What’s in YOUR toolkit?
There is no lack of resources today to enhance romance in relationships. The dictionary defines romance as “a quality of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.”
This is the quality that Valentine’s Day is meant to celebrate, as couples hope to focus and ignite the fire of their attraction.
There are many teachings and programs available through books, podcasts, videos and more. Perhaps you have some of these relationship-enhancing processes in your own toolkit.
Do you know your partner’s preferred “love language?”
In 1992, Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages was published. In the years since, millions have used his presentation to bring themselves into harmony with their partner. Knowing that your own preferred “love language” may not be the same as your partner’s, you can honor and delight them by using theirs.
Do they yearn for “words of affirmation?” Be sure to pick a meaningful Valentine’s Day card, or, better yet, write your own. Is an “act of service” the best gift you can give them? How about a coupon book with offers of what you might do for them around the house or for a project they’re working on.
If their language is “physical touch,” that coupon book might include some deliciously different offerings!
And if their preferred love language is indeed “gifts,” you would be wise indeed to remember that this month!
Has a counselor, coach, therapist or other mentor helped you develop your communication abilities?
What skills have you learned?
Do you know the importance of using “I” language, taking responsibility for how YOU think and feel in emotional situations?
Do you know that a relationship is enhanced when you issue more compliments than complaints? (Recommended ratio is 5 positive comments to one negative, even including that slippery slope of “constructive criticism.”)
Do you know how it feels to be really HEARD, and to truly LISTEN to your partner?
Perhaps you’ve studied Nonviolent Communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, and you have a sense of how to communicate OFNR by clearly sharing what you observe, how you feel, what you need and what you want to request from your partner. Do you practice what you’ve learned?
Tantra is an ancient spiritual teaching that encourages the mindful embrace of all life. Maybe you’ve experimented with the joy of sacred loving and shared ecstatic intimacy with your partner. Or maybe you and your partner have read about or reviewed different ideas of sexual turn-ons and pleasure?
The most important question is .. are you remembering to USE whatever tools are in your toolkit? How do you hold each other accountable for their use? Do you strive to be conscientious and conscious about applying what you’ve learned?
As I write this, I’m remembering this morning, when my husband and I faced each other to begin our daily intimacy ritual (Peaceful Passion).
I had unintentionally led us into a conversation that not only caused us to stray from our purpose, it triggered my husband to the point where he no longer wanted to even be there.
Reaching into OUR toolbox, I invited him to use a practice we both know, called “All of Me.” Described in our book, it’s a deceptively simple, prescribed dialogue, where the person feeling resistant to being present says “There’s something in me that is feeling … (whatever the feeling might be.)
So, this morning, Richard grudgingly said “There’s a part of me, something in me, that is feeling out of harmony.”
THEN comes the powerful part. He continued with: “Will you help hold ALL of ME, including that part of me, here in our heart-space?.”
This morning, with my heart wide open, I replied, “Yes, I will help hold all of you, including that part of you, here in our heart-space.” In that very moment, we were brought back to each other, away from everyday life, and romance was restored.
Dust off your own tools, don’t let them get rusty.
Take an inventory of what’s in YOUR toolkit, and use them wisely and often. Valentine’s Day comes only once a year.
Romance is a life-long endeavor.
And.. consider adding the Intimacy Retreat Video Program to your toolkit!!