Lesson Two: Loving with Intention
Any couple, no matter how busy can bring slow living into their relationship. In this blog series I am going to give you the tools you need to bring more slow living into your relationship.
In last week’s blog post, I introduced the concept of the slow living relationship. This week we are going to dive a little deeper and learn how loving with intention can be a tool you can use to bring more slow living into your relationship or marriage.
What does loving with intention mean?
An intention in its simplest definition is a plan, or a wish. We all have wishes for ourselves, our lives, and our relationships. However, in our day to day lives, we often don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about these wishes. Intentions can be incredibly powerful in our relationships.
First, loving with intention means that we are thinking about the intentions we have for ourselves and our relationship. For example, I have set the intention for myself to embrace a mindful and intentional marriage. I am committed to being present in my relationship as much as possible. Therefore, I am committed to resisting the urge to go through life with my husband on auto-pilot. When I feel myself slipping into auto-pilot, I remind myself of this intention. Then I pause and take a moment to bring myself back to the present moment.
Second, loving with intention means that we are trying our hardest to always assume the good intention of our partner. Assuming good intention, allows our defenses to stay at bay. As a result, we tend to be less combative. For example, if your partner leaves their work clothes in a pile on the floor, you may get annoyed or angry. When you assume good intention, you assume they are not doing this to purposefully anger you. And perhaps they even had a mindless moment. Nevertheless, you assume good intention on their part. Slowing down and reminding yourself of the good intention of your partner, allows you the opportunity to soften. You can still express your frustration with the pile of clothes. But you are able to more effectively communicate this when you are not feeling your have been purposefully harmed by someone you love.
How does loving with intention help to create a slow living relationship?
Loving with intention in our relationships requires us to first slow down to think thoughtfully about what we want for ourselves and our relationship. These intentions can help ground you and guide you in your daily living with your partner. You may decide to try and begin each day by setting an intention for your relationship. For example, “today I intend to listen closely” or “today I intend to be patient”. As a result taking a small mindful moment at the start of your day can have a great impact to how you interact with your partner.
Loving with intention, can also come in handy when you are feeling angry or upset with your love. When you notice yourself become irritated, annoyed, or upset with your partner, slow down, and pause. Try and remind yourself that they are most likely not trying to upset you on purpose. Additionally, slowing yourself down and reminding yourself of your intention for your relationship can help with conflict. It can make a difference in how you choose to approach the day to day annoyances that are bound to appear when you are sharing your life with another person.
Creating a slow living relationship is work, however with time, patience and practice you and your partner will experience better communication, fulfillment in your relationship, and increased connection with one another.
Join me next week, where you will learn the next step towards a slow living relationship: the importance of rituals.
In the meantime, I invite you consider how your relationship would shift if you and your partner embraced loving with intention? What small step can you take today to begin to love with intention in your relationship?