“Do you show up in your relationship as your authentic self or the version of you that makes others comfortable?
Whether your newly in a committed relationship or a seasoned couple being yourself can have its challenges. When working with couples in therapy or coaching sessions issues come up pertaining to trust, emotional safety, vulnerability and the biggie communication.
In the early dating days couples eager to please the other will strategically show up as the best versions of themselves. As great as these versions are, under pressure, life changes, etc they can easily fade away.
So what can a couple do to improve the level of authenticity in their relationship? Here are my top 8 actions:
Be real with your self, you cannot expect your partner to "keep it real or 100" with you when you aren't real with yourself. Ask your partner the following question, " If you were given 5 clues to identify me what would they be?" Now ask yourself, how closely do the clues line up with your perception of you?
Keep the lines of communication open by agreeing to respect and honor your partner's feelings. When we can't be honest with our feelings we can't have transparency or vulnerability. Remember your why and who you are as a couple.
Agree to disagree and be willing to find the compromise. If you can't compromise or meet in the middle it will be difficult to trust that your partner truly cares about your needs.
Make time to check in with each other, no phones or other electronics. Checking in means you ask about how your partner is feeling and managing life. The pandemic affected everyone differently and many are just starting to see and feel this impact.
Educate your partner on your observations or self-awareness about you. Yes, I said, new awareness, as we gain insights and reflect we may make slight changes in our thinking and behavior. You don't need your partner assuming or attributing changes to something that is not accurate.
Revisit the earlier days, do the activities you enjoyed when first meeting each other. Look at pics from events or activities you attended.
Learn together by trying new activities such as dancing, tennis, cycling, chess, anything that creates new neural pathways in the brain.
Dream together, set achievable goals and work toward them together. Write down your goals and review your progress.
Tammy Austin, Coach