Part of being in a relationship is taking the time to learn about what fills your partner’s stocking – what makes them feel all gooey and gluey with you and inspires them to stick with it through the rough times. This can be difficult if you each aren’t willing to share what you need clearly and specifically! After working with couples for all of these years, we have noticed that people don’t always know what helps their partner feel all filled up. When you don’t know what your partner needs you might be spending lots of time and energy trying to give them what they need without it landing at all.
Here’s the three reasons you might be missing out on giving their partner the gifts they need:
- You Give What You Want to Receive: Most people assume that people are similar to them so they make the loving gestures that they are hoping to receive. These often don’t land because people are so different. You might really need a good make out, while your partner would feel more delighted by breakfast in bed.
- People Change: Five years ago, your partner told you they really love back massages and you’ve been giving them a back massage every night before bed since then. If you haven’t updated the files in all these years, it’s very possible they are sick of back massages and ready for some different kind of care but just don’t have the heart to tell you.
- You Make Assumptions: Instead of just straight up asking your partner what fills their stocking, you try to piece it together from hints they’ve given you over the years. There’s no need to be a sleuth here, just check in.
If you want to get the most bang for your holiday buck – your time and energy – it is best to know what really hit’s the spot. This holiday, make a list (and check it twice!) of all of the things that you know really make you feel loved and desired and then exchange your lists. If you are single and hoping to be in a relationship at some point, definitely make this list as well! It’s like preparing a user’s manual for your future sweetheart. The more you know about yourself before going into a new partnership the better!
Here’s an example of what one couple wrote up:
His list of things he wants:
- Sweet texts or chats when we are apart about how you feel about me
- Kisses that have some kind of romantic or passionate feel to them
- Eye contact where I feel like you are looking at me with love in your eyes
- Sex where it feels like you can’t keep your hands off me and you are really turned on by my body
- Enthusiasm or excitement when you see me, if you feel like you’ve missed me or are happy to see me again
- You initiating plans or romantic things for us to do together or getting creative about our sex life with new ideas, toys, etc.
- Hellos and goodbyes – making sure you greet me when we first meet and give me a kiss goodbye when you leave
Her list of things she wants:
- Give me a gift certificate for a spa day that I can go on by myself.
- Appreciations – noticing and saying something when you feel like I’ve done something you like or appreciate
- Quickies – sometimes having quick sex when there isn’t time for something more in-depth
- Time in the house by myself to work on my projects and read my books.
- Surprising me with a clean house
As you can see, these two have very different needs. If they were to give each other what they were hoping to get, they’d probably both end up pretty depleted and exasperated! When you take the time to let each other know what satisfies you, your relationship will be much more filled with the glue that keeps you together!
May your stockings be stuffed with all the love and sex you want this year.
Celeste & Danielle