How To Be Present In Your Relationships
We all have busy lives with lots going on at any given time, and it’s easy to get caught up in thinking of the future and what we need to get done and forget all about where we are in the present moment. Being a distracted partner can be detrimental to your relationship if you’re too focused on either the past or the future instead of the current moment. Here’s how to be present and live in the moment in your relationship:
Leave the past in the past. Try to see things from your partner’s perspective. If you are stuck in the past and can’t stop dwelling on old relationships, scenarios and things you could have done differently, they are bound to get frustrated. You’ll never be able to move forward if you’re stuck dwelling on the past and your partner will likely get sick of waiting for you. Learn to recognize that the past is in the past and that your current relationship is based right now, in the present.
Let the future unfold on it’s own. If you’re obsessed with thinking about the future, planning ahead and plotting your next move, you’ll miss out on what’s happening in the present moment. Your partner will feel like they aren’t enough to hold your interest, and will resent your lack of focus on where you are right now. If you’re too busy trying to be one step ahead you’ll miss our on the fun and experiences that you’re currently having.
Compartmentalize. This trick really works for assigning a time and place to focus on different things in your life. It won’t be easy at first but you can learn to do it naturally. Make a conscious choice to only think about work when you’re at work, and if you have to think about it outside of that, assign a specific time. Maybe you’ll spend an hour on Sunday mornings planning for the week and checking emails. Then you’ll free up the rest of your time to focus on other things. Do this with work, school, relationships, etc. You won’t feel like you’re neglecting any areas if you know you have time set aside to focus on them.
Unplug. You can’t help but think about work if you are glued to your phone, refreshing your email every two minutes. Or if you’re so engrossed in a text conversation with your two best friends you’ll miss out on spending time on whatever is happening in front of you. Unplug and get away from your devices when you’re spending time with your partner. It will help you to be fully present and in the moment if you’re not carrying on conversations with other people and looking at your cousin’s vacation photos on Facebook.
Slow down. Multitasking can be great and sometimes it’s the only way to get everything done, but it can be harmful too. If you’re so focused on juggling all of the balls you have in the air you won’t have any attention left for your partner. Instead of editing a paper for school while you watch TV while you have dinner with your partner, try just doing one of those things at a time. You’ll be more focused and enjoy your time with your partner more if you’re just hanging out and not trying to do five other things at once.
Simplify. A great way to slow down and be more present is to try and do things more simply. For dates, pick just one thing like dinner or going for a walk together, instead of planning elaborate and complicated evenings. The fewer things you have going on will mean you can devote more attention to just being together, talking and enjoying the moment.