relationship advice

3 Tools to Dramatically Improve Your Romantic Relationship

Optimal health extends beyond your time in a personal trainer’s studio. If you spend an extra effort on your relationships, you might be surprised how your overall well-being is improved as well. No matter if your romantic relationship is sound or a struggle, here are 3 tools to dramatically change that dynamic today.

The 5 Love Languages Personal Profile for Couples


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Although you can ambitiously read the book of the same name, I highly recommend taking this free quiz online at 5lovelanguages.com. It will help you identify the love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch) that you value the most. Why is this important? If your partner values “acts of service” the most (like making dinner together), it may not matter how many bunches of flowers you buy him or her. Although you value “receiving gifts” the most, it doesn’t mean your partner will too. How often have you heard someone say (or said yourself), “It doesn’t matter what I do, he never appreciates it.” I ask you: Do you really know what he appreciates or value the most? Perhaps, all your partner wants is “physical touch”…a hug to show your continued interest in him. You can see how easily this lack of communication or awareness can compound into many nonsense arguments.

I recommend that you and your partner individually take this quiz and then discuss your scores. Although you’re not instructed to breakdown each of your answers, I highly suggest you do this. The two of you may share the same the answer but may have a completely different mindset approaching the scenario. Essentially, take the guesswork out of the relationship and learn how your partner approaches a scenario and what he or she values the most.

My Life Story: A Visual Map


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The ‘My Life Story Map’ left a lasting impression on my wife and I before our wedding last year. It helped us recognize the defining moments in our past and understand how they have shaped us. Although we utilized the ‘A Visual Map for Reflecting on My Past’ diagram by Sibyl Towner and Sharon Swing, you can certainly create your own. Basically, you and your partner will draw and write a timeline of your life on separate pieces of paper. At the top and middle of your page, draw a horizontal (parallel) line. On the top line, write the years of your life that correlate with the important events that you describe on the middle line. The middle line should reflect events, people, places, vocations, avocations, and more. You can record these events above or below this middle line depending on whether the event is perceived as a positive event (above) or negative event (below). As you try to determine the most noteworthy events, ask yourself the following questions: Which events elicitated the biggest emotional response? Which events were most responsible for your personal and professional approach today? Which events specifically affected your relationships with others today? When did you feel the most insecure and weak or secure and powerful? What were the biggest turning points or decisions that steered your life the most?

You may certainly personalize this timeline however you see fit. Honesty is most important (with yourself and partner). Evaluate how these life occurrences affected you and write that down. For example, my parent’s divorce had a profound effect on my life. Unfortunately, it shaped a negative perspective on relationships for a long time (conflict management, displays of affection, etc). At the same time, while moving after my parent’s divorce was certainly a great challenge at the age of 12, I became more adaptable in a number of different environments. I became more curious. Think about these long term effects on my life! I now love travel and feel comfortable exploring and interacting with the unknown world. What events in your life have shaped you? Not only is this a great way to see a timeline of your life on paper, but it is also an opportunity to see what has influenced how you behave, perceive, or generally approach the world. Take this time to learn about yourself while helping your partner understand you.

A Hug


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The root of all life is interaction…and nothing is easier or cheaper than a hug! Even if you don’t have the right words, a simple hug could express how you feel. It also shows your vulnerability to your partner as well as physically connecting to him or her.

Photo Credit:
The wonderful and talented Elizabeth Nord (Photography)–My wife, Sammy, and I still remind ourselves of the promises we made on our wedding day (and you should always too). A solid foundation always requires honesty, communication, and self-awareness.

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
3 Tools to Dramatically Improve Your Romantic Relationship
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

3 Nonverbal Gestures that Will Change Your Romantic Relationship Forever

Have you ever thought about the mix messages that you’re sending your partner during a conversation? Your nonverbal gestures could be sending a message you didn’t intend. Make these 3 simple changes and redefine the way you communicate in a romantic relationship.

Keep your hands folded in front or your arms on your side


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Have you ever been in an argument while keeping your hands folded in front of you? Probably not. If you’re like most people, you become animated when upset: Arms flailing, convulsive head ticks, and a blend of sitting, standing, and fidgeting. Does this reaction typically help the situation? The answer is never yes.

Whether you intend to or not, your reaction probably makes your partner feel defensive (which could filter the message you’re trying to communicate). The biggest threat: Your hands! During your next conversation with your partner, move your arms and watch his eyes follow your hands. He’s worried about your hands and what they’ll do next (something to compromise his safety???)! It’s a protective instinct (like a warrior), and it places him in a defensive mode (even if it’s only unconscious).

Even if your nonverbal gestures aren’t an interpretative dance of the devil, placing your hands on your hips or folding your arms might reflect discontent, anger, disgust, and boredom, too. If this is your intent, shame on you and save the show for the stage. Most likely, though, you’re doing this unconsciously and don’t realize the effect of your nonverbal gestures.

Perform a check-in during your conversations. Ask yourself: What message are you sending with your physical position or reactions? You can offer your attention without expressing confrontational mannerisms. Try sitting with your hands folded in front of you (shows patience and attentive listening) or standing with your arms on your side (a non-combative stance). Communication in a relationship requires trust and security. Don’t undermine this safe zone and muddle your message with nonverbal gestures you didn’t intend.

Face your partner with your shoulders squared


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Similar to the placement of your hands and arms, your hips could tell a very different nonverbal story. When you turn your body away from your partner, you could be signaling that you’re about to run away (which could be true) or about to fight her in a martial arts match. Most importantly, you’re not showing your vulnerability with the display of your full torso (think opening yourself to someone instead of closing yourself off). Make your partner believe that she’s safe during this conversation and that you’re fully interested in what she says. Keep your hips parallel to her hips and square your shoulders in an upright position.

Look your partner in the eyes while speaking and listening (assuming you listen :) )


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Nothing shows more respect to another human being (and dog) than looking at them in the eyes during a conversation. It’s another sign of attentiveness and respect. Most people find this nonverbal gesture the most challenging because they feel inferior or intimidated by the other person. I often find myself looking away to find a thought (as if I could picture the word I’m grasping for in my mind). Your reason may not be out of disrespect to the other person either. Nevertheless, it is the most regarded in any personal or professional setting. Your eye contact says, “I respect you…I’m listening to you”….a very important nonverbal message when building intimacy in any relationship. Practice and stop overthinking.

Photo Credit:

Alberto Bogo – Is your body conveying a different message to your partner?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
3 Nonverbal Gestures that Will Change Your Romantic Relationship Forever
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.