We hear a lot about how the average American’s diet is heavy on quantity and lacking in quality. In this modern age, many of us have easy access to vast varieties of tasty and convenient foods that fill us up but don’t provide many (or any) vitamins and minerals that can only be found in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains
If you drive through your favorite fast food restaurant multiple times a week for a quick lunch and/or dinner or if the majority of the food you eat comes from a box, you’re eventually going to feel the effects.
You will accumulate fat, feel sluggish and might even have mood swings from highs and crashes that come from consuming a lot of sugar or caffeine. You may even feel constantly hungry as your body blasts through foods that aren’t fulfilling your basic nutritional requirements.
In the midst of your busy life, you may not realize the damage that you’re doing to your body from this overabundance of un-nourishing foods…until you develop a serious health problem.
This isn’t an article about diet and nutrition; it’s about the health of your relationship.
Many couples treat their love relationship or marriage exactly the same as they treat their bodies. They overfeed but undernourish it. They fill it up with talk and time together, but they don’t tuly nourish passion and love.
At some point, each person feels ignored, taken for granted, bored, unfulfilled, like the spark has died or that he or she is “settling for less.” This is when arguments erupt easily, lies are spoken freely and flirting or affairs occur.
And it’s all because the couple did not mindfully feed their relationship along the way.
The doesn’t have to be your story!
Just as the junk food addict can change his or her ways, you and your partner can turn around relationship habits that don’t provide sustenance. You can start right now and with consistent shifts in attitude and behavior, your relationship will begin to thrive like it used to– or maybe even better than before.
Notice what you’re putting in to your relationship.
Have you ever been so engrossed in a movie or tv show that you didn’t realize you just shoveled an entire bag of potato chips into your mouth?! It happens. We also get caught up in the busy-ness of life and we don’t give much thought to how we regularly are in our relationship.
Take a symbolic step back and view your habitual words and actions when you’re with your partner and when you’re alone. Look at yourself as if you were an outside observer and assess what you you see.
Are you regularly putting into your relationship thoughts, comments and actions that feed and fuel the kind of connection and passion you want or are you mostly putting in distracted attention, half-effort, criticism, blame or empty words?
Be gentle with yourself (and with your partner too). If you’re unpleasantly surprised by what you discover, use this is a wake up call…not a reason to criticize and blame even more!
Create quality moments with your partner.
Remember that nourishing your relationship happens one moment at a time. Make sure that you and your partner have regularly scheduled date nights or one-on-one time when you can really focus on one another. How often this happens depends on you. What’s most important thing is to create pockets of time together when you’ll both be free from distractions and then make those moments really count.
When you do have a date night or even if you’re sitting together talking over coffee in your own kitchen, be really present with one another. Turn off your phone, the computer and the tv. Don’t use the time to coordinate who will drive your kids to soccer practice next week or even to discuss that home improvement project that’s long overdue.
Instead, get curious. Ask your partner rich questions that go deeper than, “How was your day, honey?” Try something like, “What made you smile today?” or “What was challenging for you and how could I support you?”
The more you can communicate and be together in high-quality and heart-engaged ways, the stronger, closer, healthier AND more passionate your relationship will be.
Try it and see!