Say what?!? Only one step??
Well, it’s easier said than done, but nonetheless very doable with the right intention behind it.
Rather than wondering where things went wrong, who did and did not do what, why they’re being the way they’re being, etc., let’s just let all of that go for the moment.
As difficult as it may be to take responsibility in situations where we feel we’re “right”, it may be a good route. This one-step process isn’t about taking responsibility, per se, but it’s a great place to start if you want to move forward.
Now that you’re choosing to take responsibility, consider this: Maybe you stopped giving just to give.
In the honeymoon stage you had fun, your communication was pure and your security was increasing the more vulnerable you allowed yourself to be. Now, on the other hand, the insecurity is increasing and the vulnerability is now a give and take thing that looks something like this, “I’ll be more vulnerable if you’re more vulnerable.”
“Why don’t you plan anything fun for us anymore?”
“Why won’t you tell me how you feel?”
“Why don’t you want to spend time with me like you used to?”
Any of these sound familiar?
If so, it’s because you’ve transitioned into being more about you and your needs and wants, and less about theirs. It doesn’t mean you’ve become completely selfish by any means, this just tends to happen as we move beyond the honeymoon stage. Rather than purely giving without expecting anything in return (like at the beginning of the relationship), we transition into wanting to feel appreciated for our efforts.
If you think back over the past week or so and see yourself asking any of the above questions – or hearing them asked by your significant other – it’s most likely not something that happened overnight. Your communication with one another has shifted over a period of time and now this is your new state of communication.
Just as in any habit, it will take some time to transition back into a more desirable state of communication. There’s a trick to it, and your significant other might not be as gung-ho about making this change, so you may need to be the one to change this around for the both of you. You need to be willing to give up any and all desire to get anything in return…ever.
The process for the other person usually goes a little something like this (either consciously or subconsciously): “Hmm (s)he’s different lately, why is (s)he being so nice?” “Where is this all coming from?” “Did (s)he do something wrong?” “Did I do something wrong?”
Then after a while of sticking with it (because they may do the internal “is this going to last?” test), it turns into: “Wow, (s)he is still being that way, that’s interesting” “(s)he’s been doing a lot for me, I’m going to do something for him/her” “I don’t know what happened, but I like it!” – and then you’ve transitioned into your brand new form of communication.
Overview – One Step Process: Give Just To Give.
This is where the “easier said than done” comes into play, but don’t give up. You may feel like it’s not doing anything, or changing anything, but it takes time to jolt communication habits, especially if they’ve been there for a long time.
So what does this look like in a typical day?
Read this for some ideas: 10 Ways to Stun Your Significant Other Today
*Absolutely Crucial Note: Do these things without any expectation of how they’re going to react, or if they’re going to be thankful or do/say something in return. Do it purely because you want to give to them.
If you have anything that you can add to this, please do so in the comments below. You never know who you might help!