I wanted to quickly share three relationship tools that have been bringing a lot of value to my life this past year.
Whether you are in a marriage of several decades, or you are currently single and want to put some additional tools in your toolkit for the next time you find an aligned significant other, there’s something for everyone in this article.
Alright, let’s get into it.
1. A weekly ‘Relationship Ritual’
I know of a lot of highly successful (aka very self-expressed/very in love) long-term couples who have a weekly relationship ritual.
The how’s and the what’s of it all are entirely up to you. The most important step is that you simply name to your partner that you would love to have a weekly, non-negotiable container for the two of you that is purely about tending to the metaphorical garden of your relationship.
Pick a day of the week and time of day that you can both agree to hold sacred, and then do your best to always show up for it. For example, maybe Sunday night, from 7-9pm is your time, and you both (to the best of you abilities) show up for every Sunday night for the foreseeable future, in order to serve each other with love.
Here is a short list of things that you could do within the container of your weekly ritual:
– Set a timer (for 10-30 minutes per person) to do a relationship clearing
– Do a spoiling session for one of you (and then, perhaps, the other the next week)
– Take turns telling each other what you are grateful for (either about your partner, or about your life in general)
– Take turns naming things that you feel resentful or unresolved with that came up over the previous week (remembering to finish with gratitude after you feel resolved around the tension, to end on a positive note)
– Go on a weekly date night/share new experiences together that you each take turns planning
– Take turns bragging about all of the amazing things that you have done/that are currently in your life
– Take turns naming things that you are afraid of, or things that you carry residual shame around
– Talk about any relationship issues relating to money
– Give each other massages
– Take turns giving each other extended penis/vulva/sensual massages (one of you one week, the other the following week)
– If it is a week where one or both of you don’t have as much energy available (for example, maybe she has her period, or he is tired from a longer day at work), do a small clearing exercise to clear any communication blocks you may feel, and then pour a drink of your choice, make some snacks, and curl up and watch a movie together
As with everything to do with love, calibration is key.
Your weekly relationship ritual should also be flexible and dynamic, week to week. Some weeks you will both be feeling sexual and you may set aside 3-4 hours for slow, sacred sex… and other weeks you will both feel some tension from an unresolved argument that you had two days prior and you use your ritual time to work your way through that. Check in with each other, either the day before or the day of your scheduled ritual, to see what you each are most leaning towards, in terms of what your relationship needs that week.
Your relationship is a garden, and a garden needs water and sunlight to thrive. Your weekly relationship ritual is the time and space that you both agree upon in order to make sure that your shared garden is always nourished and thriving.
2. ‘How to love me’ lists
My partner and I recently tried out a new thing where we both agreed to take some time to write down a long list of things that registered as love to us. Kind of like taking The 5 Love Languages thing to a new level.
We wrote ours up and turned them into Google docs, so we could keep adding to them over time.
Ultimately, your list should be as unique as you are. Really take the time to sit down with yourself, for at least an hour, and get present to specific examples of what registers most as love to you.
Maybe you love it when you and your partner hold hands in public. Maybe you love it when your partner compliments you on something that you did. Or maybe you feel the most loved when your partner surprises you with a gift, or your favourite dish.
When you sit down to write your list, the main point is to be as selfish as possible. Ask for things even if they seem unreasonable or silly.
Ideally, you can think up somewhere between 30-100 things, and your partner can think of their own, and then you share them with each other. That way, you both have a map of how to love each other masterfully.
No matter how long you have been together, there’s bound to be a few things that will either surprise you, or validate/further encourage things that you already do for them.
Why guess what registers as love to them? Let them tell you directly, in their own detailed words.
Remember, passion is a function of communication. Put in the work to become an expert on how to love your partner the best, while they do the same for you, and your relationship will have even more free-flowing love than you did when you first started dating each other.
3. Spoiling sessions
I did a coaching session with someone the other day who had been following my blog for years, and they told me that they had been planning on doing a spoiling session for over two years, but had never gotten around to actually doing it.
(If you are new to my website and don’t know what a spoiling session is, I would recommend you check out my deep dive resource on spoiling sessions here.)
This makes total sense to me.
There’s something inherently raw and vulnerable about spoiling sessions, both for the giver and the receiver.
The receiver has to not only be in touch with themselves enough to know what they want, moment to moment, but they also have to take responsibility for naming their needs in real time. Which, in our pleasure-starved society that would rather us be in our heads than in our bodies, is understandably nerve-racking.
Meanwhile, while many spoiling session givers may relish in the chance to flood their partner with pleasure, some people may also struggle to be fully present in an extended session where they are purely being of service. Even more challenged is the giver who is giving while also internally struggling with any lingering feelings of resentment (say, if the relationship has unresolved tension or an imbalance of love and recent reciprocity).
This is why this exercise is such a potent one. It is a worthwhile practice for your body, mind, and heart, all in one.
We could all use more time being flooded with calibrated pleasure. We could all use more time being in the practice of giving selflessly. And our relationships can always stand to be served by a little extra time where the flow of love that moves between the two of you is the sole focus.
Insight Is One Thing, Action Is Another
All of these tips are useless unless you actually commit to doing one of them.
So pick your favourite exercise of the three, talk to your partner about it, and make it happen.
Your relationship could be unrecognizably better in a matter of weeks, if you commit to doing one of these in the near future. However uncomfortable you think any of these may be, cut that discomfort in half, and that’s likely a more accurate estimation of how it will actually feel in the moment.
Seriously, put it in your calendar. You’ve got this. I believe in you.
Dedicate to your success,
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