3 Basic Elements That Bring Out The Best In Your Partner
For a relationship to truly thrive the desire and willingness to bring out the best in yourself and your partner must be present. Engaging in effective relationship and communication practices are so instrumental for developing and maintaining the health and vitality of your relationship.
If we lack the interest and commitment of bringing out the best in ourselves day to day, sometimes moment to moment, we become incapable of bringing out the best in our partners. Our ability to be kind and loving towards ourselves will inevitably shape our behaviours in relationships. Often, it is our unhealed wounds that drive our behaviour in relationships until we take our power back, learn to love ourselves, heal over what holds us back and open up to love, intimacy and connection in a way we never have before.
Establishing that core relationship with yourself is something I help many men and women create as a foundation for relationships that work. It’s fabulous to have all the how-to’s of making things work in a relationship, but if the foundation for those practices is absent or shaky at best, those tools for connection and extraordinary partnership can fall short. Before diving into the rest of the post, just tune in with yourself and ask:
- How is my relationship with me today?
- Is there anything I need from me to make this relationship with myself happier, healthier or more cohesive?
- How can I prioritize those needs today?
Now that you have checked in with your brilliant nature it is time to dive in!
3 Basic Elements That Bring Out The Best In Your Partner
1. You have to genuinely like the one you are with.
First of all this means you must like you. If you don’t like who you are that disconnection with yourself often gets turned around and projected outwards onto your partner or anyone else who might be a close connection in your life. In other words self-love must be present.
Secondly, this means your partner. If you don’t like who your partner is, it really is a stretch to want to bring out the best in a person you fundamentally clash with.
Many people begin their relationships liking the person they are with, but over time things take a turn for a very different direction. One of the ways to stay powerfully connected with this element is to regularly focus on and vocalize the aspects of yourself you really dig, and the aspects of your partner that you really enjoy. Directing your focus regularily helps to train the mind to search for what is working instead of what most relationships turn into, a focus on what isn’t working.
2. Create meaningful experiences and memories.
Building on the first element, when we actively get out into life and experience new things we build up the storehouse of great, exceptional, intimate, happy and hilarious memories with our partner. These positive, engaging and often interesting adventures give us a lot of mental and emotional evidence of the extraordinary quality of our relationship when things might get a little rocky.
Bringing out the best in your partner, relationship and yourself doesn’t mean perfection and that you won’t have road bumps or challenges along the way. Instead, it means you have more positive experiences, memories and evidence more than anything else.
A wonderful practice that activates both elements above is this:
1. For every challenging time, make a commitment with each other to create 3 positive experiences, adventures or funny memories together.
2. For every negative or critical piece of feedback you give your partner balance the scales with 5 pieces of positive, encouraging and uplifting acknowledgements.
If the negative experiences or negative feedback far outweigh the positive it is a major warning sign to get back on track fast, IF you are interested in re-vitalizing and re-establishing meaningful rapport with your partner. There is one thing that is present in healthy and happy relationships and that is the positive experiences and feedback far outweigh the negative.
3. Use Communication Tools That Work
When men and women get into partnership together, something that we don’t often realize, is that men and women are fundamentally different. The wiring of our brains are different, the hormones in our bodies are different and for the hormones we share the quantity of those hormones are incredibly different in proportion. This alone, has men and women, process, understand and view life very differently.
The biological wiring of men has them predisposed to filter and behave through the lens of providing and protecting. Think- hunter.
The biological wiring of women has them predisposed to filter and behave through the lens of connection and nurturing. Think- gatherer.
This doesn’t mean men are incapable of connection and nurturing or that women are incapable of providing and protecting- it just means those aspects of the other aren’t the first instinct when it comes to behaviour.
Inside of relationships, especially relationships between men and women, it is so important that we address these differences in points of view to help create more understanding, compassion and acceptance within a partnership. One tool that is exceptional at getting us back to a place where we can appreciate, honour, respect and even celebrate these differences is a little process I like to call:
Intentional Listening is the process by which we expand understanding and clarity between two people. No two people have the same perspectives of the world or the same exact understanding of the words they use. Words literally mean different things to different people based on their individual conditioning, education, experiences and perceptions. Which is exactly why it is so crucial we NOT assume our understanding of a phrase is the same to someone else, especially our partners.
When we first introduce these new ways of communicating they may seem awkward or uncomfortable. It is important to consider, the reasons it seems so out of the ordinary is because it is. These are often not the communication practices we witness between people or the communication practices we grew up observing, so they feel foreign, until they are not.
There comes a point, after we have truly committed to using these tools, that these frameworks begin to occur as natural, enjoyable and second nature. It takes repitition and consistency to generate a new habit, which is what is happening here, you are generating a new habit of communication that leads to more understanding and connection with your partner.
Remember, what you hear and what was actually said are often two very different things. We filter communication through our own lens of the world, we filter it through our experiences, our insecurities and our past. Because we automatically listen this way, we can often misunderstand, misinterpret what has been said then react (sometimes quite harshly) to our perception of what was said not actually what was communicated or intended.
After your partner has shared something with you ask them for clarification:
“When you said _______, I heard ________, is that what you mean?”
Your partner confirms if your interpretation is correct or not.
If correct your partner says: “Ya thats exactly what I meant, thank you for checking in!”
If incorrect your partner says: “No, that wasn’t quite what I meant, I do appreciate your commitment to understanding my communication, so let me try this another way _________.”
If the interpretation of what you heard wasn’t correct keep repeating steps 2 and 3 until your partner confirms what you heard is what was said/intended.
Acknowledge each other for communicating with patience, respect and love.
You say: “Thank you for your willingness to communicate in a way that helps me understand you better. I acknowledge you for your patience, respectful communication and the love you have for me.”
Your partner says: “You are welcome. Thank you for caring enough to clarify and to make sure we truly understand each other. I acknowledge your courage, patience and your loving commitment to having a relationship that is happy and healthy.”
Creating more understanding between two partners is the essential first step towards establishing new levels of excellence, connection and intimacy in your relationship communication. If you are struggling with establishing a solid connection with yourself or with your partner I invite you to look into the group coaching series I offer called The Alchemy Of Love (next group starts July 28th) and reach out if it calls to you!
In my next blog post I am going to give you all the foundation for another very important communication key in romantic relationships, so be sure to stay tuned for that next week! xo