Nurturing a relationship can seem a bit confusing at first. It almost feels the same as nurturing your partner, but there is an important difference.
If you look at your relationship as three entities gathered together - you, your partner and the relationship - it is easier to understand. Each entity needs to be nurtured.
Being able to nurture the "us" part of your life can be a little complicated with kids, work and life being as challenging as it is. Yet nurturing can become almost second nature because it feels so positive when it's working. The idea here is that nurturing the one you love and the relationship that binds you should become a part of your normal behaviour.
Though nurturing can be difficult to master, especially if you grew up in a family that wasn't very nurturing, it's an easy thing to learn and quite pleasant when you finally get the hang of it. It all starts with a desire to be closer to the one you love.
If you feel that way, the first step you need to take is to tell your partner that you want to be closer than ever before. Not in a pressuring way, but in a manner that conveys how much happier you both will be once your relationship feels nurtured.
Nurturing actions are readily available, and though some may take a little effort, the payoff is well worth it. Think of it as an interest-bearing account. Once you put energy into the relationship, it pays dividends like contentment, excitement, joy and desire. You get back much more than you put in.
Little acts of affection are a great tool for building nurturing.
- Holding hands or walking arm in arm creates the ties that bind.
- Also important are little touches as you pass each other in the house; never ignore a moment when you could lovingly nurture your relationship and your partner. These little things become strong parts of a loving relationship.
- If you and your partner are in different locations during the day, keeping in touch is another way to nurture the relationship. Talking, texting and emailing are some of the easier ways to let your partner know you are thinking about him or her, and communicating this way can be nurturing. Just because you are not in each other's presence does not mean you are away from one another. Learn to carry the love with you during your workday; it will make life a little sweeter.
- Remembering special dates and events that have occurred in the relationship and sharing those memories and days with the one you love creates happy and close relationships. The memories of certain times are not just kept in our minds but are part of our hearts as well. When we are reminded of these positive experiences, they become quite powerful and bonding. As a couple, remembering special days nurtures your relationship.
We all need nurturing, but just as individuals need it from one another, your relationship needs to be nurtured as well.
Give it a go.
Dr Barton Goldsmith is a psychotherapist and author of 100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence - Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too.