Giving & Gratitude In Your Relationship
This year's Thanksgiving holiday will certainly look different for many families. With the COVID-19 pandemic still running rampant in the U.S., large gatherings and multi-household dinners are strongly discouraged or even against public health orders. It's a time to keep things small and low-key, which is precisely the opposite of how many people prefer to celebrate holidays. This extra down time and reminder to pause, though, may be just what your relationship needs for you and your lover to get back to basics. Let's keep the true spirit of the holiday in mind as we talk about what it means to be giving and show gratitude for the many blessings in our love relationships, and focus on not taking things for granted.
Being a Generous Lover
Relationships are all about give & take, but that has to start with the giving. There are many ways to give your lover what they want out of your relationship, and knowing what they need is as simple as communicating. Maybe it's as simple as spending more time with them doing things you enjoy together. Maybe it's even giving them more alone time for reading or hobbies they enjoy. Maybe it's cooking for them, helping with certain chores, surprise text messages or phone calls, or offering little tokens of your love and appreciation for them. Whatever it is that turns them on & makes them smile, that's what you're aiming for.
You've probably heard the phrase, "he/she was a generous lover", most likely in smutty romance novels or corny movies, but this is still an important concept. What does it mean to be a generous lover? To me, generosity in a relationship simply means doing what you know the other person likes, without being asked, with no expectation of any sort of return. When it comes to sexual acts and favors, this may sometimes mean doing things your partner likes, but you're not exactly crazy about. Turn on that compromise switch, and try to find ways to give them what they love without making yourself too uncomfortable. If he loves a blow job but you get kind of gaggy, try it with some delicious flavored lube, a throat relaxing spray to help you calm that gag reflex, or even use an open-ended stroker sleeve on his shaft while you just put the tip in your mouth! Maybe she likes the kinky stuff but it's not your thing. Compromise by keeping it soft and sensual with things like satin & lace ties, silky blindfolds, and lacy little crops instead of heavy leather & metal bondage gear.
Growing & Showing Your Gratitude
Studies have shown that, as cheesy as it sounds, an "attitude of gratitude" can actually go a long way towards improving your happiness, health, and resiliency. These are all good things to have on board when life gets a little rough. People who spend at least a few minutes daily thinking about, writing about, or engaging with someone or something they are grateful for have an easier time facing life's difficulties with a positive mindset, and generally report being happier. With your partner and your family being the people you spend the most time with, it just makes sense to cultivate that sense of gratitude with them. Express that you are grateful for everyday, little things, too! You may not actually hit the lotto together, but remind them that YOU hit the lotto just by having them in your life! Having a safety net of gratitude, and just knowing that your partner is grateful for you and you for them, makes it easier to navigate when the seas get rough.
There are lots of ways to grow and show gratitude in your relationship. I like to focus on always saying "please" & "thank you" even for simple requests or tasks you expect your partner to do anyways...it's important that they know their efforts aren't being taken for granted. One fun way you and your lover can grow your gratitude for each other is to start a gratitude jar. Keep little slips of 2 colors of paper and a pen handy, and occasionally write a note about something you're grateful for about your partner. Always write your notes on one color, and they always write theirs on another, then fold them up and put them in the jar. If you're ever feeling down or need a reminder about why you're great for each other, open and read a few of the opposite color notes so you can see what your partner is grateful for about you! You can even add a third color as a "wish list" slip. If you ever have anything you wish your partner would do with you or for you, write it on that color paper and place it in the jar. If things start to get stale and you want to try something new together that will make the other happy, pull out a wish slip and get busy!
Being Grateful for YOU!
Maybe you're currently single and thinking this post doesn't apply to you, but you couldn't be more wrong! The old adage, "you can't be happy in a relationship until you're happy with yourself" stands true, but I would argue that your relationship WITH yourself is the most important, and the only one some people desire...not everyone wants or needs a romantic partner or a traditional love relationship. It's important to remember that, and focus on loving YOU, too!
One of the easiest ways to bring happiness to your own life and all of your relationships, whether the romantic sort or with friends and family, is to show gratitude daily for yourself, and to be generous and giving toward your own needs through self-care and self-love. Speak verbal affirmations or write positive and encouraging messages to yourself on the mirror. Keep a gratitude journal and jot down one or two things you are grateful for daily - maybe one about yourself and one about what others or outside influences bring to your life. Treat yourself to a luxury toy to take care of any unfulfilled sexual desires. Solo or coupled, showing yourself a little love daily will pay dividends. You'll be surprised how quickly your positive feelings for yourself will grow and multiply, and that's enough to be grateful for!
All of us here at Lover's Lane, SexDrive.com, The Intimacy Advisor Podcast, and The Intimacy Advisor would like to wish you & yours a very Happy Thanksgiving, no matter what your celebration may look like! We are thankful for you, our customers and friends...we can do what we do because of you! We wish you health, happiness, and the many blessings of this season of gratitude.
~The Intimacy Advisor