Two Simple Practices to Increase the Love & Connection in Your Relationship

A couple lying down and staring into one another's eye and looking lovingly at one anotherIn a recent post I mentioned the importance of connecting with your partner and learning to communicate with one another…consciously agreeing to foster a relationship free from negativity or criticism.  And connect with one another from a place of gratitude and appreciation…as a rule. Always.

…So focusing on the 95% of what you have created together rather than the 5% that may seem at times to be missing… and with an appreciation and wonder of that 95% connecting with your partner… from a place of appreciation and love.

Acknowledging that there will always be small issues that you may not see eye to eye on… but learning how to navigate through these issues rather than creating a battle field as a means to a compromise or solution. Doing so makes relationships stronger and deeper, more appreciative of one another and more committed to one another.

In doing so you will reach a level of appreciation and devotion that you have taken for granted. Will see one another with new eyes and with a new sense of wonder.

Sadly however this is not common practice…

The 5:1 Rule
Research shows that most couples connect from a place of negativity or criticism rather than from a loving place of appreciation and gratitude in the ratio of 5:1.

That is for every positive or gracious comment made, that that one piece of loving connection is swamped or overwhelmed by 5 negative comments… How loving is that? These negative comments are typically small asides… small or repetitive digs which show lack of appreciation. But while they might seem small the cumulative effect of these seemingly innocuous comments is anything but small…

These small negative comments are toxic to the health and long term wellbeing of any relationship. So while they may seem innocuous they’re not. Negative comments and criticism cause harmful and long term physiological affects … they result in the release of harmful, stress hormones  into the blood stream.

So if negative comments and criticism are considered acceptable behavior in your relationship and communication together… make a pact to alter the dynamics. Address this practice immediately and seek to consciously change the ratio…? Or eliminate any need for negativity in the relationship altogether?

It’s been shown that couples that express their gratitude and appreciation of each other have healthier and more loving relationships overall…

It’s also been shown that for every negative comment or criticism uttered it takes 8 positive comments or reassurances to neutralize the effect of that one negative remark…

…8 positives to neutralize one negative remark! That’s how toxic criticism is…

So if that’s something that you can relate to in your relationship… make a conscious decision to reverse the ratio…

Consciously change the ratio and witness the dynamics in the relationship change.

As a starting point… Make a conscious decision to turn the tide…

How do you do that? By consciously giving your partner a minimum of 5 statements of gratitude and appreciation every single day… Yes it’s that easy…

And in doing so why not make a game of it? In a loving committed, loving CONSCIOUS way!

Here are some suggestions to get you thinking…

Showing Gratitude Daily
Put notes of gratitude and appreciation:-

  • On your partner’s pillow at night
  • In the bathroom by his shaving gear, or
  • In his car (though be careful of this if he’s in a car pool). You don’t want a Bridget Jones’s Diary moment…
  • If he takes his lunch, put a note of gratitude or appreciation in his lunch box etc. I had a client that did this every day and years later her partner shared with her how motivating and loving those lunch box messages were, and how he looked forward each day to receiving them.
  • I’m sure you can think of a lot more… And…be creative…in the process

And watch the dynamics change!

Take the challenge… Be brave…Open the dialogue with one another!

Give Me 5!
Here’s another fun way to change the dynamics… in a loving conscious way. Ask your partner for permission to request 5 statements of appreciation whenever you feel the need… and give him permission or encourage him to do the same.

Here’s an example of how this might work…

Let’s imagine for the moment that there’s a complaint, an issue… either from you to your partner or from your partner to you… that one of you wants to raise.

First clear the air… Then raise the issue and discuss ways to move forward differently…

Ideally if you have agreed to NO criticisms this complaint will be communicated in an objective tone, and in an appropriate and calm manner…

Once the issue has been discussed and cleared – Ask for 5! This may sound like … So –‘Give me 5!’ Or from you to your partner – ‘Take 5!’

If there are children in the household you might also want to share this strategy with them. It’s a great way for them to review their communication and language patterns and to learn how to come from a place of gratitude and appreciation.

Notice What Happens
As you increase the ratio of gratitude and appreciation from 1: 5 to 5:1, notice how the home environment becomes calmer, more relaxed… associated with safety. That the need to be on the defense or alert disappears… and in its place a sense of acceptance and love grows.

The levels of Adrenaline and Cortisol in the body traditionally found in the fight and flight syndrome drop. Energy levels increase and Dopamine is released creating new and stronger feelings of connection and bonding. Now that’s what I call loving connection.

Another Way to End the Day
Why not end each day with loving connection by making the bedroom a place of loving connection? Give one another 3 notes of appreciation or gratitude each night as you end the day… taking turns as to who might go first each evening… By notes I don’t mean written notes but thoughts of appreciation and love…verbalized. Three notes of appreciation or gratitude each night… as you say good night…

And make each note of appreciation or gratitude unique… not a repeat of a gratitude or appreciation from the day before. Take on this challenge and your sense and appreciation of your partner will deepen…

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