Day 6 of the Build a Better You Advent Calendar is about: love your partner out loud.

love your partner

Being a better you means being a better partner to your spouse or significant other. The other day I wrote about how important compliments are. Now we’re going to apply this to your partner.

Today I want you to notice your partner for something they’re awesome at, OUT LOUD, while you’re around other people.

Remember back when you had just fallen in love with your partner? That giddy excitement makes you slightly delusional. That’s OK, because being in love means being slightly delusional.

Bring this giddy, excited, delusional energy back to your relationship today and for the rest of the month. Go with it. Be deluded in love.

And share it around other people.

My favorite example of being slightly deluded in love

I love to tell this story about my husband to other people. Every time I tell it I’m flooded with feeling just as happy as I did when he pulled off this big surprise. And he looks so proud and happy when I tell it.

A few years ago my birthday plan was to have a pancake breakfast at a friend’s house. Little did I know my husband had colluded with my daughter to fly her from the United States to Sweden to surprise me for my birthday!

So there we were, seated at the table, waiting for pancakes. Then I looked up and there was my daughter bringing a platter of pancakes out to the table.

I was so surprised that at first, I didn’t know who she was! Then I started laughing hysterically and I jumped up and hugged my daughter. Then my husband. This was such a wonderful surprise.

And there was more. He had planned a whole day’s activities and I had had no idea. He had train tickets for the three of us to go to the ice hotel and spend the weekend exploring and sharing.

My husband had obviously put a lot of effort into this, and he deserves to be acknowledged for his feat of secrets and planning in the name of “love.”

Celebrating your partner is not bragging. It’s a way to love your partner

Everyone has that one friend who brags sometimes. Maybe you don’t want to sound like that friend. Rest assured, you will not sound like you’re bragging when you’re sharing the qualities you love your partner for.

Even if they are just showing up in small ways:

  • Being thoughtful. If your partner loves Indian food a little more than you do, when you surprise him by going along with that he’ll feel special and loved.
  • Being creative and playful in love. Maybe you have a silly joke you share, or a little harmless prank you play on one another.
  • Being considerate. A friend of mine appreciates how her husband just knows to put the Chill Out station on Pandora when she’s feeling overwhelmed.

A standard question in couples therapy is, “What made you fall in love?” Those are the things to recognize. Saying, out loud, how much you like it when your partner is thoughtful, considerate, or playful, is positive reinforcement for those things to continue. Love your partner out loud and feel the love come back to you.

Checking in on your first week of Building a Better You

It’s been nearly a week of building a better you this December. How’s it going for you? Which tips have you liked best, which would you like more of?