It seems like everyone in the world is looking for relationship solutions. They want to know how to navigate conflict. They want to know how to communicate better, how to feel more connected, and how to achieve goals as a team. People want to know “how to do love” but the truth is that so many relationship goals center around one central skill: mindfulness.
Mindfulness isn’t a miracle cure, but it has the power to transform our romantic relationships. This mindfulness enhances trust, it creates vulnerability. We become better partners when we are mindful, and we empower our partners to be better people too.
Looking for the perfect relationship? You’ll never find it. But you can get pretty close by centering mindfulness at the heart of your connection to each other.
A mindful relationship begins with a mindful self.
The journey to a more mindful relationship necessarily begins with a mindfulness of self. We are the starting points to change in our relationship. Our thoughts, and our emotions, turn into action which determines the state of our connection. If we seek awareness and elevated presence, then we have to first cultivate these qualities in ourselves.
Build on your own mindfulness by:
- Being open
- Asking questions
- Slowing things down
- Creating empathy
- Seeking answers
It’s essential to be open, both with yourself and with your partner. You have to be willing to share your life, thoughts, needs, and limits. You should have the strength of vulnerability and a curiousness about your life and the world around you.
In the same vein, emotional intelligence is a must. Empathy is needed to keep a partnership healthy, but that empathy has to start from within. Tap into your emotions and see how those emotions shape others. Learn to see your experience in the experiences of those you love (and vice versa).
Slow it down. Mindfulness requires deeper thinking. Don’t rush. Don’t react. Always take time to question yourself, your intentions, and the reality you’re living in. You should want answers to all of life’s biggest questions, but you should especially be ready to embrace questions of the human soul.
There are real benefits to building more mindful relationships.
That seems like a lot of work. What’s the value of increasing this mindfulness in ourselves (and our relationships)? When mindfulness is pursued, partnerships can’t help but transform. It’s a state and a skill that increases trust, creates empathy, and eases communication in a relationship.
When learning to build mindful relationships, trust is incrementally increased. There’s no stopping it. As one becomes a person who thinks deeply, empathizes majorly, and opens up the mind and the heart, vulnerability is created. Vulnerability in one partner encourages more vulnerability in the other. It makes the partnership a safe space. This, in turn, increases receptivity and enriches the connection partners share.
Empathy can enhance a relationship in incredible ways. A relationship with empathy is a relationship in which both partners feel incredibly safe and supported. It is known that the other person is always in your corner, seeing things the way you see them and holding space for your emotional experiences. Partners have to work toward this point. As you become more mindful of yourselves, and each other, your empathy should increase too.
Creating more awareness
Mindfulness is nothing if not the result of higher awareness. Becoming more aware of ourselves and our experiences, we are forced to think of the world around us in elevated terms. We start to hold ourselves to high standards. This is the space in which we are able to change behaviors and make serious improvements to ourselves and our relationships. It’s an elevated perspective and a compassionate understanding.
It’s a lot easier to regulate your emotions when you’re striving for a more mindful state within your relationship. When we are mindful we tend to think more of the bigger picture — who we are, who we want to be as partners, and how to more positively resolve conflict. You’re more in control of yourself and you have a clearer vision of what’s needed and desired. It’s easier to regulate emotions in an environment that’s safe and clearly navigated.
Life is challenging and isn’t necessarily made easier when we’re merging our lives with someone else. It can be hard to stay open and present when dealing with life, death, moving, work, and family. That mindfulness helps us to do, however. It encourages honest communication and it encourages us to keep the connection flowing…even if things get tough. Finding the strength to talk about our issues and our needs, it’s enhanced with mindfulness.
How to transform your relationship with intentional mindfulness.
Ready to make more out of your romantic connection? You can enhance your relationship with mindfulness by embracing the tough emotions, expressing more gratitude, and finding the balance between yourself and the life you and your partner are building together.
Embrace tough emotions
Mindfulness is centered in awareness. To be more mindful of ourselves and our partners, we must first be aware of what we need, what we’re feeling, and what our big-picture vision is. Core to that is an awareness of our emotional experiences. Good and bad, one must be able to embrace these emotions and express them (positively) to partners.
Embrace the tough emotions that you feel. Rather than running from them, shutting down, ignoring them — lean in. Take a look from a third-person perspective and ask yourself questions each time negative emotions are encountered.
Emotions exist to guide us toward the truths that must be addressed in our relationships.
Why do you feel this way? What has triggered the emotion? If the emotion is a result of a crossed boundary or a violated need, what is the best resolution? How do you want to feel in your relationship? How do you want things to play out? What is the most positive way to get the resolution and calm the tough emotion that we’re facing?
