It’s no secret that the dating scene in Vancouver is pretty bad, but rarely do we speak about the state of actual relationships in our beautiful city.
As a relationship coach, I’m incredibly aware of the difficulties people face behind closed doors and I wanted to write a post in an attempt to remind people why we need each other.
I apologize if you’ve navigated to this post looking for dating advice, because this is not a post on dating. However, now that you’re here, you may as well realize the purpose of being in a relationship since you’re looking to be in one.
A relationship is supposed to be the safest place for you to bare your soul. To be able to express yourself openly and honestly so that you can fulfil your desires and expel your demons.
This is why, for example, it hurts so bad when you’re cheated on, and why people cheat - it’s all connected to truth and it’s ability to be expressed and accepted. The motivation fueling most relationship problems are the result of either an unfulfilled desire, or the compulsion of an inner demon or a mix of both.
Actually, here’s a free dating tip: if you don’t have a partner, find an avenue to express yourself and as you progress down this avenue, you increase your chances at bumping into someone on the same path.
You can really pinpoint a lot of relationship problems to one’s ability to express themselves honestly, so here are my 5 alternative ways for you and your partner to learn about each other and communicate:
1. Bathe your partner.
It’s romantic bathing with your partner, and a great way to spice things up in you relationship, but if your partner is going through something, bathe them. There’s a certain nurturing involved when bathing someone, and bathing your partner may just help them open the door to their vulnerability, just enough to let you in to understand what they’re going through.
This presents an opportunity to open up about mental health issues and personal truths which cause an inner torment. Also great to ease moments of intense distress, i.e. loss.
2. Lights out.
One of the most difficult things to switch off during conversation is perception, because our senses are constantly picking up on information and interpreting it. Limit bias from sensory input by turning off the lights and having a conversation in the dark. You’ll notice very quickly how much easier it is to listen and communicate, when you’re not concerned with interpreting facial expressions and body language.
This is a great way to communicate inner desire more confidently, as well as a great way to discuss and open up about difficult circumstances.
3. Be Antisocial
Will your relationship survive without bragging rights? Is your relationship worth more than the number of likes you get for that romantic shot you so carefully constructed? The world has outstayed their welcome and it’s time to kick them out of your relationship. Wipe the existence of your relationship from your social media platforms and focus your attention on your partner. You’d be surprised how hard this is for people to do, because often it makes you face a truth you really don't want to face.
Reclaim ownership of your relationship, kick the world out and start talking. It’s shocking at how many relationships depend on the validation from others, which I think makes being in a relationship ironic.
This will highlight a lot of key issues within the foundation of your relationship, or, help you realize how solid it actually is.
4. Break routine.
How many times have you repeated the same evening over and over again? There’s tons of ways you can break routine but the idea is to encourage conversation. One of my my favourite recommendations to couples, is to face the sofa away from the TV and enjoy time and space together. Get into a reflective mood, and relax in each others company - do everything to spend the most time in this space: order take out food, light candles which can be easily blown out, grab a bottle wine and a couple of glasses - have everything you need within reach.
Breaking routine is a nice way to refresh energy and enter a reflective conversation; an opportunity to approach unresolved issues.
5. Meet the parents.
This one’s a little tricky, but, if feasible, build a relationship with your partners parents. Really want to learn about your partner? And want your partner to really understand you? Then spend some time alone with their parents. Spend enough time and you’ll learn about their influences growing up, clues into trauma, and how they may have developed certain behaviours and habits.
If you ever want to learn about someone's outlook on life, spend time getting to know the people they were exposed to growing up.
I call this one the grenade, the saving grace, the very thing that could make or break your relationship. Why? Because you don't know what you’ll uncover. If you do this, proceed with caution.
I hope these tips help you and your partner open up about the world within, and if you need further support, do not hesitate to reach out and schedule a complimentary consultation.