Would you like to inspire your partner to willingly show up more for you? If I share a few ways to get a lot more presence, commitment and spontaneity from the one you love — without demanding it or making them feel it’s a chore — would you be interested?
Throughout my many years of helping women across the world find love (as well as counseling couples), I’ve identified several core principles that can immediately help you inspire rather than demand change from your intimate partner. Here are a few you might find helpful, in no particular order.
1. Reward him or her the "right" way.
Most of us have been conditioned to express what’s wrong to someone we love in order to influence his or her behavior. Unfortunately, our teachers, parents and friends have inadvertently misled us into thinking that this is an effective way to create lasting change.
Ironically, one of the most practical ways to get your guy or gal to do more of what you want is to catch them doing it right (even if it’s not as perfect as you’d like it to be) and praise them for it.
Something powerful happens inside a person’s brain when we connect our actions or behaviors with our significant other’s increased happiness: we want to do it again and again. So take advantage of this and praise their behavior more generously, you’ll be amazed at the results.
2. Show up with more vulnerability.
Letting your partner see all sides of you, strengths and weaknesses, is one the strongest ways to inspire respect and trust. While getting emotionally naked can be petrifying, it’s also a more penetrating way to gain access to a person’s heart that you can imagine because it instigates reciprocation.
3. Turn up your joy.
Experiencing a sense of joyful aliveness in another human being is a big turn on for both men and women. Choose to be that person for your partner. In my coaching experience, most people who are stuck in relationships lacking in passion are waiting for their partner to contribute their “required” share of enthusiasm and aliveness before they unconsciously allow themselves to show their most radiant self.
An immediate way to cause your partner to want to show up more, do more, laugh more, contribute more is to get so alive and passionately joyful yourself that it becomes contagious. Start by raising your own standards for how you show up and continue by doing whatever it takes: whether it’s running, singing, dancing, nourishing your body better or sleeping more, until this becomes the norm rather than the exception.
4. Say it like you mean it.
As valuable as it is to praise your partner when they’re doing something right, expressing your hurt is crucial in letting them “really get” what you need.
When you’re disappointed but act indifferent, when you are afraid but act confident, or when you feel enraged but act like you don’t really care, you reinforce a habit that doesn’t let your partner understand what you really need.
When your significant other gets a strong and emotionally congruent message from you (assuming it’s still respectful), they are more likely to give you what you need because it infiltrates their heart not just their mind. Remember that all lasting change happens at the heart level first.
5. Up your level of giving.
The true measurement of a healthy relationship is how generously both people can give without keeping tabs. Deciding to make things better by choosing to give first is a powerful action that can inspire the other to follow in your footsteps and get on a more generous cycle, too.
Often the simple act of showing increased appreciation, being more playful, expressing your sensuality in a more carefree way or inviting the other to help you create something new — can spark a change and a willingness in them to joyfully step up more to the plate.
If you’re in a committed relationship it’s never a 50-50 game, it’s always a 100-100 one. I call this concept “owning the relationship,” meaning taking 100% responsibility for what happens rather than just half of it.
6. Surprise your loved one.
Spontaneity and adventure are not just fun ways to add spice to a relationship; they are vital in making it work. Think about this: in all of human history, the last hundred years or so are the first time ever that couples have the luxury (thanks to science and medicine) to live for several decades with each other.
So today more than ever, finding adventurous ways to be, act and feel are a necessity rather than a luxury in deepening the fire. Take a few minutes to have a playful and sexy conversation or text message interaction. Do something that your partner would never expect you to do — but would be thrilled about. Laugh for no reason at all about life, the past or each other.
7. Treat yourself the way you'd like to be treated.
Most people on earth will only value you and show up for you as much as you do for yourself. What this means is that they’ll energetically feel if you know your worth (and most often than not, start treating you accordingly).
So if you want to naturally feel your worth and value, commit to doing things that make you feel happy and fulfilled. Develop a daily ritual of appreciating and feeling your strength and beauty (regardless of your weight or age). Become in tune with your inner fire and walk, breathe and smile accordingly.
There’s nothing more attractive and inspiring to your lover than someone who feels their inner beauty and worth and has the courage to express it with confidence.
While these recommendations are not rocket science and you may have heard them a few times, the committed and expressive combination of all of them can create a dramatic shift in your partner’s inspired way of showing up for you.