Hello and happy Monday dear readers! Nobody likes Mondays, me included, but let’s try to change that. Let’s try to think of Monday as the start of a new week and a new chance to make some changes, to set some goals, and to get shit done. This particular Monday is the one before Valentine’s Day and I thought we might looks at it as a chance to take stock of our relationships and learn to be mindful of our partners.
Don’t freak out, I’m not asking you to do anything extra special. I’m only asking you to be more mindful of the person who you are with and the way you treat them. I just think our relationship tends to get put on the back burner while life’s worries take front and center in our minds. We forget that when we are in a relationship we are supposed to take care of each other and love each other. We forget to fall in love again and again.
“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”
Just like every other moment in your life, if you are not conscious and aware of the moments in your relationship they will pass by you by. None of us has as many years in this world as we wish we did and we should always strive to savor every moment. Being present and aware of your partner leads to deeper love and intimacy, which benefits both of you by providing more joy in your lives.
Being mindful in your relationship means being present and noticing the good times you have together. Not just the special times but the everyday stuff, in those little rituals you both engage in every day.
I like to make time to be present and aware when my girlfriend is cooking dinner. Preparing dinner is usually seen as a chore but in our house we are both in the kitchen, she cooks and we talk. We vent about the day and I take the opportunity to tell her how much I appreciate her cooking, how good everything smells, and how good I bet it will taste when it’s done.
We also make sure to hug and kiss each other and tell each other that we are in love and talk about all the things we want to do in the future. It is a reminder every day of why we are together. During that time of the night nothing else get my attention, just her.
This is just an example, there are many parts of our day where we choose to be present. I have noticed that when we do this time seems to stretch out and we feel like we have more of it.
We aren’t perfect at this, though. Sometimes one, or both of us is just mentally somewhere else. That’s understandable but we try to bring each other back into the present because we know it is so important to the health of our relationship.
How do you articulate how it feels when your partner is not practicing mindfulness in your relationship? My girlfriend and I say something like “I want you to see me”. That means “I feel like your mind is somewhere else and I need you to be present and really see and appreciate me and this moment we are sharing”. I think it is a good idea to find an agreed way of telling each other that because we all get preoccupied or forget to be mindful. It’s something that is practiced not perfected.
If you find your mind wandering while you are with your partner, during a time when you should be present and aware, just gently bring your mind back into the now. If you missed something they said, apologize and try harder. When you are present really look at them, really listen to them, let yourself feel love for them, and make sure to express it. Let them know that you see who they are and that you love them enough to give them love and attention, every day.
There really is no greater gift you can give to your partner.