“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
I’d say the road to relationship misery is paved with good intentions, too. Tell me if this sounds familiar. You intend to be more romantic, caring, sexy, or fun—you really do!—but then you forget. Why? Is it because you are a thoughtless oaf with the romantic aptitude of a sponge? Is it because you care about your work more than your mate? Is it because you are just too darn tired? No. It’s because you are a human with truly good intentions, but intentions are never enough.
You may ask, “Okay Cheryl, how can I make my partner feel more important and loved?” By making an effort to DO something that makes them feel special each and every day. If you are like me, you need some help turning what you think you should do or would like to do for your partner into relationship results. And I have the perfect tool for you: set daily love aspirations.
Daily Love Aspirations
I created this love hack together with my husband. We wanted a simple way to support our intention to develop an exceptional relationship filled with fondness and admiration. So we started a morning ritual to help us move from intention to activity. He brings me a cup of exquisite tea and settles into his comfy chair with a cat on his lap and steaming espresso. We set one simple aspiration—an actionable goal that will enhance our relationship—and vow to do it that day.
Here are the steps to set your own daily love aspiration:
- Create a morning ritual. Something you two enjoy. Then take a few mindful moments together before you begin.
- Share your aspiration for the day with each other. For example, “Today, I aspire to send you a sexy, loving text at lunch” or “Today I aspire to give you a shoulder rub and ask you about your day.”
- After your partner shares their aspiration, thank them.
- Set a reminder so you do the thing you said you will do (I like making notes. My sweetie uses his phone and sets an alarm reminder). If you don’t set cues to help you turn your aspiration into action, you’ll tend to fail. Yup, the road to hell…
- Take action.
Action vs. Intention
Taking action is power. I can teach you everything you need to know about how to complete a triathlon. But unless you take action (e.g., buy a bike, lace up your running shoes, and jump the water), all you have is the intention to complete a triathlon. And that won’t get you off the couch, much less to the finish line.
Now don’t get me wrong, intentions are important. When you set an intention, you decide what matters most to you. If you intend to participate in a triathlon, you’ve decided this is important. This is a necessary first step. If you view your love relationships through this lens, you might set intentions like being a better listener, making love more often, or even restoring playfulness to your time with your sweetheart.
Okay, but how can you make sure you actually do what you intend to do?
Set an aspiration. This serves as the bridge between intention and action. Using the triathlon example, you might set an aspiration to jog for twenty minutes today. This action moves you tangibly closer to your goal. If one of your relationship intentions is to be kinder, you might set an aspiration to speak in a gentle tone of voice today even when you feel impatient or annoyed. That aspiration is a specific, measurable goal derived from your good intention.
I teach couples to create love that lasts a lifetime, instead of just waiting for it to happen, but even a “love expert” needs reminders to practice what I teach. So if you want to improve your relationship, set clear love aspirations and then do them. That’s how you can get off the road to relationship misery and take conscious steps toward more love, passion, and happiness.
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Sharp, frank, and fearless, that’s Buddhist sex therapist, Certified Gottman Therapist, author, and speaker Dr. Cheryl Fraser. With a rare combination of academic credibility, humor, straight-talk, and life-changing advice, she has helped thousands of couples jumpstart their love life and create passion that lasts a lifetime. She has taught for Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield, appears on countless podcasts, and writes about love and sex for magazines. Dr. Cheryl’s new online workshop for couples – Become Passion – Create Love that Lasts a Lifetime, brings her work to your own living room. Register for a free Passion Masterclass here. Her book, Buddha’s Bedroom: The Mindful Loving Path to Sexual Passion and Lifelong Intimacy, is available now. For more information, visit her website and check out her videos here.