Welcome to Lovebirds Tips.
Each week we post tips based upon topics discussed by Lin and Adam on YouTube Channel ALT: Adventure, Love, Travel.
ALT is a positive relationship channel where the Aussie Lovebirds discuss what it takes to have a healthy love life, intimacy, vulnerability, being authentic, self-growth, past mistakes and much more.
All shot on location in Australia’s most beautiful cities.
How To Keep Love Alive
Tip # 1: Pay attention to your partner
If they want to talk to you, put the phone down. Close the laptop and turn off the T.V. Give each other your full undivided attention without distractions. Enquire about their day or how they are feeling. Engage with your partner with intention and focus. People feel special when they feel heard and listened to.
Tip # 2: Show in action. Not just words.
Words are lovely to hear, but actions speak louder. If you are going to do something for your partner, be sure to follow through. Trust is quickly lost when you can’t believe what your partner says. The opposite is also true, when you show integrity…you mean what you say and say what you mean…trust is earned and appreciated. It’s important to know you can depend upon your partner.
Tip # 3: Quality time
Schedule quality time with your partner to connect without interruptions from work, kids, friends or family. This is best done face-to-face but you can also have quality time via video chats, or via the phone if distance is an issue. Putting time and energy into your relationship is key to creating a healthy and loving connection.
Tip # 4: Create emotional intimacy by talking
When you create a safe space to disclose your deepest thoughts and feelings, you set up a strong foundation for learning more about each other. This deeper understanding creates a tight bond between you both. Moments of emotional intimacy is where a strong relationship grows and evolves.
Tip # 5: Weekly Date Night
Set a weekly date night where you both alternate on organising something special for the other person. Google has hundreds of ideas on what you can do on a date night. It doesn’t always have to be expensive. A picnic in the local park with a bottle of wine and candles creates a lovely evening as you talk and gaze at the stars.
Tip # 6: Share an activity, hobby or project together
Whether you are working on a project together or sharing an activity that you are both passionate about, teamwork brings a couple together and creates a joint sense of purpose and common interests.
Tip # 7: Communication
Communication may be down in tip # 7, but it is one of the most important aspects to developing a healthy relationship, not just with your partner but also within yourself. Being able to communicate in an open and authentic way empowers you to speak and live your truth. Honest communication creates trust, stability, connection, intimacy, understanding, growth, releases old resentments and strengthens relationships.
*Want to know more on how to communicate effectively? Look for the Aussie Lovebird segment on Communication next month on our YouTube Channel A.L.T Adventure, Love, Travel.
Tip # 8: Be Vulnerable
Being vulnerable is extremely hard for most of us to do. It can open us to feelings of exposure and uncertainty. However, if you can gather the courage and strength to be vulnerable with a partner you trust, it can lead to amazing transformation on how you love and allow yourself to be loved.
Tip # 9: Listen Without Judgement
Great communication between two people is not just about how to talk but also how to listen. It’s not always easy to listen when you start to feel you are being blamed or attacked. Emotions flare up and you may become reactive. It’s even harder to connect to your partner when judgement enters the conversation as a way to defend yourself or to shift the uncomfortable subject. Imagine conversations with your partner where you take judgement and blame off the table. Where understanding and acceptance is the goal of every conversation. You can’t control how your partner listens to you, but you can control how you listen to your partner and your reaction to what they say.
Tip # 10: Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude for your wonderful partner not only makes them feel loved, valid, worthy and special, it also makes you feel good as well. When we think and say positive thoughts, it attracts positivity into our lives. It creates optimism, increases self-esteem, resilience, happiness and much more. Start today with an attitude for gratitude.
Tip # 1: Recognise the irrational thought
Recognise when you are having an irrational thought. You can do this by asking yourself, is this true? Is it really true? How can I know it is true? If you don’t have hard evidence, then it may be an irrational thought that stems from something much deeper in the subconscious. This is where traumatic messages are stored, weighing us down with emotional baggage we carry around.
Tip #2: Take a moment to breathe
Take a step back once you realise you are having irrational thoughts. Don’t start to point your finger at your partner. Resist the urge to blame them or make this about them. I used to say to people, this is when you are hitting your partner with a stick that is meant for someone else. Typically, this “blame” stick would be for someone in your past, maybe an ex, family member or a friend. Even though your current partner may have triggered these thoughts, it is usually about a past trauma that has not been processed or healed.
Tip #3: Take accountability
Really important. Take accountability for your irrational thoughts and feelings. Nobody has control over your brain. Nobody has control over your thoughts and feelings. They can certainly be a trigger for them, but you are in control of how you react. Your thoughts and feelings are your own. Nobody is responsible or accountable for them but you.
Tip # 4: Talk to someone you trust
Find a safe space to talk to your partner without distractions. Or talk to someone you trust with sensitive information. It takes courage to be vulnerable, so make sure the person you confide in is someone who will listen and hear what you are saying without judgement.
