Like life itself, relationships have natural ups and downs. While some weeks you’re both on cloud nine, other weeks it might feel you’ve grown apart. At least for the moment.
It’s perfectly normal that relationships are not like a straight line.
They are supposed to feel like a gentle roller-coaster ride, with peeks of joy where you just want to let the world know how happy you are and valleys of misunderstandings and disagreements.
It’s not difficult to feel connected and excited about the other person when you are freshly in love. You feel like you have thousands of things in common and that everything about your new partner is interesting.
Once that first love rush is decreasing and we are left with the raw facts of what our relationships really look like (including our odd habits, views, and uncombed morning hair) the real “work” begins.
This is often a time of make or break. How do we stay in love and committed to our spouses, partners or lovers over time?
While some get cold feet and run or might simply admit to themselves that this is not it, the lucky ones among us might finally have bumped into “the one”.
So what is the key to lasting love?
Talking to lots of different people over the years and analyzing my personal experiences, a good and healthy relationship is something we need to actively vote and work for, over and over again.
Even the best match in the world can’t just sit back and let life take over. It might feel good for a while, but long-term love doesn’t come effortlessly.
Listen To Each Other
Listening to your partner is one of the main pillars in a well-functioning relationship. And I don’t mean lending them an ear, while you fumble around on your smart phone.
Set off time for each other to actively listen to what’s currently going on in the other person’s life.
Being given the feeling that your thoughts, concerns and anecdotes are really heard, has healing powers in itself and makes us feel valued and understood.
So when you see that your loved one is silently struggling with something, take the time to listen to him or her and maybe even offer some advice. We all strive to be understood fully and to show our true soul to at least one other human being.
We can only be loved by another person when we learn to love ourselves.
By meditating on a regular basis, you increase your ability to detect your needs and fears and learn to be in the moment. Try to open up to your inner self and tell yourself about all your positive qualities.
That can be extremely difficult in the beginning, especially when you have been stuck with a negative self-image over a long period of time.
Once you start valuing yourself, you will feel different.
I can promise you, your partner will notice that change. If you know why you deserve to be loved and desired, you allow your partner to see your inner beauty too.
Meditate With Your Partner
So how about sharing the experience of meditation actively with your loved one then?
You can lie down next to each other in bed and shut out the world, just listening to the other person’s breathing. You will notice that after a while your breathing will become coherent.
You are allowed to hold hands if you like. There is nothing you need to do or say. You are just there. Together.
Listening to meditation music together can be a great way to end the day and release all the stress that has build up during the day. Make sure you don’t have any chores left to do and you are ready for bed.
Sharing relaxation time makes us connect on a deep level, and maybe you allow yourself to be reminded why you love the person next to you.
Another wonderful thing to do is to read dream travels or guided meditations for each other.
Familiar voices, especially from the people we love, can have a calming effect. So why not make a meditation CD for him or her to take along to her next business trip?
And last but not least, do the old classic. But together.
Sit opposite each other in half or full lotus position, palms on your knees, facing upwards, thumb and index finger touching. Here is how.
Try to picture how the open palms enable you to receive your partners love.
Look into each other’s eyes and focus on your breathing. Does it feel like looking into the other person’s soul and are you brave enough to let someone else see yours?
A massage is a very intimate thing that connects not only our bodies but also our souls.
Being touched by another person releases endorphins in your brain which alters your mood in a positive way, and makes you more resilient against pain.
Read more about how to increase endorphins.
Set aside time for a massage evening, and let this be your relationship’s sanctuary: turn of your electronic devices, light some candles, and use essential oils for your massage.
We all know that receiving a massage is an exquisite feeling, but have you ever considered that the act of giving (a massage), can be an equally rewarding experience?
A good massage can boost blood circulations and reduce muscle tension. If you or your partner are not naturally talented in giving a massage, there is lots of good learning material out there to help you out
Or even better, take a massage course together. Shared experiences connect us on so many levels.
All these methods can naturally be used for all your other types of relationship as well, and enable you to connect or reconnect with the people you love.
Give your mother a shoulder massage when you see that she’s stressed. Listen to your kid’s story and ask smart questions. Or escape to a yoga retreat over the weekend with your best friend.
Whichever method you might use to improve your relationship, be good to yourself and to your partner and be in the moment.
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