Three tips to help couples stay close and connected from Relationship Expert, Allison Villa
Feeling a little distant and disconnected from your partner? We feel you.
Homeschooling + working from home + no alone time + no date nights + no vacations does not exactly equal major romance.
But here’s the thing, how we love and show up for our partner affects EVERYTHING and there are some simple steps we can all do to help keep our relationship thriving.
We asked our friend Allison Villa, Psychotherapist and Relationship Expert, for her top tips for staying close, connected and showing love (even in the midst of a pandemic).
1) Be each other’s biggest cheerleaders in self-care.
Everyone wants to feel seen, heard and understood and according to Villa, the easiest way to achieve this with your partner? Keep the following question in mind: “How can I help my partner take time for self-care? How can my partner help me take time for self-care?”
Self-care looks different for everyone but it’s so important to figure out with your partner what self-care looks like for you - both individually and together. To be a solid couple, you need to be solid individuals and prioritizing self-care will help achieve this.
Villa emphasizes the mantra: "I see you; I love you; I respect you.” This reminds your partner that you see them as a person and not just someone to relieve you of your parenting duties and daily responsibilities (we’re all guilty of that at some point).
Need some tips to prioritize self-care? Check out Villa’s free Self-Care Tool Kit, which will help you and your partner become clear on the things that bring you joy and make you feel good.
2) Carve out quality couple time - even just ten minutes a week to start (baby steps)!
Villa compares relationships to household plants - if you water your plant regularly, it will survive and thrive. If you leave your plant on the windowsill and forget about it for a week or two (or even longer), it’s going to be a lot harder to bring your plant back to life.
“You can douse it with water, you can take it outside but it's going to need a lot more love and attention if you leave it unintended for a long time.”
Over the past year, we’ve all been stuck inside together (it’s seriously been a long time), but this isn’t necessarily ‘quality time’. You and your partner need to figure out what quality couple time looks like to the both of you. Even 10 minutes a week of consistent quality time is a great starting point. No talking about the kids, no talking about work, no talking about the house, put your screens away and talk to each other. It may sound simple but it’s so meaningful.
3) Get clear on the ‘relationship season’ that you are and your partner are currently in.
Villa believes every relationship has four seasons: coping, coasting, connected and confident.
She’s put together a quiz to help you identify what relationship season you and your partner are currently in, which you can take here.
Once you figure out what season you’re in, you’ll then have a better understanding of what actions and resources will help you best in this particular moment and time of your relationship. You’ll be able to shift gears to allow your relationship to blossom and thrive.
To learn more from Allison, check out the clip below or visit the mini mioche Instagram page.
Allison Villa is a Psychotherapist, Relationship Expert, and host of the Couplehood podcast. She specializes in keeping couples’ thriving throughout parenthood. As a wife and mother to two daughters; 7 and 9 years-old, she understands how raising a family affects the romantic relationship and the challenges that modern parents face. Villa combines her personal and professional experience to teach busy couples to live with intention and to use simple time-efficient strategies to connect with each other.
Check out Allison’s virtual therapy practice, and online offerings.
Visit her website and join her VIP community to get free relationship tools and inspiration: www.allisonvilla.com
Follow Allison on Instagram: @allison__villa
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