The Relationship Pow-Wow
- Meet at the same place and at the same time. This will help develop a ritual for your relationship where it will decrease the chances you’ll forget about it. If need be, write it down in your scheduling book. Minimize distractions and really use this time to honor each other and what you’ve built together.
- Both you and your partner will have equal “floor time” to speak your mind. You will each be the “listener” and the “speaker”, making sure not to interrupt until the speaker is finished. Be respectful of each other’s expressed opinions and beliefs and make a rule to not use vulgarities or put each other down. Keep the complaining out! State your needs and feelings directly and assertively and ask for what you want.
- If the climate of your meeting becomes tense or has a flavor of being unproductive, call a “Time-Out” to defuse any potential for misdirected anger. The Pow-Wow will not work if it becomes a battle-ground. Make sure you schedule another time to complete the meeting if you need to postpone it to allow some time to regain composure.
- The meeting will require you to use good communication, conflict negotiation, and problem-solving skills. If you’re not well-versed in these, study up on active listening, “I” messages, brainstorming, or enlist the services of a coach or couples counselor to help you fine-tune these critical skills.
- Keep a notebook handy at your meeting and journal or keep minutes of what was discussed. You can always refer to this at the beginning of each meeting to track your progress on stated goals and also helps with accountability and remembering what was discussed.
- Strive toward win/win solutions. As two men socialized for competitiveness in the same relationship, keep the wrestling matches out! Remember that you’re on the same team, you don’t always have to agree on everything, and negotiate for the benefit of the relationship itself, not one particular individual.
Running A Pow-Wow
- Discuss your visions for your future as a couple and as individuals.
- Plan for fun. Talk about any vacations or recreational outings you’d like to pursue in the near or long-range future.
- Each of you grab a deck of index cards and write some sentence completion stems on them. Read them aloud to each other and answer them. For example, “One thing I really appreciate about you is _____”; “Something I need for you to understand about me is _____”; ” If there was one thing I’d like to be different about our relationship, it would be _____”. Get creative and have fun!
- Go to your local gift or gaming specialty store and purchase one of those board games geared toward couples, intimacy, and relationships. Play the game together!
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