It’s easy to start taking our partner for granted, especially when you've been together for a while. In the beginning, everything is so new you don’t need to intentionally focus on being awed! But as you’re spending more and more time together, the color of their eyes you like so much becomes an everyday thing, and their cute laughter often turns into white noise.
This is one of the reasons a lot of relationships become… well, boring - after three or four years. Without intentional focus on the person you love, it’s easy to let the love dissipate.
That’s why practicing mindfulness regularly in your relationships is so important. From the very moment you start doing it, you’ll notice a huge shift in the way you see your relationship and you’ll be getting so much more joy and satisfaction from it. But as I’ve mentioned in my mindfulness for a better sex life article, this isn’t about meditating together - that’s not necessarily what mindfulness is. It's much more fun than that, trust me!
Exercise number 1: A Minute of Admiration.
It’s really easy to start taking the physical features we fell in love for granted, and this exercise helps bring them back into our focus. Before you start, you should make a list of all the things you like on your partner: hair, eyes, muscles, nails (yes, every little thing is important!) Once you’re done, set your times for one minute and start noticing these things intentionally, beginning from the top of their head and lowering your gaze (to make sure you don’t skip anything).
Really focus on these things, and try not to think too much - simply admire them. Instead of looking into their eyes and thinking “They are so pretty, they remind me of the sea! I wonder if we’ll go to the seaside this year… I knew I should have waited with the reservations!” because, let’s be real, the mind is very prone to wandering - simply look at them. Try to notice the little details - how their blue slowly becomes grey, those two black dots in their right eye… That way, you’re making sure to really admire them rather than waste a whole minute looking through them!
You can try doing this once a week, and soon enough you’ll notice you’re doing it even without the timer and specifically allocated time.
Exercise number 2: Do a Mindful Activity Together.
Surrendering to joy completely - together - is a great way to strengthen your bond. Now, similar to exercise number one, you’ll need to set your intention and focus on a specific thing. This time, it can be anything you enjoy doing together. The important thing is to surrender to the activity without needing to fill in the silence. Although we’ve been taught differently, silence doesn’t have to be awkward - more often than not, it can be a sign of trust, self-confidence, and the knowledge that you can love and be loved without needing to defend yourself with words.
Now for this exercise, you can simply take a walk through the neighborhood, noticing the trees, how your steps feel on the pavement, enjoying the feeling of your hand in theirs. Take in the warmth of the sun and share the moment of pure joy!
If you like listening to classical music, put on a vinyl, sit down comfortably and let the music fill you. You can choose kissing as your favorite activity, or cooking (going somewhere far from people and technology may be a good idea - here's something to get you started: https://www.outdoorcooking.com/), or eating ice cream - anything at all! And don’t get me wrong - you don’t absolutely need to be silent for half an hour. You can share - that’s why it’s an exercise best done together! Not only will you connect through intention, but you can share some brand new things you’ve never noticed before, too - how amazing those drums sound in Good Times, Bad Times (classic rock still counts as classical music, right?), or how amazing the colors are when you start mixing cocoa and coconut oil.
If this makes it sound like you’re on drugs and you can suddenly see new colors and notice new shapes, you wouldn’t be too far off! It’s incredible what a little bit of intention can do for your perception and connection.
Exercise number 3: Mindful Touching.
This exercise is great overall, but especially so if your sex life has been getting a bit boring after you’ve tried all the poses and places. To do it, all you need is yourself, your partner, and - you guessed it - intention!
There is one rule before you begin: don’t start with the intention of having sex. If you have a goal in your head, you’ll constantly be going towards it, unable to focus on each separate motion, and that kinda defeats the purpose of the exercise. Undress and simply lay there together. Start going over each others’ bodies, but not in rushed motions so you can excite one another and be done with it. Instead, do it slowly with a single goal - to appreciate one another.
Again, try not to overthink it and definitely refrain from talking (as much as you’d like to throw in some dirty word here and there), with one exception - if you want to share a compliment with them. Don’t feel like you need to, but if you truly feel the need to tell them that their skin is absolutely amazing or that you enjoy going over their muscles so much - do it! After all, it’s supposed to be an act of mutual appreciation.
And if you simply can’t take it, you’re allowed to get mindfully nasty - just don’t start from that place. Let it happen spontaneously and you’ll notice right away how much difference it makes!