Recipe for a Light-Hearted Relationship: Part 4 – Instructions for Intention (Episode 222)
This is our final wrap-up in the creation of a beautiful dish - a light-hearted and intentional relationship! In episode 219, we talked about those things that trigger us into reactive behavior, oftentimes those moments when we struggle to see beyond our own fear. In episode 220, we went into the many languages of love and how we can connect with people in a variety of ways. In episode 221, we laid out the essential character ingredients each person is to bring to their "kitchen" in order to create the light-heartedness and connection.
Here are your critical instruction steps. This is the point where you've done all the prep and laid all the foundation, so now you're ready to take action and apply it all.
Soul Mates aren't just happenstance; they occur through the consistent action of intentional connection between two people.
Where are your relationship priorities?
This series has been focused specifically on our most intimate relationship. We recognize the true weight of impact this one key relationship has. When we are willing to get as intimate as possible - first with ourselves and then with our significant other - that trickles way beyond those relationships to more ease with our other connections as well. Partly because we're already willing to "go there" and do the work...partly because we learn to discern what's worth stewing on or holding onto and what you can let go of.
So while this is targeted in this one relationship, the same principles trickle out to every other relationship you want to prioritize in your life. Relationships take consistently showing up and being wiling to grow, be vulnerable, and take action to support another person. So work with the one who is with you your whole lifetime first - you. Then the one you've committed to going through life with the longest - your significant other. Then move beyond that for even further application.
Fine-Tuning A Tailored Relationship:
Your instructions for a recipe are critical. Even with all of the essential ingredients, if you aren't applying them and putting the batter together, you're not going to get the end result you wanted.
What's amazing is that, as you are laying this out with intention, what the quote says above truly happens - little things will align. You'll find each other more receptive, more aware, more things flowing smoothly...
So let's lay out the instructions to implement into action.
Step 1: Define the Desire
Before you can create anything, you have to be on the same page for what is desired. The ingredients of flour, sugar and water can create a cake, but it can also make noodles or bread. What is the desired outcome?
Oftentimes relationships struggle because these desires aren't clearly defined. One partner craves peace and quiet, while the other is just vying for any element of attention beyond kid-duty.
If something feels good, voice it. If you feel supported, heard, cherished, happy...let them know. If you need a massage, or help with dishes, ask. You may be surprised how willing they are to jump in if they simply knew what to do, and it bypasses the resentment that can build as you just wish they would figure it out on their own.
Start with a small desire. Don't go to the whole ideal relationship. Start with something small - simply putting down the phone and giving full attention when you talk to each other - just that one thing and that's it for a start.
Step 2: Anchors
Once your desire is defined, you need to anchor it into your day so you ensure it happens. If your desire is more physical connection, make sure you create anchors to connect. If your desire is more help around the house with cleaning up, make sure you're creating anchors in the day to check in and see how the house is so you aren't left with overwhelm at the end.
We talk often about "dummy-proofing" our day with the things that make it easier - these anchors that are tried and true. We pause while we have our coffee to talk about our schedule. We do a quick cleanup of the house before every meal we eat. We kiss goodnight and say I love you's at bedtime - these are the little anchors that create light-hearted loving consistency in our home.
Step 3: Matching Investments
Have you truly earned the right to speak your desires? Have you really been intentional about stepping up fully to your relationship? This is a big element of personal responsibility. With our children, we do no thank you bites where they know they cannot speak an opinion on something they don't like until they've first tried it.
When it comes to relationships, are you frustrated with your partner for not respecting the hard work your role takes...and yet they've never experienced it? There is a common frustration with the stay-at-home parent vs. the breadwinner as two traditional roles that are misunderstood by each other. In our home, we've flip-flopped roles enough that we both have empathy for what is required of each.
If you don't know what it's like, be very careful placing judgement. Seek to understand first. Try experiencing what it takes to do it, or ask how you can best support them so they can have more relief. Again, if you've defined the desire of what you want your relationship to look like, then this element of caring for each other is a mutual desire to ensure you both are getting the most support to bring out the best in each other.
Step 4: Red Light, Green Light
Finally, this isn't about making a concrete plan and you're set for the next 30 years. For the majority of our plans, they are two weeks out max! We recognize life is constantly throwing curveballs at us, along with the fact that we're constantly growing and learning new things as well.
So it isn't fair to create a plan and hold everyone accountable to it with no grace for growth. Recognize there are seasons in life, and the more we are able to let go and flow and work with the seasons, the smoother they will be for us.
Your Weekly Challenge:
Work on your application this week. Have you truly earned the right in your relationship to request the support you need? Are you equally showing up and supporting your partner in a way that they really receive it well?
Clearly define the desires you have for a relationship and how you best feel loved and supported.
Make sure you are intentionally making space to anchor in what is important - cleaning, physical connection, encouraging, down time...whatever is needed.
Be clear on how you are both showing up for one another. Play with alternating nights of focused attention on one another where you can be doted on with no obligation of reciprocity. Play with how you can truly invest in one another.
And have grace for one another in the process. Recognize as you all grow and adapt, you'll gain new insights and have new needs and desires. Be willing to work and flex along the way, knowing that it's in our grace and appreciation for others that we can truly recognize how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.
- Recipe for a Light-Hearted Relationship: Part 1 – Triggers (Episode 219)
- Recipe for a Light-Hearted Relationship: Part 2 – Love Languages (Episode 220)
- Recipe for a Light-Hearted Relationship: Part 3 – Ingredients for Intimacy (Episode 221)
- How Do You Navigate Gender Roles In Marriage? (Episode 56)
- Do You Flow…Or Fester? (Episode 210)
- What Is A DISC Personality Assessment?
- How We Eased Into A Life We Don’t Escape From (Episode 201)
- Which is More Important - Skillset or Mindset? (Episode 218)
- Self-Love, or Self-Sabotage? (Episode 152)
- Remember to Play (Episode 37)
- Ashley Logsdon, Relationship Coach
- What is your goal? Or maybe that is the wrong question to be asking
- Personality Styles
Questions or comments?
Personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, minimalism or travel - what is pressing on your mind?
Or, hop on over to the Unschooling Families FB group and ask your question there!