or “perfect” - just a moment of celebration - of who they are as a person and what they mean to you.
Tell me your thoughts, give it a try, let me know what happens!