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How To Rekindle Love and Intimacy in Your Relationship Garden

Updated: Jan 13

Your relationship is the garden you’ve chosen to create with another human being—are you taking care of it?

When you’re having problems in your relationship or things just don’t feel quite right, it’s easy to point the finger at your partner. You can clearly see and feel how they are hurting you or failing to show up for you, and you want them to do better. It’s fine to express your feelings to them in a loving and gentle way, but make sure you also hold up a mirror to your own reflection and consider how you could support your partner more, too.

The following strategies will help you develop a more loving and intimate relationship by turning inward and reflecting on what you can do to be the kind of partner you yourself would want to have. Focus on self-improvement and watch your relationship garden blossom with love and joy!

Take Responsibility, Even When Its Difficult To Look Within First you need to own up to your own part of the way you show up in your relationship, without excuses or buts. Ask yourself, how are you showing up for your partner? For yourself? Take responsibility for your role in your relationship by reflecting on your actions. To start the self-reflection, write down all the things you want your partner to do in order to make you feel loved and supported. Then, write down examples of how you do those things for them. Can you come up with tons of examples on every point? If so, congratulations, you are a perfect partner. But it’s likely that you struggled with a few of them at least. Also think back to conflicts or serious conversations you two have had: what are the specific things they said they wanted from you? Have you been working on them? Tending to a relationship garden is not a solo job, so don’t point fingers and leave your partner out there alone. Grab a shovel and get to work digging to the root of your problems. Plant new seeds inside yourself so that more love and care can grow between you both.

Show Your Appreciation

Showing you notice and appreciate the things your partner does, even the littlest things, goes a long way in building and maintaining a loving relationship. Do they make the bed when you have to run out the door? Did they cook your favorite meal, surprise you with tickets to the movie you wanted to go see, remember to water the plants, or research an exciting new restaurant for you two to try? And what do they do on a larger scale that makes them an exceptional human being? Are they working hard towards a promotion at work, taking great care of the kids or their elderly parents, supporting a friend through a hard time, volunteering in the community, or taking up a new hobby? Let them know that you see the way they move through the world and you appreciate it. Tell them when something they do lights up your brain, makes your heart skip a beat, or fills you with desire. The second you stop noticing and communicating these things, your relationship is in trouble. Failing to appreciate the other person is just like having a beautiful garden that you never stop to take in and enjoy. You miss out on all the wonderful things about your partner that attracted you to them in the first place! Never stop appreciating the lovely human being that is right before your eyes, and you two will have a much easier time feeling closely connected.

Be More Transparent

Transparency means allowing your partner into your thoughts, feelings, fears, needs, wants, and experiences. One thing I’ve seen over and over again with couples that come into my office having issues is their inability to express each other’s worlds. This is a big one that over time disintegrates any relationship. If you want to feel a close and intimate connection with your partner, it’s your responsibility to let them into your mental, emotional and spiritual neighborhood. It can be scary to open up and get vulnerable, even with the person closest to you. But once you do, you will feel huge relief that you don’t have to bear the weight of your worries and emotions alone. It can be easy to feel like nobody gets you and nobody will, but that is only a sure fate if you keep yourself closed off and guarded. Open up and you will see how good it feels to let a sympathetic person into your private world. You may be amazed by how many of your innermost anxieties, fears, ambitions, and dreams they also share. On the flip side, make sure that you stay receptive and supportive when your partner shares aspects of their reality that differ from your own. Encourage them to feel safe in expressing those things to you regardless.

Make Sure Quality Time Really is Quality Time

Have you been a little busy lately? Have they? When you actually do spend time together, are you really present in that moment, or are you checked out? Setting aside time to be together is great, but make sure you also bring your energy and focus to the table. Quality time involves giving your undivided attention to the other person. It means asking how they are and what’s new with them, and listening to their answers. Show you care by asking questions and follow-up questions, noticing changes, observing their mood, calibrating to their state. Show that sharing time and space with them is not something you take for granted. Some days you’ll be tired and will just want to kick back and watch a movie. That’s ok! Just communicate the state you’re in, and invite them to experience some sleepy movie watching with you.

Presence and Patience

When we value something we care for it, simple as that. One great way to help you connect and care is to practice keeping your partner present in your mind as you go about your day. Allow yourself to think about this other being that you’ve chosen to have in your life. Allow yourself to question how they may be doing throughout their day. Send them positive thoughts, wishes and energy. When we care about our relationship, we work on nurturing it and helping it grow into a deeper and more loving bond. This doesn’t happen overnight; you must be patient and diligent as you tend to your relationship garden each day. Remove weeds by clearing up communication breakdowns and misunderstandings. Plant flowers and fruits in the form of great memories and experiences shared together, from deep talks to flirtation and laughter.

To Sum It All Up...

When you use these healthy relationship strategies, you are showing the universe that you deserve love. It doesn’t matter if your partner struggles to do the same. It’s not about doing it only if the other person does it or responds in the way you’d like them to. They have their own journey to go on at their own pace. You do it for you, you do it because you want to give love. You do it because a healthy and loving relationship is the type of relationship you’ve chosen you deserve. When you focus on how you act in your relationship, you claim the power over the one thing you can really control: how you choose to love.

Co-founder of the Love Discovery Institute Dr. Carolina Pataky is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Certified Sex Therapist assisting men, women and couples fine tune and find empowerment within themselves and their relationships. She's the creator of the H.I.M. Method {Healing Intimacy in Men} and BeLove Programs which is about finding richer love within yourself for both men & women, individuals and couples. Besides being in private practice, Carolina along with her partner Max co-facilitate BeLove retreats teaching individuals about intimacy, passion and purpose in life. They are also partnered up with the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort in Miami Beach where they run private practice, retreats, individual & couples intensives, along with couples tune up weekends that are for couples seeking to discover their soul and find richer fulfilling relationships. Dr. Pataky’s programs are for those individuals or couples of any sexual orientation wanting to dive deep with in their relationship garden to nurture, re-connect, rekindle and grow. Learning to love yourself is the process of learning to value, care and love yourself unconditionally not expectations. Find out more on retreats & groups join Carolina’s email listing on her website:


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