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How Can You Increase Quality Time in Your Relationship?

Couple on boardwalk in fogWe’ve spent many years looking at why we have a peaceful relationship, and one of the things is that we consistently spend time together, not only in activities like writing this blog, but time together without any plan.

This is a large part of why we feel so connected, and you can increase the peace and closeness with your partner by doing the same. Choose a quiet place and time when you can be together. Mornings or nights are good; it’s hard to give full attention when other distractions abound.

In this space, there is nothing but the room, you and your partner. You can talk or not talk; touch or not touch; this is an experience of being, not doing. Pay attention to what it is like to be in the presence of this other person, but also look for the experience of the relationship itself. This is not how you feel about the other person; it is a sense of a third entity that is neither you nor your partner.

This is an exercise in being present; it is not about what happened or what you want to happen; it is about what is happening right now with you and between you. A relationship is a living thing, as shown by the fact that it is always spoken of in the present tense. You don’t say of your partner that you had a relationship or that you will have a relationship; no, you have one. Yes, you have a shared past and the security that comes from expectations of a shared future, but the emotional heart of a relationship is always in the present.

But how can you do this if all is not well between you? How do you handle hurt, betrayal, distrust if has built up between the two of you? Of course all of that happened, but you don’t build a connection with the other person by revisiting the events of the past. They no longer exist; all that remains is their consequences. The way forward is to speak in the present tense; speak of your feelings right now. What caused them and how other people contributed is secondary. Pay attention to your body, its tensions, its pains. Look at how you are breathing. Talk about what is happening right now.

In a similar way, don’t try to solve anything. That’s the future, and it’s not in the room with you right now. Leave it where it is and just continue speaking in the present tense.

This approach probably feels completely unnatural. What about fairness, blame, responsibility? How could you have been treated so badly? Letting go of the attitude of being on opposite sides is a big mental shift, but it is key to having a sense of connection. It’s the nature of change to feel peculiar, so just explore this alternate attitude.

Whether or not you have disagreements with your partner, spending time together as described will greatly improve the quality of your relationship. Being present with each other by conscious choice brings a depth of connection and a feeling of ease and peace. It’s such a simple thing, and produces such a profound result.

Photo credit: Maude Mayes
Photo note: Boardwalk at Cambria, CA

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner


Books on shelfThis week, we asked how can you increase quality time in your relationship? Although nobody else seems to talk about it in the same way that we do, here are some articles on the topic.

Be Present In Your Relationship "Are you distracted when you’re spending time with your partner? Are you guilty of mindlessly scrolling through your phone while they’re telling you about their day? Although you’re nodding and physically in the same space as your significant other, you’re sending them signals that you’re not engaged with what they’re saying. This makes them question your commitment to the relationship and, over time, can cause major resentment."

Relationships - creating intimacy "Intimacy in a relationship is a feeling of being close, and emotionally connected and supported. It means being able to share a whole range of thoughts, feelings and experiences that we have as human beings. It involves being open and talking through your thoughts and emotions, letting your guard down (being vulnerable), and showing someone else how you feel and what your hopes and dreams are. Intimacy is built up over time, and it requires patience and effort from both partners to create and maintain. Discovering intimacy with someone you love can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship."

10 Ways of Being Present in a Relationship "Learning to be in a relationship healthily requires presence. Being present means, you have an awareness of how you’re connecting with another person. That translates to the level of attention you give that person. In essence, being present speaks to you being fully aware of providing a loved one with unconditional loving, undivided attention. Focusing on the present is free of passing judgments, displaying an ego. There are no distractions nor agendas. The idea is to merely be with the other person in a “soul-to-soul” experience at the moment."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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