Has this thought passed through your mind? Maybe the thought pops in during conflict, or when your attraction has dwindled, or you question if the two of you are fully aligned. I believe in asking the difficult questions that people like to hide from at all costs. What’s the harm in asking yourself an honest question? Is your relationship serving your highest good?
Surely the whole relationship isn't a complete write-off, and I would also argue that there are likely areas with room for improvement. Here is a list of questions to reflect on if you are feeling something is out of balance in your relationship.
Do You Challenge Each Other?
A sign of a great partner is one who celebrates your successes and also challenges you to be the best version of yourself.
Challenging one another doesn’t mean arguing or fighting, it means being clear and honest. My partner and I constantly check in with each other and although it can be uncomfortable to challenge each other, that's what we signed up for and it always leads to deeper growth and intimacy. Be mindful of where your challenge comes from, however. Are you pushing your partner to grow and see past their blindspots? Or are you using shame and guilt to manipulate them to meet your needs? You will be more likely to have your feedback heard if you use heathy encouragement, whereas shame and guilt are likely to create defensiveness.
Are You Attracted To Each Other?
Although a relationship should not be built around sex, intimacy and connection are strong energetic exchanges that can deepen your bond, especially if either of your love language is touch. Sometimes sex, intimacy, and attraction may be the string that holds you two together through difficult times.
If you have been attracted to your partner in the past but the attraction seems to have faded, this can often be repaired. Unresolved conflicts, withholding your feelings, and not expressing your needs can all create blocks in your attraction and intimacy. With a little work and vulnerability, you can dissolve the barriers to your intimacy and rebuild the attraction that you once felt.
Is There Mutual Respect?
Do you respect your partner for who they truly are? If there is something your partner is doing that is creating a block in your intimacy, it's important that you find a way to express your observation from a space of love and compassion. Maybe they have an eating habit that has gotten out of control, are leaning on a substance more than you feel comfortable with, or have let their body go.
Naming your observation or judgement and how that makes you feel, followed by a request, can bridge intimacy and create an opening for a deeper conversation and the possibility for change. For more details on naming observations, emotions, and requests, check out my blog post here.
In Reflection & Moving Forward
If you read through this article and felt that your relationship could improve or that some aspect of your partnership is feeling out of alignment, then it may be time to make some new agreements together.
It can be easy to forget that you are two separate beings living two separate experiences when your lives have become enmeshed. You have agreed and committed to be together but you do not have ownership over your partner and you both need freedom to experience life beyond your relationship.
Remember that your partner can't read your mind. It's up to you to create a safe space to have a deeper conversation about what feelings and needs you have and to name your requests moving forward. Sometimes even a simple conversation can spark a new and exciting time in your relationship. Every ounce of love and intention that you pour into your relationship has the potential to radically expand the way you two connect. Trust me when I say that it's worth all of the effort and potential discomfort along the way.
I'm sending you so much love on your journey in relationship,