Do you want more out of your relationship than you are currently getting? Most of us would probably answer yes but then wonder how.
Let’s first define the “what” of those wants. I am currently reading the book, Therapist as Life Coach, by Patrick Williams and Deborah Davis. I’m working through the exercises for myself. The “what do you want “exercise really is hitting home and causing me to pinpoint how I want to spend the rest of my days on this planet.
So how about you?
Take an inventory of your current relationship. Then make a list of how you want it to be different. You might find it is easier to see what you don’t want—but that is not helpful. It is usually more effective to be positive and goal-oriented for good results.
For example, June and Jerry tried canoeing last year. It was so much fun being out on the lake together. The scenery melted away all the stress from the office, and allowed them to talk together without anyone interrupting. They shared funny stories, and she discovered that Jerry could hold a tune. A few months later they discussed their relationship and decided that they would like to get a canoe of their own and go fishing several times a year at a nearby lake. They planned how they could make that happen.
When you are ready to take an inventory of your relationship, find a quiet place to think about your life with your significant other. What do you have in your relationship that you want more of? What’s missing that you would like added? What have you dreamed about doing together? Have the two of you started a plan to get make those dreams become a reality? And finally, what do you have to do to make your “wants” become reality?
Your list might sound like this:
- I want more physical touch with my significant other. I like it when we spoon at night in bed, but I want more of it, not just as an occasional thing.
- I want to have one hobby we both like and make it a weekly activity just for us. I enjoy playing tennis with the boys, but I want to have something just for us.
- I want to travel more, even if means just grabbing weekends away until our finances allow for a bigger trip.
After compiling this list, come up with two or three of the most important wants that seem to take priority over all the others. Perhaps you could write them down on an index card and post them somewhere that you will see them every day. The idea is to keep the “wants” in your awareness. Then make a plan to achieve them. Here are some tips on how to plan your strategy.
1. Write down the goal. Then share it with your partner. Talk about it, and see if your partner is in agreement.
2. Make it specific. Discuss the details of your goal so that it is clear. Define it in such a way that it contributes to a shared understanding.
3. Make it measurable. Set parameters that will tell you how you are doing with making it achievable.
4. Make it timely. Choose a period of time (consistent with the goal) for it to happen. Do not leave it open ended.
5. Identify why this goal is important to you, and discuss your idea with your partner.
6. Take consistent action daily to guide your behavior toward the desired outcome.
7. Finally, celebrate your accomplishment, and see if your relationship has been enhanced.
It sounds like a lot of work, but the rewards are great. Life is moving away from us each day and does not allow for us to go back and fix issues of the past. Take each day and make it special. By working together to make the relationship grow, your bond will not only stand the test of time, but also the journey will be so much more enjoyable.