This is a new idea I’m really excited to begin, which is to provide my blog readers with periodic “Passion Assignments” which can help you to create a more passionate, romantic, sensual and intimate relationship (not necessarily in that order!). My first assignment is one that I give to all couples that I provide counseling for, and I give it to them during our very first session together. It’s short, it’s simple, yet it’s challenging and surprisingly effective. Are you ready for it?
Well, I’m going to make you wait, just a little bit longer. Anticipation is actually a great practice in creating passion in a relationship, but that’s not the assignment today! This assignment will help you to connect to each other, feel closer to each other, and be more open and receptive to each other. Are you ready for it now?
It’s about Appreciation! Yes, appreciation and gratitude are fundamental qualities of long-term successful relati0nships. Yet for many, this is so challenging. Perhaps it’s because as children, we were exposed much more to criticism than to compliments by our caregivers. We knew that our parents loved us, but we didn’t always hear it from them or hear it from them frequently enough. Perhaps your current relationship is similar? Perhaps you know that your partner loves you, yet has a hard time letting you know.
Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is wonderful in others belong to us as well.
This exercise is your opportunity to begin to heal this issue. It’s short and simple. It shouldn’t take you more than 3-5 minutes to complete and I’d recommend that you work up to doing it each and every day with your partner.
What you’ll each do is come up with three things that your partner has done that you appreciate. You will take turns sharing these three things with your partner, one at a time, ending each time by saying “thank you.” After you say each item, your partner will “mirror” the appreciation back to you by repeating it word for word and completing with “you’re welcome.”
Partner 1: “What I appreciate about you is that you made me lunch today. Thank you.”
Partner 2: “What you appreciate about me is that I made you lunch today. You’re welcome.”
Then Partner 2 will share one of their appreciations which will be mirrored and you will alternate until you have shared all three of your appreciations.
Warning: Many couples that I treat tell me “Oh we’re pretty good about telling each other what we appreciate already, …” And yet many of these same couples tell me they are in treatment because they feel taken for granted! Then they will get lazy about this exercise and wonder why there is no result. When this Appreciation Exercise is formalized and performed consistently, it can have a major impact on your relationship.
I strongly encourage you to try this simple exercise. It won’t take long and the results can be amazing! And please, write me and let me know how it works for you!
I appreciate you all,
Dr. Adam Sheck