Michele O'Mara

50 Ways to Keep Your Lover: # 27-28

Filed By Michele O'Mara | March 21, 2008 12:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: advice column, lesbian, relationship, tips

In my book, Love Tips and Trips for Gay and Lesbian Relationships, I have identified 50 Ways to Keep Your Lover. My post last Friday offered strategies 25-26, this week I am sharing strategies 27-28. Look for more strategies next Friday!

27. Ask, "How am I like that?" When you find yourself irritated with a characteristic in your partner, or anyone for that matter, stop and examine how that characteristic affects you. Ask yourself, "How am I like that?" The answer may not come easily, and you may have to sit with it for a long while. In fact, the frustration, hurt or irritation you experience by observing this in another may actually prevent you from opening up to the possibility that you are somehow like that.

When you find yourself in judgment of another, particularly your partner, it is important to challenge yourself to see what it is about that judgment that resonates with you. Sometimes it is not obvious. For example, if you grew up in a house where there was a lot of anger, you may have decided not to be an angry person yourself. So, as you go through life, holding in your anger, refusing to raise your voice or express your frustrations, you may find yourself very uncomfortable in the presence of others who express anger.

In this case, when you ask yourself, "How am I like that?" it is not that you express anger in the same way, it is that you both struggle with anger. You struggle to express it; the other person struggles to manage it.

Identifying how you are like that, is another great way to learn about yourself, to become the highest version of your self.

28. Use Terms of Endearment. I'm sure you've heard them all and then some "honey," "pumpkin," "love," "sweetie," as well as many others. Hopefully you use some of them. Of course in mixed company, unhappy couples may find these terms of endearment annoying, but don't let that stop you. Two things happen when you refer to your partner with affectionate names; one: when used genuinely, terms of endearment foster and express fondness for one another. Doing so every day is simply an easy way to add lots of warm fuzzies to your relationship. Two: terms of endearment create a safe environment where each partner feels nurtured and comforted, just as children do when you speak lovingly to them.

Michele O'Mara, LCSW

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