Love, sex, relationships… let’s face it, when this part of your life is flowing, everything else just feels so much easier. I have been fortunate enough to have met my soulmate when I was 35. Before that, my relationships were built on a foundation of lack; I was looking for someone to plug my worthiness holes. For someone to complete me, because if I could just find that person, then I would be happy.
I thought I found her at the age of 24. I rushed in and followed the social blueprint — get a normal job, buy a home with a mortgage you can just afford, lease a car that keeps you in line with where your mates are at in their lives, and finally, have a baby.
I ticked all those boxes, but ultimately it was never going to work because our core values were aligned in some areas, but not the key values that make a relationship thrive. So we went along, followed the script. It was a slow burn. The signs were there early on, but I ignored them. For her, I was a ‘good enough for now’ solution to her own holes that needed plugging. She needed love and security. Don’t we all? But these things must be gained as a cherry on top that complements your whole sense of self-love and security.
We never had that. What we had was a house of cards that lasted 7 years and then, one day, it all just imploded. I was all of a sudden a single father left crying in his basement for the life he once thought was possible and for the son who would grow up with parents that “failed”.
Then, along came a new partner to plug those holes. By now, those holes weren’t quite as big, but they were still there. This new partner did an amazing job of making me feel whole again, but ultimately there came a point where my holes left her feeling very un-whole.
But I was getting the lesson. Slowly. And along came another relationship, this time much shorter in duration, but again, the holes had gotten another degree smaller. And in this partnership, a spotlight was shone on the areas I was ready to reconstruct from love for myself.
Then I met Melissa. For the first time in my life, I felt whole. Truly whole. It didn’t come easy. I worked incredibly hard to gain the knowledge I needed to never regress back into the pain of the past. This was a time where my spiritual practice was at its absolute strongest. And it showed, because out of the blue, there she was. My soulmate. We were two beings who had both done the work, who were both already whole, who were ready to make magic together.
And here’s the thing about meeting your match… there’s nowhere to hide anymore. Just because I reached this place of wholeness, doesn’t mean that I, or Melissa for that matter, would always cruise along, with a smooth spiritual surface that our problems and challenges would just slip off without leaving any scratches.
We have had new challenges to move through together that have seen us grow and evolve. (As they say, ‘new level, new devil’. We are all always learning. And every new level brings new lessons and new layers to peel back and examine.)
In our relationship, there has been so much joy and passion. The passion is always there. But there has also been the flipside. The polarity. The challenge.
Until now my default for resolving conflict in our relationship has been to try and figure her out. To sit down and talk it out, because surely there must be some sort of logical solution or strategy I could apply to make it all better again, right?
And when this didn’t work, leading to the inevitable push back from the feminine (because as you will see, the feminine does not want to be figured out like a business plan), my defences would go up and along comes the old behaviour patterns that just lead to an escalation and disharmony.
That was my MO for too long. And as you can probably guess, it didn’t get me — or us — very far. Then I figured something out…
I am going to share with you now seven powerful realisations I have had to learn for myself that have radically transformed my relationships, especially with my lover and life partner.
1. If you want more, be more
I can’t stress enough how important this one tip is. For me, this is number one, which means it is also the one that requires the biggest commitment. I am not talking about commitment to your partner, but a commitment to yourself. As I said before, it was the work I did on myself before meeting Melissa that allowed me to be in an energetic state and level of consciousness or awareness that made it possible for a woman like Melissa to really ‘see’ me.
When I look back at the stickier times in our relationship, I can see a pattern where one or both of us were trying to get the other to live up to their expectations, rather than just get on with ‘being’ that which they wanted more of.
But if you want more, you need to first be more. There is no magic bullet here. Some people have a level of grace and awareness that has been gifted to them in this lifetime and requires less nurturing, while others need a disciplined practice to consciously work on themselves and keep up levelling. For me, this comes in waves, where sometimes I need the routine of disciplined practice in order to live from my centre. While at other times, I have a sense of compassion, softness and flow that naturally allows me to just be.
So what do you want more of? More love? More affection? More lovemaking? More presence? More compassion? More understanding? More patience? More joy? More fun? More play? More stillness?
This is where we stop waiting for the other person to show up and do the things we want and just do them ourselves. When you show up for yourself fully, it brings a sense of peace and contentment that you will never find in someone else. It’s also the fastest way to shift the energy in a relationship if you’re finding yourselves in a space that’s stale or snappy or whatever. If you want more, be more. Game changer.
Now onto the next realisation…
2. Create space
If you want to call in something in your life, no matter what it is — and that includes calling in a new energy or dimension to your relationship — you have to make space for it first. It’s a universal law. No getting around it.
So before you take action on any of the following steps, set aside time for both of you to create space so that you’re ready to receive. This is time you are carving out so you can be fully present for the magic that will unfold when you apply these simple but powerful strategies.
Creating space can take the form of meditating, it can be a conversation, it can simply be a choice you make to let go of stuff that hasn’t been serving you so that you’ve got space for the new. Whatever feels like it’s going to free up emotional and energetic bandwidth within you, do that.
