There’s definitely an art to living in the present, and it’s not as easy as it seems. There’s always something else to think and worry about, and that can seriously take us out of the moment. Being present is important in every aspect of life, but it can be particularly important when it comes to our romantic relationships. Here’s how to get better at it:
Realize that you can never totally control the future. There’s a lot that we can do to steer our lives in a particular direction. However, we can’t ever have complete control, so spending too much time with our mind in the future is just ignoring what we’ve got now.
Get specific about why you like your relationship. If you have a hard time coming up with ideas about why you like your guy, that’s something to pay attention to. But if you love even the smallest things about him, focus on those as much as the big picture.
Really listen. We spend so much time during conversations thinking about what we’re saying next or judging what the other person is saying, but sometimes we need to take half a step back and just really listen to what they’re saying before we rush into the next moment.
Try to be more present outside of your relationship, too. Being present can become a habit with enough practice. Be present when you eat your cereal, when you drive, and when you’re in a meeting at work. Practicing it in those smaller moments will carry over to the bigger ones.
Stop worrying so much. Nothing will take you out of the moment like stress and anxiety, but as we often discover, worrying doesn’t really do a lot of good. You should always be aware and proactive about solving actual problems, but beyond that, it’s really just a distraction that can shut you down from living in the moment.
Stop multitasking. It’s no wonder you feel disconnected from your relationship if the most intimate your conversations get is with the TV on and phones in hand. No one can do 10 things at once and do them well. Find moments where cutting distractions is appropriate and focus in on what really takes priority for the time being.
Accept vulnerability. Any kind of relationship is going to make you feel vulnerable sometimes — that’s not a bad thing if the relationship is healthy. Accept vulnerability for what it is and allow its presence without letting it grow and threaten to knock things over. Like any monster, it won’t grow if you don’t feed it.
Don’t overanalyze everything. If you don’t understand what he meant by something, ask him instead of just keeping it inside and distracting yourself all evening. Some things mean something and other things don’t, so it’s important to deal with the things that do and really just keep it moving away from things that don’t.
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