After getting to the root of a bad feeling, it can be expressed to a partner or spouse. Communicate what is found, and what is needed, and give loved ones space to do the same. If that’s not enough, imagine it like peeling off a bandaid. The sooner both parties get through the “big-and-bad” stuff, the sooner peace can be re-established.
Express the gratitude
There are few faster tracks to mindfulness than the expression of gratitude. Telling a partner how grateful you are for their presence can not only change their mood. It can change the way they see their role in the partnership and their connection overall. Expressing gratitude increases trust and positive emotion.
Gratitude has the power to foster some of the most positive aspects of our feelings and experiences.
Make an effort to be more intentional in the displays of gratitude. No grand gestures are necessary. To show someone they are valued, it only takes a few kind words and a post-it note on the bathroom mirror. People can feel gratitude from the smallest of considerations.
Consider how this gratitude can be cultivated, daily, in small ways. What is the best way to show your partner that you appreciate them? That you are happy they are in your life? Fill their car up with gas. Cook them dinner one night. Leave a note on the pillow for them to be found before they go to sleep. Find small gestures that display big feelings.
Get out of the digital space
We are living in a digital age, there’s no denying that. So much of our lives are displayed in the digital sphere, on apps and websites that package and commercialize the most mundane details of the human experience. Relationships are especially vulnerable in this digital age. Used to gain validation on things like Facebook and TikTok, the modern relationship is often threatened by the competition of social media.
Social media can create direct threats to a relationship that is not already rooted in mindfulness.
If you want to focus on being more mindful of your partner and the connection you share, keeping it offline may be a better approach. After all, you don’t need the validation of others to confirm that your partnership is important, good, or worthwhile.
Are you someone who is vulnerable to making comparisons? Do the “perfect” online partnerships of others make you feel insecure? Get your relationship out of the digital space. Stop trying to compete in something which should be entirely personal. Focus on what you need and what makes you and your partner gel. Keep it in the real world.
Seek major understanding
Becoming more mindful — in ourselves or our romantic relationships — requires that we seek answers. We should be curious about our connection, our partners; what makes them tick, and what makes the whole thing work. Inside a relationship, it’s necessary to figure things out and to learn. One learns how to be a better partner, a better person. In a relationship, you learn how to be fully there for others.
When we prioritize understanding in our relationships we empower ourselves to be more truthful and present with one another.
Any time you hit a wall or encounter conflict, seek understanding over “winning” or having the upper hand. Reactive couples have a hard time connecting because they are reactive and defensive. Partners in these relationships listen not to learn, but to rush to their own responses.
Make space for partners to express themselves (even when that expression is difficult to hear). Every conflict should be seen as a chance to learn, not a chance to battle. To be more mindful, each partner should seek to understand the experience of the other.
Tap into the balance
Relationships, above all else, need balance. Communication must be balanced. Quality time, emotions, all of it has to find a balance. Most couples realize this. The balance they lose sight of is the balance between self and the relationship. Each partner needs space to be fully themselves, they need to be able to recharge and pursue self-fulfillment.
The reason this time for self is so important? That is the space in which, on an individual level, partners are able to tap into their peace and their awareness. We cannot be individually mindful if we pour all of our energy into others.
A balance of self and a balance in our romantic connections is needed to foster a more mindful state of existence.
Individual space is needed. Each partner needs time to reflect on their own journey. They need their own lives, experiences, friends, and opportunities which are just for that partner on an individual level. They need to figure out where they’re at, how they’re feeling, and where they want to go.
Time as a couple is still needed. That is where the balance comes into play. Every couple must find the “sweet spot” between time spent apart and time spent together. The solution to this balance is easier to find when awareness and curiosity and prioritized.
Become more curious
Few things create mindfulness more than a healthy sense of curiosity. Curiosity inspires our desire to question and to know. Relationships are included in this. When you become curious about your relationship, you are empowered to learn new relationship skills and possibilities. Becoming curious about a partner can increase trust and connectedness.
A healthy sense of curiosity can make it easier for partners to be more mindful of themselves and one another.
If you want to be more mindful in your relationship, become more curious. Question yourself, your intentions, and what you know about life and human-to-human connection. Ask questions about your partner and their life. Even if you think you know, ask them what they like and don’t like.
Remember, people are ever-changing. We are complex and we have worlds inside of us that are fathomless and rich. When you ask your partner questions, you say to them, “I value you and I want to know about your life.” The same applies to their questions of you. Become more curious to create more trust, openness, and gratitude in your partnership.
Never underestimate the power of mindfulness in improving your romantic connections. It can help you to increase trust and to create a safe space for vulnerability and empathy. If you and your partner are drifting, pursuing awareness can help bring you back together.
Before you throw in the towel, before you sacrifice yourself on the altar of what you believe to be love, take a different approach. Tap into one another and yourselves to create a better-shared future.