Mar 13, 2020
What is on your “Bucket List” regarding the health of your relationships? You might say, I want more respect or romance, more meaningful communication and less conflict. These are common requests.
To grow in relationship, one needs to know what skills it takes to do so. Let’s start with the whole of who we are. We are just not physical beings. We are physical, of course, but also, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial beings capable of gathering resources to improve the quality of our lives. Here is a relationship enhancing activity. Gather 6 buckets. You could use big buckets or solo cups. Label each bucket with one of these categories; PHYSICAL, INTELLECTUAL, EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, SPIRITUAL, FINANCIAL.
Ask for what you need in each one of these buckets. In the Physical bucket, you could ask for hugs, meaningful, comforting touches, holding hands, pats on the back, massages, tender caresses, dancing or touching one’s face. The Intellectual bucket requests could be about learning new things together, creating a space for intellectual curiosity, exploration or discovery, reading a book together, discussing themes in a play, outlining the takeaways from a movie, enrolling in a class together and helping each other study. The Emotional bucket could be filled with creating safety to explore feelings which are not right or wrong. Feelings are feelings. No one has the right to apply motives to someone’s feelings or tell them they should feel a certain way. Sharing hopes and dreams, secrets, past hurts, fears, and being vulnerable certainly builds trust and closeness. The Social bucket could be filled by honoring one another’s personality. If someone is introverted, extroverted, detailed, compassionate, tender, bossy, talkative, friendly, resourceful or whatever, it is likely they fit into a certain personality category. At the Center for Relationship Education we utilize the Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever, and Beaver, personality profile. The take away from this assessment is discovering your personality and that of others. The goal is not trying to change others, but honoring how they do life. This creates safety and acceptance. The Social bucket can also mean that you have similar friends, enjoy similar social events like golf, theater, or travel. Filling one’s Spiritual bucket can be about having a similar faith walk, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, prayer, appreciation for creation and nature. Finally, filling up the Financial bucket is how each person in the relationship spends, saves or donates money. Do you live with an attitude of abundance or of scarcity? Also working together for the same financial goals builds financial intimacy. Even hosting a fund raiser for a charity, you both can enhance financial connectedness. Learning the language of building connectedness in these six categories will certainly create a new way to think about and express your “Bucket List” and letting your partner know how to fill your bucket when it is empty.