A few weeks ago, we spoke on the topic of Conscious Dating and today, we wanted to dive deeper into communication and comprehension between partners.
In quick summary, conscious dating is described as being conscious and aware of your own thoughts, feelings, motivations, and tendencies as they show up in your relationship; as well as that of your partner’s behavior, thoughts, and motivations.
Let’s reconnect with Mark and Jane, our happy couple that we have been following over the past few blogs and episodes of the podcast. When we last heard from the two lovebirds, they were addressing Jane’s tendency to have ruminating and anxious thoughts around their relationship. Mark held space for his partner Jane by choosing to respond instead of react to her unconscious words over dinner.
Fast forward to where they are now in their relationship, exclusive, and growing closer to falling in love with each other while they juggle work, family, and friends.
If you missed the previous article and podcast episode, please read through it at What is Conscious Dating? When you’re done reading through it quickly, please come back to the rest of this article to learn more about how one or both partners came be present in the moment and conscious of their own behavior.
Mark and Jane have consistently seen each other weekly for over three months now and have been exclusive for almost two full months of the three. This coming weekend, Mark has a mens’ weekend planned with old friends he has known since college and has been looking forward to this since before he met Jane.
As the weekend plans approach, Jane begins to feel more uneasy about the reputation that one of Mark’s friends has been known to go overboard and suggest questionable behavior when the men get together. Notably, card games, club nights out, and beach parties that were popular when they attended college together ten years earlier.
Jane fears approaching Mark about her anxiousness so she pours herself into work for the two weeks leading up to the planned mens’ weekend. But as the time draws nearer, Jane begins to show the signs of anxiety in front of Mark when they spend dinners together at each other’s homes.
The week before the weekend trip, Mark has invited Jane to his house for dinner and quality time which he is excited for a date night in. He realized recently how full his life is with work, friends, family, and Jane and understands as an extrovert, how valuable time at home is to recharge.
On her way over for dinner, Jane begins to play out scenarios in her head about what she could say to Mark for him to see how unsettled and anxious she is about his friend’s influence over the upcoming weekend trip. Jane knows consciously that she can trust Mark but can’t help the spinning thoughts that she hasn’t known him too long and wants to know if she can really trust him wholeheartedly.
Jane forms a plan in her mind about what she wants to say tonight to Mark that will subtly share her viewpoint. It sounds a little bit like, “So Mark, what kind of trouble is your buddy Chad going to suggest for you guys this weekend?”
With about five minutes to spare before Jane arrives at Mark’s home for dinner, she pulls her car over to take some time to calm her nerves and she discovers something deep within herself that says, “What is it that you truly want to communicate to Mark? Can I be more clear with my needs and questions that are spurring this anxiety?”
Jane takes three deep breaths and looks around Mark’s quaint neighborhood noticing how many objects appear so green this spring. In that moment she abandons all previous plans and decides to approach her conversation from a completely different route.
Jane pulls up to Mark’s home and lets herself in as has become their custom in their new relationship. She wraps her arms around Mark’s neck to kiss him and slowly lets out her words, “I’m feeling some uneasiness around your trip this weekend, can we talk about how I’m feeling before we sit down to dinner tonight?”
By spending a few moments alone in her car, Jane was able to ground herself to understand where the feelings were actually coming from and comprehend that coming right out with direct language would make her feel better sooner than had she danced around the issue.
Mark responds to Jane’s request with a simple and empathic question, “Would you like me to just listen to your feelings or would you like my help finding a solution?”
Both Mark and Jane approached their needs for connection, honesty, and transparency with consciousness of their own feelings and that of their partner’s. However, they both understand that this approach means they are there “with” presence around their partner, and not “for” an action to be taken to fix their partner’s feelings or problem.
The end result? Mark empathically hears Jane’s feelings by creating a safe place for her to share without fear of judgement or rejection. At most, Mark may offer up empathy using his active listening skills and reassuring Jane that they are exclusive and that the boundaries they have agreed upon will be a top priority… no matter how much influence Chad tries to place on their activities over the upcoming weekend.
Mark’s next move may be to think how much value a friendship with Chad has in his own life and if he wants to grow more as a man, does he wish to spend more time with men like him.
For more resources and ideas on conscious dating, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube and if you’re looking for more insight into your own relationship, please connect with me for a complimentary consultant and apply for coaching today via my online calendar here.