Couples Relational Activities ~ Part 1 ~ Words of Affirmation
It is a well-known fact that relationships are hard. Relationships take dedication, energy, and willingness to compromise. To guide you on your journey, we’re launching a 5-part series highlighting couples relational activities, organized around the 5 Love Languages.
According to author Gary Chapman, there are five love languages, and our “love languages” describe how we receive love from others. Here’s a brief overview of the 5 Love Languages:
Words of Affirmation – Saying supportive things to your partner
Acts of Service – Doing helpful things for your partner
Receiving Gifts – Giving your partner gifts that tell them you were thinking about them
Quality Time – Spending meaningful time with your partner
Physical Touch – Being close to and caressed by your partner
If you are struggling in your relationship or you want to build a stronger foundation, we’re sharing activities from each of these love languages that can help your relationship flourish.
Not all the techniques we offer will fit you or your specific relationship, but you won’t know unless you try! Test these out and stick with the ones that work for you. The idea is to create a new way to relate to your partner. Also, these activities are not a “one and done” endeavor but are meant to be continuously used as your relationship grows and develops.
Words of Affirmation
In the first post in this series, we’re offering couples relational activities based on the love language of “words of affirmation.” Words of affirmation are verbal expressions of our love and affection. Each of the following activities will help you focus on sharing compliments, appreciation, and/or encouragement with your partner.
The Good Qualities List
There are times in our life, and in our relationships, where everything seems to be going wrong. When that happens, it is important to remind ourselves of the good things. The things that are going right, even if they are small. Relationships are the same. It can be helpful for you to remember why you appreciate, love, and cherish your partner. It can also be important for your partner to hear the reasons why you appreciate, love and cherish them. We sometimes take our loved ones for granted, and we have to remember to take the time to tell them how much we care for them. The good qualities list is a way to remind couples of why they love each other.
To begin you Good Qualities List, write (or type) the end of the following statements with at least three responses each:
1. I appreciate my partner because…
2. My partner shows me they care by…
3. The memories I cherish the most of our time together include…
4. The qualities that first drew me to my partner are…
Once you’re done creating your list, share these with your partner! Watch as your list makes them feel appreciated and loved, and then feel that love reflected back.
Five Things… Go!
Sometimes, being spontaneous can be fun! Decide on a theme, and then list five things. . Just list what comes to mind. The theme can be about your partner (theme example: “things I like about you”) or more action focused (theme examples: “things I want to do together”).
Have fun with your list and let it take you where it leads. This is a fun activity that shows what is on your mind. It can also help clear the air or direct further conversation.
Never Go to Bed Angry
We have all heard the saying never go to bed angry, but do we all follow this advice? Negative emotions can hurt our ability to sleep, making it hard to successfully “sleep it off.” Instead, it’s best to move into a different headspace before going to bed.
Finish the night on a good note by sharing something positive about your partner. Tell them something that you love about them or something nice in general. And, listen to them when they tell you something positive. Then, if the problem or conflict still exists in the morning you can deal with it together when you’re both rested.
Swap out “You” Statements for “I” Statements
In relationships, it’s important to be careful with your words. “You” statements often come across as accusatory. For example, “You are horrible!” instead of, “I feel hurt.” How you communicate with your partner is vital. Remember, you are trying to communicate a problem, not trying to place blame. When used properly, “I” statements discuss how you feel, instead of hurting or attacking your partner. The goal is to share how you are being impacted rather than harping on what your partner has (or has not) done.
Stay tuned for Couples Relational Activities ~ Part 2!
Disclaimer: There are times for relationship self-help, and there are times that you should reach out for help. If the relationship is abusive (physical, psychological, emotional or otherwise) reach out for help! If your relationship difficulties feel overwhelming, please consult our couple’s counseling page: https://californiawomenstherapy.com/couples-counseling/
Also, if you or your partner is suffering from underlying mental health problems, consider reaching out out for a free initial consultation. California Women’s Therapy is here to help! www.californiawomenstherapy.com
This blog was written as a collaborative effort by Sydney Brabble & Berklea Going, interns with California Women’s Therapy.