Research shows that negativity is a relationship killer! And it takes 5 positives to override every 1 negative in order to significantly increase the success of a long-lasting relationship. Nourishing your relationship with positivity is the only way to grow closer and stronger. We all want healthy and loving relationships. The problem often times is we don’t know HOW to get there.
I’m sharing 7 ways I’ve learned to nourish a relationship with positivity from my own life, and the life of my clients.
7 Ways to Nourish Your Relationship with Positivity
Watch Your Mouth
Our mouths are the rudders of our relationships. The direction in which you speak is the direction in which you move. If you are harsh, condescending and critical, you can expect defensiveness and distance from your partner. If you are curious and kind, you may get more vulnerability and honesty.
I teach people all day, that our brains, hearts, and bodies are all connected. What I really want them to understand is that the way you think creates the way you feel, and how you feel creates your behavior. Your words can also direct or redirect your heart and mind.
Currently, you may not feel positively towards your partner.
You can have a change of heart about your partner the faster you change how you speak about, or to them.
Use “I” statements.
Ask questions that help your partner describe his or her experience or point of view.
Take Advantage of the Time
We are all busy. Between life and staying sane, it may feel impossible to carve out time for a full-fledge date night. Don’t get caught up with the media’s portrayal of what is “romantic.” A date does not have to be at night. It neither has to involve a full-course meal. And romance can happen anywhere. Remember that romance at its core is vulnerability and acceptance.
Ask your partner what little rituals, or in which small ways, they get pleasure out of their daily and weekly routine. You can turn seemingly mundane tasks, like grocery shopping, into little pockets of positivity by using these little bits of time wisely to further understand your partner’s favorite childhood memories, their current stressors, or future dreams.
One of my favorite dates with Ricky is grabbing Starbucks together at 6am before a workday, and spending 30-45 minutes reading the newspaper together. Of course it takes a minute for us to roll out of bed, but it’s fun catching the morning sunrise on the way to our mobile order.
Create Traditions Together
A tradition is anything you want it to be. When you create a tradition, you strengthen the bond between you and other people. Traditions are pre-planned positivity that helps us create “a story of us.” Togetherness nourishes our relationships.
Traditions can also be little or big. Creating traditions requires time and observation. You can successfully nourish your relationship with positivity when you pay attention to the likes and dislikes of your partner. Be observant. What has already, or what has in the past, given your relationship a recharge?
Food? Travel? Nostalgia? Movies? Baseball? Adventure? Perhaps taking a day trip on the day you first began dating, or when you or your partner has a half birthday, could help you feel more connected.
Creating traditions can come more easily when you match what things already bring joy to your life. For more on how to create traditions, GO HERE.
Divide and Conquer the Dishes
Household chores and household management can eat up a lot of our time and energy. Cleaning out the refrigerator, and unloading the dishwasher aren’t always fun. However, when you stay on top of household tasks, you create organization and order in the rest of your routine.
Organization and order allow positivity in your relationship because they make room for intentionality. Intentionality is a form of respect.
Want to instantly add positivity to your relationship RIGHT NOW? Go ask your partner what chores they hate the most. Then offer to do that for the next month!
Understand your role in the household’s management. When you do, you will notice when something is slipping and how you can fill in the gaps. Or, on the other hand, you can see how your partner is supporting the both of you, and where you can give praise! Things like taking out the trash, or folding the last load of laundry still sitting in the dryer, can be a small act of kindness – a small act of love.
Laugh a Little… or A Lot
Laughing puts a lil’ love in your heart, and instantly adds positivity to your relationship by decreasing the cortisol, or stress hormone, in your body! Look for ways to laugh together, and not in front a movie or t.v. screen. Try doing impersonations of each other over how you first met.
* TIP: Do not impersonate the other’s parents, or how the other person gets mad!
For more on how laughing can strengthen your partnership, GO HERE.
Learn a New Skill, or Sharpen a Weak One
No two people come together with the exact same strengths. And there is often an imbalance in all relationships because one partner is better than another partner in X, Y, Z. The reality is weaknesses also exist — in both partners! Yes, both!
Nourishing your relationship with positivity happens when we frame, or see, the weakness in our partner as something to be overcome TOGETHER. Their problem is your problem. And it requires both of you to overcome it. If you want to REALLY tackle this one, get real and raw with your own weaknesses. Can you name your weakness right now? If not, you can see where you might need to start – with you!
From learning how to cook to learning how to budget, positivity strengths us when we grow together. Weaknesses are only truly overcome, when both partners have the humility to work towards getting stronger together. The nag-blame button is OFF.
The Power of Prayer
Now, I know not many people believe themselves to be religious. This tip might not be for you, but remember that prayer is simply an honest conversation with God about what’s going on in your interior and exterior life. Prayer is talking to God about how we feel, what we think, and what we need or want. Prayer is also sharing with God what we are grateful for.
Exposing your heart in prayer before your partner can feel a little funny at first. But the more you both learn to ASK together, the more you also learn to GIVE THANKS together too. Gratitude is the main ingredient of joy. When we have joy we are able to be positive even in negative circumstances.