Hard to imagine that sitting quietly and focusing on the breath for as little as 20 minutes a day can improve your love life.
But hear me out, practising mindfulness can help make you a better lover and life partner.
First a little story.
A Mind Full Is Not Mindful
Recently, I was sitting on a bus my mind busy with conversations I’d had, conversations I was going to have, the friends I was going to meet and a whole lot more. My mind was full. When I got off, to my horror, I realised I’d left a bag behind. A big, bright, heavy, orange bag.
It would have been easy to listen to an inner critical voice reprimanding me for what I had done. But at that moment, together with the usual feelings that come with a loss, I realised that I hadn’t been present. Entirely on auto-pilot, and in full flight, my mind and body had parted company. I did not feel, see or hear the bag drop.
Mindfulness does not clear the mind of thoughts but allows you to focus your awareness on the here and now, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
How Mindfulness Can Make You A Better Lover
1. You Become More Patient
Mindfulness develops patience. In many ways, we have lost our connection with the divine wisdom of nature. We are so often in a rush and impatient, not giving space for things to reveal themselves in their own time. Mindfulness allows you to be open to whatever is unfolding in you to do so in its own time.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Relationships demand patience. Relationships demand it because sometimes you have to sit with the discomfort of the unknown; does your partner want to leave, can they meet your needs or just who is this person in your life. Relationships ask you to allow your partner the space to recover after the hurt of an argument. And they require you to let your lover have ‘me time’ to nourish their souls.
Patience allows you to honour the mysteries of love and relationship which Thomas Moore describes. Siting with the unknown can feel tense but ultimately will enrich your partnership.
2. Understanding Myself; Understanding My Lover
A mindfulness meditation practice paves the way for you to become more intuitive about yourself. As self-awareness grows, gradually you notice you’re more comfortable with who you are. You discover that you’re happy in your skin and feel the acceptance, compassion, contentment and peace that comes from a love of the self.
It sounds cliche, but it’s true, loving yourself opens the door to loving and accepting others unconditionally.
Difficulties in relationships often occur because we’re not clear about our internal landscape or patterns in relationships. Then we project what we don’t like about ourselves or get caught replaying past hurts with our partners. Ouch, that hurts!
When you start to pay attention, with compassion, to your imperfections, unawareness and unconsciousness something different happens. As you begin to see love as a way of being present, not merely a feeling, you focus on being a more loving realistic person, partner and lover.
3. You Grant The 5 A’s
In his book How To Be An Adult in Relationships, David Richo explores the five hallmarks of mindful loving. For him, adult love is based on a mutual dedication to granting attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and ‘allowing’. These are the doorways to the joys and wealth of relationship.
What often gets in the way of granting the 5 A’s are fear, judgement and the need to control. You cannot stop the mind from engaging in these thoughts, but a mindfulness practice reduces their impact. You can take a step back, notice them and let them walk on by without fighting with them. Then you can enjoy the closeness that comes with your partner from offering the 5 A’s.
4. Help Affair-Proof Your Relationship
What a joy it is to watch a baby exploring and noticing everything for the first time. Bringing a beginners’ mind to your daily life can help to free you from the tendency to see things through a veil of preconceptions and judgement. Mindfulness fosters a beginners mind.
Be curious about your partner. When you lose the mystery and curiosity, it signals to your partner that you are not attentive, profoundly engaged or concerned about them. This loss of interest is often an accelerant to infidelity.
5. You’re A Better Listener
How often do you hear the sounds coming out of your partner’s mouth but you haven’t listened to what they’re saying? It’s easy to get distracted, either by thoughts about your reply or trying to work out the logic of what is being said.
Are you listening to understand or do you listen to respond?
A mindfulness practice cultivates deep listening. How? You already know that mindfulness allows you to be more patient, accepting and less distracted. These are all excellent listening skills.
But what mindfulness also allows you to do, is expand listening beyond the ears. You notice your feelings and the physical reactions which are clues to what will stop you from listening. And you might also tune in to an empathic response connecting you emotionally to what partner is letting you know.
When your partner feels listened to, they feel more connected to you.
6. You Spice Up Your Sex Life
There is a lot of scientific evidence to show that mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety. You feel more relaxed and energised. Fatigue and lethargy are not good backdrops for great sex and stress takes its toll on your libido.
A mindfulness meditation practice is so good for your sex life in many ways. Self-awareness includes sensual and bodily awareness. You become more connected to not only your own but your lovers’ body; the softness and texture of the skin, the curvature of the body, heat, moisture and so much more. As you explore and connect with each other differently, this deepens sexual intimacy.
And as you are more present, you can fully immerse yourself and enjoy sensations as you detach from your thoughts and mental chatter.
7. You Reduce Arguments
Being mindful you become less attached to holding on to the past and grasping an imagined future. Letting go brings you into the present moment and just notice what is. And as you become more present you are more likely to see the colours, sounds, smells and richness of everyday life, be more positive and appreciative.
Practice, Practice, Practice
We often think that being mindful requires engaging in a particular activity like meditation or yoga. If you practice these activities in your day, that’s great, but there are also lots of other simple things you can do to be mindful all day long. In the next post of the series, I’ll let you know how.
Over To You
If you want to explore how mindfulness can make you a better lover and life partner get in touch and book your first counselling appointment.
Or call me today on 07535 864836.
Leave a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.
P.S. PASS IT ON
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© Sandra Harewood
Soul Centred couples counsellor Sandra Harewood specialises in working with couples and single women with childhood wounding that impacts their adult relationships. Sandra provides a soulful space for her clients to explore and discover creative solutions to their difficulties and create great relationships.