I have noticed that most people want to have loving, respectful relationships. However, they seem to forget that it is imperative that they put some additional goods into their relationship to make it shine from the inside out. Through their entire relationship, not just at the beginning.
What do you did you do today, this week, that let your partner know they are important to you? Did you struggle coming up with something? Have you found yourself there? In that spot when you forget to let your partner know that they are the most important relationship to you? How did you get there? It can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Here you are enjoying life, even with those curve balls life throws at you, and then wham! Your partner lets you know that they believe other areas that you are giving attention in your life are more important then them and they desperately want to feel important to you…again. Like they once did. They want to know without question that they matter to you. That they are worth putting down the video game or the dishes or _____________ (insert item that feels more important than them). The bad news… not letting your partner know they matter is potentially hurting your relationship at a speed that you can’t even see… until it feels too late. The good news… you can make a change today. This is a real issue that so many couples face. When we start to feel unimportant, we no longer feel safe or connected in our relationship and we can start this unhealthy cycle of arguing or hurting each other trying to reengage the feelings of safety and connection, and sadly, they usually bring the couple farther apart. How do we get to feeling important to each other again? I wanted to share some ideas that may get you thinking about your relationship and what your partner will respond positively to as a start.
10 Ways to Show Your Partner They Are A Priority
- Make eye contact with them…. this can be when they are talking to you about something (you may have to put something else on pause for a moment) or when you lock eyes with them across the room…
- Sit with them while they enjoy “their show”…. sometimes just sitting next to someone and syncing your breathing while cuddling up to them can be all you need to feel connected. Enjoy the silence of each other while enjoying a show or movie together.
- Notice the good…. compliment them, notice something they have done for you or around your home or in life in general. We often get so caught up in finding fault or criticizing something that we find we don’t even have to think when offering a criticism, but it takes thought to offer a compliment or notice something positive.
- Receive the compliment… Often times people will decline the compliment they received from their partner, instead, say “thank you” and smile. It will be better for both of you 🙂
- Do something thoughtful for them that they will enjoy or that will make their day go smoother…. make them a cup of tea, get them that item they have been eyeing, write them a note, make them a flower out of paper, make them a meal, pack them a lunch, wash the car, tell them they look nice, help them carry in their stuff from the car at the end of their day, do an extra chore, pleasure them more in bed, give a massage, tell them something you like or respect about them, hold their hand, smile at them
- Turn off technology for a time period… pick a time each week that you say “no” to technology and “yes” to your partner and/or family. This one speaks for itself.
- Do the things you did at the beginning… often times once we have our partner, we take for granted that we need to take care of the relationship throughout the years… relationships need to be taken care of as well or they tend to die. Nourish nourish nourish. Fuel the relationship so that it has the energy to endure the speed bumps of life.
- Respond with love and respect to the big and little things. Feeling safe and connected to our partner is one of the best gifts we receive with our life mate… remember to respond with love and respect to keep the connection and safe space the reality of both partners in the relationship. And apologize when something besides love and respect sneaks in. And forgive.
- Do something off the other’s bucket list. What a great way to say that you are interested in the other half of your relationship by taking interest in something on their wish list. See what you can make happen. Make a memory that you can share.
- To sum it up: have fun together, laugh together, make time for each other, touch, show affection, do thoughtful things for each other, give gifts just because, say nice things to each other, notice each other, and be kind. Tell them what you LOVE about them. Tell them what you RESPECT about them.
Stephanie Parejamaas, MAS-MFT, CFLE