Part 2 of the 12 Days, 12 Relationship Skills series from January. Find Part 1 here!
In this instalment, we'll explore:
Day 5 - Humour
They say laughter is the best medicine, and that applies to relationships too.⠀
Sometimes things can be difficult & we may lose sight of what brought us together in the first place, but finding the humour in our lives can help.⠀
Having a sense of humour can lighten things up during a hard time, after an argument or even simply when you're stuck in the rain and you're both soaked to the skin, waiting for a bus that never seems to come. ⠀
Laughing activates the release of oxytocin, also known as 'the cuddle hormone', which bonds us to others around us. By that logic, then, laughing together means staying together.⠀
When we get lost in laughter, we become immersed in the present moment and are completely there with the other person. We forget, even for a second, what we perceive is wrong or 'not perfect' in our lives. We revel in that joyous feeling and connect with the other.⠀
When was the last time you laughed with your partner(s)?
What can you do today to inject more humour into your relationship & your life?
Day 6 - Compromise
As human beings with diverse life experiences and points of view, it's obvious that we'll disagree with each other at some point.
This is where compromise comes in as one of the most important skills in any relationship. It involves harnessing the understanding & acceptance of compassion, the warmth of affection, the letting go of forgiveness and the open-ness of honesty - and using those skills to communicate with each other to reach a solution that suits everyone.
Compromise involves relinquishing control of a situation and letting go of our inner 'spoiled child', which can be difficult to do... But that's okay! It takes practice.
There's a certain balance & fluidity involved in this skill: sometimes compromising may mean doing something you aren't super excited about because it's important to your partner; sometimes it may mean choosing something together that you're both content with.
To quote Stranger Things, it can mean going for the 'half-way happy' option instead of an imbalanced 'I'm happy, they're not' one (or vice versa).
Of course, it's important to assess what needs/wants we're willing to compromise & be fluid with, and what ones are set in stone. There's a big difference between compromising and being compromised... But we can only know that by getting to know ourselves deeply - be it with therapy, coaching or other methods like meditation.
Day 7 - Curiosity
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but not the relationship (sorry, not sorry). As children, we're endlessly curious about the world around us; always wanting to look deeper, question everything, explore our surroundings and the creatures that inhabit it.
Sadly, for whatever reason, we tend to lose that sense of wonder in adulthood... Until we encounter something that ignites us and inspires us to explore it deeply. Sometimes, that 'something' is a person and that feeling is part of falling in love. ... But somewhere down the line, that initial love-enduced curiosity can fizzle out too.
But it can be reignited! 🔥
Being curious about your partner means wanting to learn more about them, seeing them with fresh eyes and exploring what you have together with excitement and interest.
It helps us savour every moment, connect us with gratitude and change our perspective when we feel stuck in a rut.
Asking ourselves simple questions can take us back to that child-like curiosity we may have had at the beginning of our journey together.
What struck you most about this person when you first met them?
What little things do they do that makes them unique?
What made you fall in love with them?
Day 8 - Creativity
Let's set the record straight right away: when I talk about creativity in a relationship I don't mean doing a Leonardo DiCaprio & painting your partner like one of your french girls.
Creativity in life & in a relationship means switching it up every once in a while.
It could involve harnessing your childish playfulness, maybe, or simply just thinking of somewhere new to explore together.
It's about thinking of ways to woo & seduce your partner even years after the honeymoon phase is over. It keeps us engaged & on our toes (in a good way!) It keeps the fire alive & ignites the curious side of us.
For example, my partner & I have started taking it in turns to take each other on secret dates - one of us plans a day out & just leads the other on the date. The mystery in itself is exciting and fresh 💖
A good way to induce this creative thinking is to treat each date like the first. .
Where would you take your partner if this was your first date?
What do they (or you) love doing that you don't do so often?
What scenario would get them grinning from ear to ear? 😁
Have any of these resonated or helped you in any way? Have they sparked some interesting thoughts?
Let me know by tweeting @sarahadefehinti or slide into my DMs 👀
Stay tuned for part 3 next week ✨