Habit – ‘an acquired behavioural pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntarily’.
We’ve all got our own personal habits, good and bad.
Not all habits are ones we made a conscious choice about creating, but we have them anyway and, over time, they become a part of us.
Good habits can be life enhancing, like going to the gym or practicing meditation every morning, but bad habits can be frustrating, irritating and sometimes even destructive.
We don’t purposefully mean them to be, but habitual patterns can be a challenge to break, even when you become aware of what you’re doing.
In love, we also tend to have a unique collection of good habits, and bad habits.
Bad love habits can create tension, disconnect and, in some cases, can mean the end of a relationship.
Good love habits can help you to constantly improve, nurture and strengthen your relationship, making it more likely to be a happy, fulfilling and life-long thing.
The secret is in becoming aware of when bad habits are getting in the way of good loving, and then being willing to make the effort to replace them with good love habits.
It’s time to get honest with yourself. Have you fallen into some bad love habits?
If you are willing to acknowledge where you can make some changes, and then replace those bad love habits with even just a couple of the following good love habits, you’ll be surprised at the dramatic improvement you can make in your relationship.
Say I Love You – On leaving the house, and returning, and before going to sleep, try to remember to say ‘I love you’. No matter how sure you are your partner knows you love them, they need to hear the words.
Make contact – Give regular hugs or some kind of physical contact every single day. Forgetting to initiate or avoiding contact with each other is a sure way to create a barrier to intimacy in your relationship.
Offer praise – Acknowledge and praise something your partner has done well, a decision they have made, or a goal they have achieved and enjoy basking in the glow of them feeling validated and good about themselves.
Make time to regroup every day – Turn off the TV and talk, have dinner together, go for a walk after dinner or go to bed half an hour earlier to cuddle and talk. Uninterrupted, focused, one-on-one time is essential for a healthy relationship.
Go to bed at the same time more often than not – While having different sleep patterns is fine, always having completely different bed times makes it harder to find time for cuddles in the dark or some good hot loving.
Do something special for your partner – Making an effort to do something your partner enjoys is a great way to show them you are thinking about them, and want to make them happy. Try to think of a small thing to do each week that will surprise your partner, and make them smile.
Give your full attention – When your partner is talking to you, turn away from the TV, your phone or the computer, make eye contact with them, focus on them and what they are saying, and make them really feel heard and valued.
Exercise together – Doing something as simple as walking the dog together, wandering around the park, or walking along the beach is not only great together time, but will also improve your health and fitness, making you both feel good, and more inclined to get naked ; )
Get curious – Don’t just let your partner talk about themselves, or their day, while you silently nod and listen. Think about questions to ask that will keep you learning more about how they tick, what they feel about certain things, and what’s important to them at the moment.
Love consciously – With everything you think to say, or do, ask yourself if that action will take you closer to the love you want, or further away from it. Make a habit of becoming conscious about whether your behaviour affects your partner, and your relationship positively or negatively.
Creating positive love habits is a powerful way to keep improving your relationship, little by little. You don’t have to take large, extreme leaps to create your best love, you can take it day by day, and keep strengthening your love, with easy to implement good love habits that take little time, but can have a huge impact.
I’d love you to share your thoughts and insights in the comments below. What bad love habits would you like to change? And which of the habits above would have the most impact on your relationship?