‘Discovery’ is a common practice in coaching – to learn what is on a client’s mind. Often, the first attempt to describe what is important isn’t the real issue – it takes a few discussions to get at the core of what they want to talk about.
I find the same applies in romantic relationships. The main difference being that many couples I speak to, don’t take the time to truly discover what’s on their partner’s mind. They assume they know. And, the partner who has the issue, doesn’t fully understand themselves and they end up walking away from the discussion with their needs unmet and perhaps feel frustrated.
Relationships require a sincere effort. Some couples become complacent and the effort stops.
The energy and curiosity expended at the start of the relationship has subsided. They get comfortable, in a routine and the sparks fizzle out.
Reigniting the spark involves some key attributes in a romantic relationship. Today’s blog focuses on digging deep to uncover your partner’s perspective.
Here are some attributes you can apply:
- Being authentic to explore your true feelings and needs, even if takes a while. We can’t be fully happy in a relationship if we are afraid to express our needs and interests for fear of how our partner will respond. It starts with you – be willing to be honest and open.
It’s not easy to express ourselves if we feel unsure of who we are. If we don’t have a solid foundation, then we sway in the wind. We change our mind, our message is inconsistent and we end up having different versions of our position on a given situation.
We find ourselves responding to what we think others want to hear versus what we really feel deep down inside. If this is you, there may be some helpful information in my ‘Believe’ blogs – designed to understand and uncover your true self. You cannot expect your partner to know you and meet your relationship needs if you don’t know them yourself. Be willing to dig deep to get to know yourself.
- Be curious and interested in what your partner has to say. One way to show this is through your undivided attention – no distractions and simply letting your partner know you are there for him/her.
This often involves asking probing questions such as “what do you mean by that?”, “why do you say that?”, “how does that impact you?”, or “how does that make you feel?, “what would you like to do about that?” or “if it was better, what would it look like?” Be willing to allow your partner to go deep to explore how they feel. Exploring is different than sharing. This is an exercise in listening – not solving their issues for them. It takes a genuine interest and patience.
It is simply three key opportunities here:
- to be willing to fully express your thoughts and perspectives
- to demonstrate you heard your partner
- to help your partner move his/her thinking forward
In these three opportunities – partners in romantic relationships feel better because they expressed what was on their mind, they feel important to their partner and of course, they feel loved!
I encourage you to give this a try and watch your ‘Spark Meter’ rise to higher levels!