Shared Space, Shared Happiness

While you’re thinking of all the ways you can improve your home, don’t get preoccupied with trends and technology. Make sure it reflects the behavioral, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, sexual, and magical you. Then consider all the ways you and your sweetheart can enjoy every facet of each other in your space. And then, build in reminders.

When you’re caught up in the busyness or routine of everyday life, you might not think to give each other a massage, discover the stars together, or share your latest insight … unless you’re prompted by props. A little planning can ensure that you have ready space to engage, nurture, and affirm each other.

Here’s how it works. Think about the different aspects of you:

Behavioral—what do you like to do? Make sure your space makes it easy for you to smile, play Scrabble, sit in the garden, dance to old songs, bake brownies, or whatever. And don’t forget the props. Use solar lights in the garden that beckon you into the night, keep your favorite song at the touch of a button on the dinner table. Find repose in tradition, but don’t limit yourself to old standbys. Try out new interests—sing, paint, jog, or build something together.

Emotional—share what you’re feeling about you, your relationship, and life. The deeper the sharing, the deeper the connection. Set up a warm, comfy spot for just the two of you to talk. Make sure you’re facing each other and close enough to touch. You might use an art glass bowl or journal as a reminder to write love notes to each other. Then look forward to the next note and let it launch intimate conversation every evening, or every Sunday morning. Emotional intimacy is what keeps you from growing apart.

Intellectual—how do you stimulate each other’s thinking? Set up a library or media corner where you share the news, comics, favorite magazines, or occasional paragraphs from great books. Leave a favorite book of poetry or travel out as a prop. The idea is to get in the habit of spontaneously connecting with each other about whatever you find thought provoking … and, yes, spontaneity, as well as learning, can become a fun habit.

Spiritual—share what makes you feel connected to something bigger than you are. If that means walking on the beach, leave a seashell next to the door that calls you to the shore. Don’t limit “your space” to what you own. Extend it with reminders to visit a chapel, or meditate in a park. And share your spirituality; let him be your partner in everything!

Sexual—don’t let sex get squeezed out. Good sex boosts your immune system and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Learn to have it when you DO feel like it; and if it has to wait, call your sweetheart and let him know it’s waiting, or do something to set the stage. If your libido isn’t the built in reminder it used to be, you’re normal; try massage oil, or roses, or your comfy emotional space as a prelude to sex. And kiss, tickle, play, without thinking it has to go somewhere. Just love each other.

Magical—you can’t plan magic, but you can let it happen by being receptive. Create a space where nothing’s impossible. Maybe there’s a piece of art that launches you into a world of enchantment, or a rain stick that reminds you of the sound of rain on a tin roof. Maybe the aroma of cinnamon buns or the taste of hot fudge makes you feel like a little girl again. Ignite your senses and the magic!

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again,” said Joseph Campbell. Make your space work for you. When it reflects all of you, so does your relationship … and your life.

Author's Bio: 

Jan Denise is a self-esteem and relationships consultant, the author of Innately Good: Dispelling the Myth That You’re Not (Health Communications) and Naked Relationships: Sharing Your Authentic Self to Find the Partner of Your Dreams (Hampton Roads), and the columnist who penned the nationally syndicated “Inside Relationships” for ten years. Denise conducts workshops, speaks professionally, serves on the faculty of Omega Institute, and consults with individuals and couples nationwide. She is silly and deeply in love with life and her husband Sam Ferguson. They live in McIntosh, Florida, where their home in the woods is open to others as a sanctuary and retreat center.