You and your partner are the only two people responsible for your relationship. Whether it succeeds or fails, whether it is nourished or left to whither, is in your control. Understanding the role mindfulness plays in your relationship is essential to maintaining healthy communication and giving your love the attention it needs to flourish.
Mindfulness is being aware of the moment you are in. While that sounds simple enough, a lot of our thought is spent dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future. Even when we are fully engaged in the present moment our busy lives place an emphasis on multi-tasking which can distract us from fully participating in any one experience. Think about your last leisure activity. Maybe it was a grand adventure like whitewater rafting or skydiving, or maybe it was an afternoon matinee and a stroll through the park. Whatever the activity, if you spent part of it uploading and captioning the perfect social media photo or checking your newsfeed, you did not experience all that you could have because your attention was divided. Mindfulness is important in all aspects of our lives and can be helpful to having a happy relationship.
The practice of mindfulness leads to relationship stability by helping us practice healthy communication with our partner. Mindfulness teaches us to listen. Being fully attentive to conversations with our partner shows respect and can prevent the kind of arguments that erupt from miscommunication. Examples of miscommunication in a relationship might occur when a partner insists they told you something that you have no recollection of because you were not listening or when you omit information because your attention was diverted and your partner later views this as deliberate deceit. Miscommunication can lead to mistrust. Healthy communication is easy, free flowing, honest and attentive. Mindfulness can help you be a better listener and can also help you limit any tendency to overreact or anger quickly, all of which will make communicating with your partner more rewarding for you both.
Mindfulness isn’t only important for verbal communication with your partner. We all get caught up in the grind of our work life which can leave us unfocused at the end of the day. If you find that you and your partner drown the stresses of the day by zoning out to the TV while sitting at opposite ends of the couch night after night, you are missing a moment to connect. Just moving physically closer to one another, holding hands or snuggling will make you more present in the moment than numbing your mind with the latest binge worthy program.
A lot of partners exchange a quick kiss just before rushing out the door in the morning and a peck on the lips before rolling over to sleep at night. These cursory kisses can become a habit. Remember how exciting the first kiss with your partner was? No matter how tired you are or how late you are for work, try taking just a few seconds to let the kiss linger long enough for you both to feel it. Being mindful of even the smallest moments in your relationship can be the difference between having a partner that feels overlooked or a partner that feels appreciated.
The practice of mindfulness can improve your relationship by making you more attentive to the world around you, especially the moments you share with your partner.
Sending lots of love.