“Being present in the moment” is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot, but what exactly does it mean? Well, it means your attention is on what’s right in front of you, in this case, your partner. You’ll never be perfect at it, but there are ways you can improve your ability to be present in your relationship.
Practice active listening. Active listening in relationships is a skill that can be honed. It’s about listening to the entire message that someone is saying rather than just the individual words. It’s about having good body language when they’re speaking, having good eye contact, and giving cues that you’re listening like a head nod. It’s also about repeating back to them what you’re hearing. This practice grounds you right in the here and now.
Consider having time away from phones. I know, this makes me cringe, too. The idea of spending time away from beloved phones is a scary one, but it may be romantic. It’ll certainly be a way for the two of you to be more present with one another. You won’t be distracted by notifications or conversations, instead, you’ll just be enjoying each other’s company.
Refrain from multi-tasking. In reality, your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. So, if you’re moving between tasks you aren’t giving them your utmost attention individually. When you’re playing a board game with your partner don’t also be answering emails. Your concentration is going to be shot. You’d be better off putting your phone on silent and just enjoying the game. Or, take 15 minutes to just answer emails then put the phone away.
Share what you’re feeling. Be honest about what’s on your mind. Of course, honesty has its limitations. There are times when you may feel super angry, that’s not a time to express how you’re feeling. Most of the time, though, you can share what’s on your mind and in your heart. You can share frustrations, joys, and fears. You can share whatever’s going on up there.
Pay attention to your breathing. This may seem tangential, but it’s directly related to being more present with your loved one. When you pay attention to your breath you’re anchoring yourself in the present moment. You’re more connected to the flow of things. It even makes you more aware of your senses, making touch and sight that much better. Such a simple act of watching your breath has powerful results.
Say “no” when you need to. If you have a feeling in your gut that says something isn’t right or the timing isn’t good, listen to that voice. The right partner will highly respect you for learning to say “no” because you’re being true to yourself. You’ll feel good and you’ll be able to settle into the present moment a lot easier.
Work with your worrying thoughts. Worrying thoughts are only human, we all have them. It’s important to work with them, though, otherwise, they’ll take you over. Do this by first listening to what they’re afraid of. Then, you can rationalize with yourself about what’s actually true. Do you have any evidence that your partner’s going to leave you? Do your best to let these thoughts go, I know it isn’t easy. Overthinking in relationships sucks.
Listen to your body. Maybe your body is tired and wants to rest. Maybe it’s turned on and it wants sex. Your body communicates messages to you, telling you how it’s feeling. Take these messages and listen to them. Don’t do something you don’t want to do. Do the things you do want to do! Communicate your body’s desires to your partner and see if your needs line up.
Have openness and curiosity. If your partner has a funky energy one day be curious about it. Be open to hearing about what they have to say. Try not to make assumptions thinking that you already know the whole story. Having openness and curiosity grounds you to the present moment, allowing whatever’s supposed to arise to do so.
Be self-aware. Practice self-awareness with your partner and alone. Examine your patterns and your way of thinking. Take a good look to get to know yourself. You’ll be better able to judge how you’re doing and act accordingly if you’re self-aware. You’ll be able to be with your partner in the present moment because you’ve tuned into what’s going on for you.