Secret Sauce for Intimate Relationships

In long-term relationships, we can say some pretty petty things to each other. It’s natural – intimate relationships mean we experience various moods, both our own and our partner’s. But here’s a trick called ‘a do-over’ that can reset prickly interactions.

My partner Ron and I have been using this technique and it works like magic. When one of us responds with a snarky or critical comment, the other simply says, “I want a do-over!” This makes both people pause, with the offending partner recognising their negative response was out of line.

For example, you ask your partner if they’re going to their pickleball game this week, and they snap back, “Why wouldn’t I be going? I go every week!” Instead of getting upset, you calmly say, “I want a do-over.” Importantly, both of you have to agree to do-overs in your relationship. Anytime, anywhere, one of you can request a do-over.

Here’s how a do-over works: ask the pickleball question again, and this time, your partner responds more kindly, “I am! I really look forward to these games. I have so much fun, and I’ve met some fantastic people. Maybe you’d like to join me sometime?”

This technique helps you become more aware of your feelings, express when something feels wrong, and request a do-over. Your partner, respecting your emotions, agrees to it, and rephrases their response to be more considerate.

Remember, it goes both ways. Undoubtedly, you’ll be the one asked for a do-over at times. The beauty of this approach is that it can halt arguments in their tracks. It can also lead to laughter as you rewind and relive the situation. Plus, it encourages both of you to reflect on what caused the reaction, leading to better understanding and kinder communication.

So, why not give the do-over a shot? It’s a simple way to keep your relationship in a place of love and respect. Let me know how it goes! 

Becca Williams is an emotions therapist and clinician who helps people free themselves from emotional burdens, traumas, and limiting beliefs to live more fulfilling lives.


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