It is easy to feel invisible or not good enough in a relationship that has turned a bit tepid. This exercise is meant to help you warm souls and maybe light intimacy fires.
Here is a challenge just for couples.
We get caught up in the day-to-day and can give our partners the worst version of ourselves because, though we appreciate them, we forget to show it.
That lack of expression can turn into them feeling unappreciated even though that is not what we are feeling at all; this can create intimacy blocks. Imagine you are building a wall, one block at a time, except the cinderblocks were placed unintentionally and coping strategies were the heavy lifters.
The 7-day couples challenge is meant to develop a deeper awareness of your partners efforts and help them to see you in a new light as well. If your partner does not want to do this with you, don't be offended. This can be a vulnerable exercise so their lack of interest isn't a lack of support of you. Just do it on your own and let your light be their guide. They may want to do this with you in a month or two, together. If your partner does want to do this with you, fabulous. Keep your expectations realistic. This isn't the time to place demands or have a preconceived idea of what they should or should not do or how they should express it.
In other words, if you begin judging or criticizing during this challenge, the point of the challenge is lost. The only focus is on the tasks at hand.
Choose a day to begin, where on the 7th day, you'll have time to have a short conversation to honor the weeks efforts.
Each of you will do the following:
1. Write down something your partner did that you felt was helpful for the relationship.
2. Note how you responded.
3. Write down something you did to support the relationship.
4. How did your partner respond?
These can be very minor, in that you stayed compassionate when you might have normally judged, or you helped out in a way that you normally don't, etc. These do not have to be grand gestures; in fact, they are not supposed to be grand, just every day moments.
What if it is just you? That's fine.
Explore what you are giving and getting in the relationship and you might find that you don't even need them to do this with you or you might need to have a more intentional conversation that lets them know how important this might be if they did this with you. Be open to compromise.
Maybe you can negotiate down to a 3-day challenge. Anything helps!
If you are going this alone, then when you get to the 7th day, write down positives and meditate on them.
This exercise will potentially help you to also see how you might alter your responses or behaviors.
On the 7th day, have a short conversation and explore endeavors and responses. Do not judge! Do not criticize! This is a time only to show gratitude and to express verbally how these endeavors made you feel to be mindful of the relationship.
For ease, I created a mini-workbook for you- just click the button and print a paper for each partner.
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