When someone is willing to struggle with you, just so that they can build with you, that’s love.
“Know your Boo” is the name of the game, and there are various ways to discover intimate and personal values, beliefs, opinions, and attitudes without bluntly asking your partner, “what’s your life vision?” Whether you’re on date number one or number 50, engaging in deep conversations can lead to a healthy relationship.
In this episode of the Really Personal Podcast, Bridget Richardson and I explore this very process of relationship engagement that involves an in-depth look into your relationship, values, background, and compatibility.
Curiosity! Continue to have curiosity about each other. Don’t have conversations about to-do lists and planning, or even finances. Have conversations where you’re learning about each other- talk about hopes, dreams, desires, and really intimately getting to know each other.
No matter how long you’ve been together, we’re constantly evolving and growing. Each time we return to a familiar conversation, we can see it from a new perspective and see a different side of our partner. That curiosity is what keeps people intimately connected, rather than feeling like roommates
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Acknowledging and understanding your Attachment Styles plays a huge role in your relationships. Your attachment style can fluctuate depending on your experiences or the people you date. You may be secure before you date someone emotionally unavailable who makes you lean to be more anxious. Or perhaps you’re usually anxious, but the moment you start to date someone who is secure you start to show avoiding tendencies.
This shows that just because you’re anxious or avoidant, or whatever you are, does not mean that you can’t change. It definitely does not signify that you can’t become more secure in relationships. As the great psychologist, Carl Jung was quoted as saying: “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
The Setting, Focus, and Intentionality Matters
Ever struggled with finding the best time, the ideal place, and the optimal way to discuss hot topics with your partner? Bridget and I aired out our laundry and really put on display our evolving struggles and our deepest desires for understanding and resolution:
- Having a favorite setting to have relationship discussions is crucial. Personally, I like discussion while walking on the trail, as long as you’re comfortable.
- The meaning and focus are not to win or change your partner’s views. Rather, it’s to communicate and listen.
- Not everything needs to be resolved at that moment- it often needs time, or hypotheticals (discussions of the future)
Approach the discussions with openness and understanding. Safety is being developed. Make the other person feel loved. It’s not just learning how you feel, but how to stay as a team.
What Defines a Healthy Relationship
- You know what your partner doesn’t like about you, and they have found acceptance around it.
- You’re able to participate in code regulations- when one person is activated, the other connects as a common source that will help ground you.
- You feel the most loved when super connected when you’re being your authentic self
- You’re inter-dependent on each other- you feel solid in the bond you share while maintaining a strong strength of self
- You feel safe saying “no” and setting up a boundary in confidence that it will be respected.
- If you know your perspectives are different about a specific event, they can both be true and valid.
- Physical intimacy feels playful, safe, and confident
- You’re able to repair and connect after a fight and learn from the experience.
- You’re being relationally and emotionally challenged, which can feel a bit uncomfortable at times but is good for your overall development.
- You feel that your partner sees you in a positive light!
Often huge issues arise due to a situation that erupts into an argument. Let’s be real, arguments are unavoidable, but if these questions evolve into an open discussion and dialogue in a non-heighten environment, then attentive listening and understanding can go a long way.