Being a better partner (pt. 5) – Being your own support

November 23, 2018 ,
Having wonderful people to help you along is great, but you can’t and should not always rely on others. You could develop ways to be your own buddy-system and make your own life easier, even when it feels impossible. Becoming your own support is not an easy path, but it is a huge gain to you, as a human being.

First of all, it is important that you start small. Think of a list of things that make you happy. Write down activities, passions and hobbies that you feel are interesting enough to do on your own. If you feel that that list is lacking, try some new things. I have recently taken up going to the theater and opera. It has been a great experience and, as a bonus, I get awesome subjects to talk about when I meet my friends or lovers or metamours!

Also, try putting together a list of small things that bring you joy. You can include anything that gives you an instant boost in happiness, when you are feeling down. Think of them as “quick-fixes”. Often, when we feel sad or insecure and the whirlwind of negative emotions takes hold, it can be hard to think of anything that could make it better. Keeping this list close at hand has helped me a lot. The idea does not belong to me, but it has been of tremendous help. You can read my list of Instant Joy right here.

Start scheduling time with yourself. Think of it as a date night that you give yourself and you treat as important. Be selfish about it! Re-framing my time by myself in this way has helped me to cope with moments when all of my partners were out doing things and I was alone. Being occupied with something that you love to do on your own is really great at filling up your mental space. Read more about the date night with yourself right here!

I also made a list of articles and podcast episodes that I listened to or read over and over again. They were advice that helped me in my most difficult times, when working on myself seemed impossible. It is quite hard to do the labor of becoming more confident and less jealous when you are busy screaming in your own head. From those articles and episodes, I distilled my freak out list. It is a list of items that I would read every time I felt, well, you know, like freaking out. It immediately calmed me down and in time I really ended up becoming happier. The items on the list are things that I aspired to believe. Or they were things that I had no problem believing when I was calm, but would completely let go of when I fell prey to desperation. You can find my own freak out list right here.

I also started having a gratitude journal. When there was no one around and I had nobody to listen to me, I resisted the temptation of immediately calling and complaining to my partners. I realized that in the moment, I often ended up saying things that I regretted immediately afterwards. So I started using the tool that I like to call “letters without recipient” . I would write a long email about everything that I felt in the moment. I would get everything out and lay it down in writing. Then I would save the draft and move on about my and I would only read the email again after three days. If I still felt that some or all of the things written in the email had value, I would distill them into a list of problems to bring to my partner’s attention. You can read more about the letters without recipient hack right here.

All of these tools are things that I made a habit of using. I would tell myself over and over again that I want to be a better partner and a better human. Even if sometimes the task felt insurmountable, I kept in mind that I had an abundance of solutions. And I used them. I hope they can help you on your way as well.


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