Being a CEO and How to Make Your Partner Feel Loved
How can you make your partner feel loved while still being a good CEO?
As the CEO of your business, you’re in charge. Your vision, your mission, and your goals drive your business. Maybe you’re at the point where you’re just about to hire your first team member, or, perhaps you’ve been running and managing teams for years. Whichever the case, you expect that those people who work for you will take your ideas forward, in the way you want them to. If not, you will train them better- or let them go.
When you have this kind of power to allow people to stay or to make them go, it can be difficult to remember that your wife, husband, or committed partner doesn’t fall under this same set of guidelines. Sure, you can be a big jerk and make him or her go; but, unless you actually WANT your relationship to end, you know that you need to modulate your tendency to reshape everything according to your desires.
When you’re a work, you’re a leader. But when you’re home, you’re a partner.
This means, at home, there are different rules for leadership and management. If you want to have a happy relationship, you must learn to navigate these fluidly.
It’s easy to say, “I’ll just do whatever s/he wants, then s/he will be happy.” But the truth is that just giving in to what your partner wants isn’t the best strategy for long-term happiness. In any situation, if you keep giving in just to keep the peace, one day you’ll reach your limit- and the outcome of this won’t be pretty. You’re likely to explode in anger or lash out in rage. Nobody was meant to give up their preferences all the time and be a doormat. Even if you’re not prone to anger, giving in all the time can lead to a sense of disconnection and engagement.
Your partner doesn’t want you to “phone it in”- s/he wants you to be an engaged and available presence. In fact, one of the biggest reasons relationships start to decline is due to a lack of engagement- when one partner turns toward, and the other turns away.
So if telling your partner what to do won’t work, and giving into him/her won’t work, what’s the best way to make your partner feel loved?
If you’re familiar with the 5 Love Languages, you know that there are different ways to make someone feel loved. Some people feel loved when they hear words of love and affection. Some feel loved when their partner does things for them. Some feel loved when they receive gifts. Some feel loved when they are touched affectionately, and still others feel loved when their partner spends time with them.
It’s important to find out what makes your partner feel loved. But there is one way of making your partner always feel loved, even when you can’t spend time with them, or buy something for them, or when you’re apart and you can’t touch and hold them. Maybe you’ve been too busy and haven’t been able to spend much time together either.
So what is the way to make your partner feel loved, no matter what else is going on?
It’s being attuned to them.
So what is attunement? It’s careful and ongoing attention to their needs, desires, and feeling states. You’re not going to do everything they want, nor are you going to fix everything for them, but you are going to have an awareness of what they want and how they plan to fix whatever is bothering them.
Attunement is based on regular and consistent communication, especially commmunication about feelings, hopes, dreams, and fears. Sharing at this level creates a high awareness of what each other is thinking and feeling at any given moment in time.
By having conversations about these topics, you start to develop a “love-map” – a representation of your partner’s internal world. One of the best feelings in the world is being understood by the person you love.
If you’ve been in this relationship for a while, you may be thinking, “Why should I have these kinds of conversations? I already know what s/he is going to say.”
And that’s true- you may know what she’s going to say. But attunement is not the same as assumption. You may know exactly what they are going to say, but it is important to ask them anyway. They could have changed their minds. They could be feeling differently than you thought they would. They could be wanting to talk with you about new ideas and thoughs they’re having- and will be glad you opened the door.
Attunement is about demonstrating that your relationship matters to you, and that you will do everything you can to make your partner feel loved.
Opening the door to a conversation, and getting an up-to-the-minute “temperature reading” of how your partner is feeling, what they are thinking, and what they are planning is an always effective way to make your partner feel loved.
Talking in this way also creates a physiological pairing between your brains, which helps you connect and bond more deeply. This feel of greater connection and resonance acts as a deposit into the emotional bank account of your relationship, and strengthens it.
I once read a quote that illustrates this perfectly. The quote says, “Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people can’t tell the difference.”
So when was the last time you truly attuned to your partner? When you listened to him/her with no agenda, no time limit, and without trying to solve or fix anything?
When was the last time you had a heart to heart conversation about where you are now, and what you want to achieve together? When was the last time you simply stared into each other’s eyes and held hands?
All of these are ways to create attunement. If you can practice attuning to each other, and make this a habit within your relationship, you will both benefit from a greater sense of connection and ease in your relationship. You’ll know each other better, and feel closer. You’ll have more reserve to draw from when you need it.
And, most of all, you’ll have a way to show your partner how much you love them and how much they mean to you.
This is something you can do when you haven’t had a chance to buy a gift, or when you’re far apart from each other and can’t physically touch.
Attunement is, hands down, the most foolproof way to make your partner feel loved.
The other way to make your partner feel loved is through three specific relationship exercises. Learn more about getting closer to your partner.
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