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Over the last few years, I’ve been reading and studying what it takes to build a successful & happy relationship
(Because I never want to get divorced again 💔)
Firstly, most people think there are only two parts to a (traditional) relationship: you and your partner.
But, there's is a third part — the relationship itself.
That’s 3 separate entities who all have different but specific needs and attention.
When building & launching BestSelf.co in 2015 I was showing up 100% with my work. I didn't dare leave its success up to chance so I did the work. Yet, I didn’t do this with my relationship? I didn't know I had to 😐
I was feeding my relationship with the "leftovers".
Psychotherapist @estherperel describes this phenomenon of when we put everything into our work, and whatever is left is what our relationship gets.
How is a relationship going to survive, let alone thrive, if it’s only getting the leftover?
Spoiler, it's not 😭
Many of us don’t grow up knowing what a successful or healthy relationship looks like. We’re taught about success using external validators like a big bank balance, a cushy job or a nice car.
Yet if our relationship blows up, it can jeopardize all of this.
So rather than leave your relationship to chance, let's start being proactive in paying attention to that 3rd entity – the Us.
The 5 Love Languages created by @DrGaryChapman are:
😍 Words of affirmation
🧼 Acts of Service
👄 Physical Touch
🕰 Quality time
By speaking their language you’re making the right deposits in your partners love tank.
If your partner's primary love language is Quality Time yet you keep giving them gifts your love may not be translating to them.
(You might be sending your BTC to an ETH address if you get my drift 😉)
Examples of Love Deposits:
30-mins of being present. Structure could look like:
• share 1 thing you're grateful for about your partner
• what went well this week (and not-so-well)
• any discussions/issues that feel incomplete
• set expectations for the week ahead
Love maps are a term by Dr John Gottman and means simply knowing the little things about your partner’s life. Their likes, dislikes, friends, hobbies, interests etc.
From there you build trust to be more vulnerable with deeper topics.
When your partner (or anyone) wants attention, rather than tell you “hey give me attention” they may use a ‘bid’. A bid is simply an action designed to get your attention to indicate a need for connection. This can be something as small as commenting about a news story and you commenting back about it. Other ways this could show up (credit @thegottmaninst )
This is a way for you to share your needs and feelings without being confrontational or accusatory. This way, your partner is more likely to hear and understand it without feeling attacked or getting defensive.
The 4 step NVC process looks like this:
1. State objectively what happened
2. State how this made you feel
3. Connect it to a universal need
4. Make a request
An example might be...
Imagine how much energy and time would you save if you knew exactly what your partner wanted?
Often we treat people how we would want to be treated, but your partner may want something else... and you may end up pissing them off ( hi me 👋🏻)
For example in my relationship when I’m stressed I like to be left alone. When my partner is stressed she wants to be showered with attention.
Guess what would happen when one of us was stressed and we treated each other how we wanted to be treated?
One word. MAYHEM! 🌪
• Share your personal goals & dreams w/ your partner
• Learn your partner’s personal goals & dreams
• Create a vision for your shared future as an US!
Now you can work together to help all 3 of you win 🙌🏻
Now if all this seems great but how will you even find the time or structure to do all this?
That’s why BestSelf.co created the Relationship Journals!
We went live on Indiegogo today: https://lttlmg.ht/relationship
Just like we did with the Self Journal around goal setting, we wanted to give people a 13-week guided framework for better relationships.
I'm incredibly proud of this product and the team for this because it's going to help so many people ❤️
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