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Communication Skills | Holidays | Know your Partner
Does your sweetheart really know you?

Chances are if you are disappointed this Valentine’s holiday one of the most challenging questions you are asking: DOES YOUR SWEETHEART REALLY KNOW YOU?

Sure you’re rolling your eyes, you think it’s a silly made up Hallmark holiday or a money making scheme crafted by greedy marketers.  I’m guessing that part of the problem is you’ve been disappointed by your partner on Valentine’s (or other holidays in the past) so you’ve come to view this time of year as something you’d rather SKIP then celebrate.

But what if instead of focusing solely on Valentine’s Day this month, you viewed the entire month February as a reason to celebrate and recommit to true love.

True Love in my definition is the kind of love that is not manufactured, fleeting or temporary, but love that has weathered the storms of life and has survived. True love is having a partner who is ALWAYS committed to learning more about you, your needs and honors you for who you are (and vice versa).

Take a minute to answer to yourself:

  • If you had to rate your partner on a 1-10 (1 worst, 10 best) for knowing you, how would you rate them?
  • When it comes to special events, does your partner know what to get you, do you know what to get them?
  • Has your partner expressed to you a change in their needs and wants over the past 5+ years?

With these answers in mind, I encourage you to continue taking stock of your relationship by getting honest with yourself.

And how well do you really “know them?”

I ask these questions because one of the biggest complaints I hear from my clients is “My partner doesn’t get me!”

When it comes to “getting someone” what does that actually mean? Usually what people mean, is -my partner understands me without me having to tell them. They know what I need and what I want without me having to say so. However, the reality is that for couples who have been together for a long period of time, needs and wants are likely to have changed.

As an example: Joy’s husband Bob recalls on their first Valentines’ buying Joy Godiva chocolates. Her reply was, “Oh you shouldn’t have Bob, I really can’t eat so much chocolate!” What Joy didn’t tell Bob is that she LOVEs chocolate, however at the time she was worried about her figure and she didn’t want the extra calories. But because Bob didn’t think to check with Joy then or now, all he knows is -I probably shouldn’t buy Joy chocolates for Valentine’s.

Bob figures that if Joy wanted a box of chocolates she would tell him. Joy, is thinking if Bob really knew me, or “got me” he would know to buy me chocolates!  See how difficult it is to actually “get” somebody?

Another problem in long-term relationships is that partners often forget to get a status update on things they thought were facts. Bob forgets to ask Joy if she’d like chocolates for Valentine’s because he doesn’t know Joy has changed! While she previously didn’t want them, now she doesn’t care as much about the calories. The woman Joy was at 20 is not who she is at 40 and the same is likely true for you. People and relationships change over time including their needs and want.

My advice this Valentines holiday is that instead of wishing and hoping for things to be different or better, Why not speak up and set the tone for how you would like things to be NOW? 

Instead of waiting until Valentines’ day and risking disappointment say, “Hey honey I really want you to take me out for Valentines, I know in the past I didn’t care but this year I want something different.”

Help your partner “get you” in the following ways:

  • Ask directly for what you want and need from your partner.
  • Clarify the event and put it down on the calendar so you make sure it happens.
  • If you don’t want to celebrate this holiday what other ones are important to you? Maybe you want to plan a bigger Anniversary trip?

SECURE NOTE: INSTEAD OF THINKING OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP AS WORK, THINK ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP AS AN ONGOING OPPORTUNITY IN GETTING TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER BETTER. STAYING CURIOUS ABOUT EACH OTHER IS THE BEST ANTIDOTE TO COMPLACENCY.

If you are still having trouble knowing whom your partner is, take my quiz. If your partner needs help figuring you out, have them take the partner quiz about you.

 

 

 

 

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