Need Some Relationship Assurance?
Relationships are often times just like cars, they run great when they’re new or when you first purchase them, but if you don’t maintain them they start to break down. You know, getting regular oil changes, putting air in the tires, the occasional wash, and tune-ups to prevent your car from getting sluggish.
We don’t often think about relationships needing maintenance like our cars, but they do. Every one of your relationships needs care and focus. And…YOU are your relationship’s care and maintenance plan. That is, of course, if you want your relationship to feel like you’re driving a Lamborghini.
If that’s what you want—a smooth, enjoyable ride—then you need to order your AAA relationship card. Keep it with you at all times and whenever your relationship starts to sputter, or you want to liven it up, pull out your AAA card and determine which service you need to perform.
Keep your relationship firing on all cylinders
You walk out to your car one day and left front tire looks a little low. You say, no that’s just my imagination. Then you go to work, drive past three or four gas stations on the way, park your car, and have a great day at the office. You step out later to run and get lunch, only to find your tire is flat.
Now you’re frustrated and wishing you would have stopped at one of those gas stations.
The same thing can happen in your relationships. You and your significant other are having breakfast in the morning and you notice that something they say sounds a little strange and the energy is little off. You’re running late so you ignore it and head off to work. While driving, you’re thinking something is not right with them I should check on them. But, you get to work and dive right into business. Around lunchtime, you get the call, “How come you left so abruptly this morning? I really need to talk to you. Right now.”
Now you’re emotionally hijacked and wishing you would have paused long enough to connect. Because, clearly, your relationship needs some maintenance.
If you only had the AAA relationship assurance card
You can use it two ways:
One is preventive, as in, you don’t need to drop everything. You just need to pause and honor the fact you are sensing your relationship needs some attention.
The other is maintenance, as in, stop what you are doing right this moment when you get that call and really focus on listening to the other person.
The AAA card is self-awareness assurance. Its purpose is to assist the cardholder to become more aware of the role that they play in the relationship. It was established to make you ask the question, am I using my AAA assurance? Meaning, am I taking action and applying some Attention, Affection, or Acknowledgement in my relationship!
If not, here’s how:
Attention. Make sure you are paying attention to each other, cell phones down, TV-off, even turn off the music while on your drive sometimes. Look at your partner (not while driving, of course) and pay attention with your ears, eyes, and heart. You might hear what’s not being said or pick up on something that you have taken for granted. Or, you might just find out something you did not know was really important to your partner. But most importantly, your partner will feel like they have your undivided attention and you’ll get points for that. This will also allow you to take deliberate action on something that makes a difference in the relationship. Just pay more attention, you already know how to do it, and watch what happens after…
Affection. A hug, a hand held, a kiss on the cheek, an arm around your partner, or a sweet note left by their coffee are all gestures of endearment that go a long way and cannot be understated. There are so many ways of showing affection for your significant other and they can (and should!) happen often across multiple channels: a call, text, email, face-to-face. This allows the other person to feel seen, heard, and connected. It also prompts you to think about how you show up in the world and what affection means to you, are you an actor or a responder? Affection is foreplay that keeps your relationship hot!
Acknowledgment. This one is my favorite and you have to really be cognizant to remember to acknowledge your partner for the things that are usually taken for granted. Often, the love our partners show us has been normalized in the relationship—we see their extra efforts as normal, and just part of our daily experience. Taking the time to pause, acknowledge their efforts, and then validate their love lets them know you see what they do and really appreciate it. Anytime we tell another person, “Thank you for putting aside yourself to do this for me!” it deepens the relationship and creates intimacy.
Attention, Affection, and Acknowledgement—it’s AAA assurance that you actually use all the time.
It takes more than just having the card in your wallet too. You have to activate it and use it to get the full value. Each “A” may require you to further develop and do some work. You have to be honest with yourself and ask yourself questions like: do I need to become more affectionate, have I taken my partner for granted, have I told them how much I appreciate them for the little things?
Start your work right now by reflecting on these questions. If you want or need more support on working toward your AAA card, signup for our newsletter. We’ll keep you posted on upcoming events and share inspirational insights on how you can live your best life.