Tip # 5: No self-judgement or self-criticism
Talk about your irrational thoughts without self-judgement. Keep in mind to have self-directed compassion as you journey into the past. Ask yourself what am I thinking and feeling? Why do I feel this way? When did I feel this way before? Express that situation to your partner. Again, without blaming yourself or others. No judgement. No criticism. This is a time for gentle self-reflection.
Tip# 6: (For the other person) Just Listen
This is for the person who is listening to someone expressing their irrational thoughts. Do not interrupt them on their path to understanding themselves. This will stop the healing process and they will remain stuck in these thoughts that cause harm. This is not about you. This is not a chance to jump in mid-sentence to self-disclose your issues that might be the same. Wait until they are completely done and feel at peace with their progress into a better understanding of the situation. Your job is to sit and listen without judgement.
Tip #7: Show appreciation & forgiveness
Once you have expressed your irrational thoughts and have a greater understanding from where they originated from, grab a hug from your partner or confident and give yourself a big hug too. Apologise to anyone you may have upset or blamed due to the nature of your thoughts and take gentle accountability. Send love and understanding to those who may have wronged you in the past. This is about you unburdening your emotional suitcase. Forgiveness is not about condoning the other’s actions…it’s about inviting peace into your heart.
Tip #8: Practice self-care
Digging up our deep-seated issues from the subconscious can take a toll upon our mental, emotional and physical state. This is the time to take care of yourself. Stay away from stressful situations, eat well and get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.
The more you practice these techniques, the faster you’ll get in recognising irrational thoughts and the easier you’ll be able to express, understand and grow from self-reflection.
Long Distance Relationships
Tip # 1: Be consistent with communication. Whether its texts, phone calls, emails or video calls, make time to regularly chat to your honey. Adam used to call me the same time every day and I looked forward to his calls. If you aren’t consistent and your partner is faced with silence with unknown reasons, it can cause havoc with uncertainty. This in turn can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and possibly a break up. So be consistent on how often you communicate. Ask them how often they would like you to text, phone, etc. or if a certain time better than another.
Tip #2: If you are really missing your partner, a video call is the best form of communication. Receiving a text or hearing Lin’s voice makes my day, but when I video call, I can see Lin’s shining smile and gorgeous green eyes. I can read her body language a lot better and it makes it feel as if she is in the room with me. I get a lot more satisfaction after a video call than any other form of communication.
Tip #3: Exchange unwashed t-shirts. Now, I’m not suggesting a gym t-shirt but just one that you have worn to bed overnight or for a day. Something that has the other person’s scent on it. When I was missing Adam I would cuddle up to his shirt or even wear it to bed. My sense of smell would make me feel as if he was near me, and strangely I was comforted by that.
Tip # 4: Be creative in showing you care. Just because you are miles apart doesn’t mean you can’t send her handwritten love notes, or send her flowers to her work. Send him a card that just says you are thinking of him, or send him a bottle of his favourite drink. If you know she is getting home late from work, arrange a meal to arrive when she gets home. Or if she is sick, send chicken soup, orange juice or a fruit basket via the grocery store. There are many ways you can take care of your partner even if you are miles away.
Tip # 5: Schedule quality time by creating a date night where you sit down to eat at the same time and talk via video call. You can even watch the same movie and discuss what you liked afterwards. The point is you are connecting and communicating even if you aren’t in the same room.
Tip# 6: Try to make time to actually visit each other physically whenever you can. Clear your calendar and jump on a plane or go for a road trip. Do whatever you need to do to connect in person. This revitalizes your relationship.
Tip #7: Create a code for when things aren’t going so well. Your partner can’t read your mind and can’t hear your tone in text, so if you are struggling with something in your relationship, let the other person know. Adam and I came up with “Code Red”. Code Red is when one of us is having a hard day or there was a misunderstanding and is struggling with the long distance and reassurance is needed. I would text Code Red to Adam and he would know immediately that he needs to contact me as soon as he can. You may not be there for them physically, but you can be there for them emotionally.
Tip #8: No Ghosting. This deserves a tip all to itself. Ghosting is when one person just stops all forms of communication as if they have fallen off the face of the earth with no reason whatsoever. Ghosting is hurtful and creates confusion for the other person. It can leave them with frustrating thoughts of what went wrong. This can also trigger self-esteem issues for the other person. Don’t do it. If you are having doubts to the relationship, communicate your concerns. If you really need to end the relationship, then give the other person the respect of closure and not just silence.
Tip # 9: Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is key in a LDR or any relationship for that matter. Inevitably issues will pop up. There will be obstacles along the way. So being transparent in your feelings will go a long way in helping find solutions and create emotional connection and intimacy.
Tip # 10: Create healthy boundaries. Express what is okay and what is not okay with you. Holding back your feelings for fear of pushing them away can cause resentment for yourself and confusion for them. There’s a great quote, “What is meant for you will not pass you by.” So be open and honest with yourself and with your partner.