3. Shut up and listen
This is especially true for the masculine listening to their feminine partner. I say feminine because no matter whether you are in a hetero or same-sex relationship, there will always be a unique balance of feminine and masculine. When I just shut-up and listen, Melissa feels heard, held and validated. This is also a practice in surrender. Letting go of your own agenda. Not just waiting until it’s your turn to talk. Listening. With your whole heart.
When you listen wholeheartedly and make it about them, the funny thing is that you tend to end up getting what you desire at that moment anyway.
And what do we all want? Unity. Unity can be brought about when you just shut up and listen. Don’t try and turn the feminine into a project that needs solving. The feminine just wants to be heard. To feel safe and secure.
And ladies, when you see your man or masculine showing up for you in this way, what do they need? Appreciation. Just say thank you for holding space. Tell them you love them and are proud of them for being such a rock and making you feel heard, safe and loved.
We build on this idea with the next step too…
4. No advice, ever
Ever find yourself giving advice to your partner (or even friends and family) before they have even asked for it? How does that work for you? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can have pretty strong opinions and be very persuasive at times. But remember, you can never change anyone, only yourself. And nine times out of ten, when people are sharing something with you, they are seeking to be seen, not fixed or advised or strategized. If someone wants your opinion, they will ask for it. Wait for that worthy inquiry before offering your perspective or advice. Letting someone be truly heard is — most of the time — all that is needed.
5. Leave your baggage at the door
I am going to keep this one short and sweet. Don’t bring your stuff into it. Ever.
Often, when we get triggered by our partner, it’s old stuff — from past arguments and hurts you’ve had over the years, maybe stuff you’ve been battling inside yourself for decades, it could even be baggage from a former relationship that has exactly ZERO to do with your current partner.
So don’t bring it with you. Leave it at the door. Let it go.
If you can just show up in the ways I’ve already outlined — present, willing to listen, open-hearted, soft, calm — the conflict can resolve without you ever needing to express anything. I can’t stress enough how much of a magic bullet this can be. Try it for yourself. Really do it and see what beauty can emerge from a challenging situation.
Related to this is the next step…
6. Use soft, understanding and encouraging language
For some, this comes naturally. Others of us (and I’m raising my own hand here) sometimes need a reminder.
When your partner expresses something they are finding really challenging, even if it involves something you have done or one of your behaviours, this is a chance for you to really hear what they are saying, and use soft, understanding and encouraging language.
Don’t jump on the defensive. Don’t automatically issue a counterpoint. Stay open.
So when your partner says: I just feel really hurt that you never want to spend time with me when we get home from work.
Soft, encouraging language means responding with: I understand. That must be really hard for you to feel that way.
It acknowledges their experience, it shows you’re listening, and it’s not adding kindling to the fire. Again, it’s another magic bullet that can seriously transform how you and your partner relate to each other.
And finally, the last relationship ‘aha’ I want to share with you today is…
7. Be grateful for that which bugs you
This last one is something I learned from a mentor. He told me a story, about how he used to get so annoyed when every morning, no matter how many times he asked his wife not to do it, she would leave her coffee cup dirty in the sink. It was a small thing, but it bugged the hell out of him. Until one day he thought, “What if I never saw that coffee cup again?” All of a sudden, he felt gratitude and gracefully washed it up himself with a smile on his face.
I can relate this to my own kitchen preferences, where Melissa leaves the dishwasher down all the time, which just gets in the way and ruins the day-to-day aesthetics of my perfectly designed kitchen. Now, I just smile and close it myself. I had asked her maybe 50 times to not do it which just caused friction. Now, the dishwasher has become a sense of joy.
Now, of course, when I say be grateful for that which bugs you, I am NOT by any means suggesting you put up with things that are harmful, or which rob you of your joy, or which are actual dealbreakers for you. That’s a different conversation altogether. Here, I’m talking about those daily niggles and annoyances that *get* to you, in that way that only happens with people you’re intimate with. You know — the way your partner leaves their wet towel on the floor, or puts the toilet roll on the wrong way, or chews too loudly. Those kinds of things that bug the crap out of you…
So next time something like that arcs up inside you, take a moment and imagine what it could mean if they were gone. If that wet towel wasn’t there. If the dishwasher door was permanently closed… Puts everything into perspective, right? So instead of finding them grating, find the gratitude. Not only will you free up so much mental bandwidth just by refusing to get irritated, but you’ll also be transforming your day to day interactions with your partner, and strengthening and cementing your connection.
It sounds so simple, like all of these tips. But honestly? It’s the simple stuff that shifts the needle the most.
And I promise you if you give these 7 strategies a go — and I mean fully go all-in on them, not just half-heartedly try them out when it feels “convenient” or “easy” — even if you just try them for a week, you won’t believe the shifts you’ll feel in your connection and intimacy levels with your partner. I was going to say that it’s “game-changing” for your relationship, but the truth is, it’s actually more than that… it’s life-changing. For both of you. So give them a whirl, feel the shift, and see for yourself.
I would love to hear from you, so please tag me @iamnickbroadhurst on social media. Please also leave me a comment below (I read every single one!). And if you could take a minute to leave me a review on iTunes I would be very grateful. Tell me what you want more of! I am at your service.
P.S. Always listen to your intuition (and your doctor or practitioner) before trying any new health or lifestyle practice.