Cups of Cheer!

Dec 22, 2023

Days are getting darker and celebrating holidays with family, friends and our partners will be upon us in a blink of an eye. For many of us, trying to balance all these relationship dynamics can be stressful. But why do we also stress at our partners? The strain of feeling like we have no time and the crunch to get everything done leads us to deprioritizing filling up each other’s emotional cups in a dash to get to the new year.

Here’s the big picture:

In a thriving relationship you do things to fill up each other’s emotional cups on daily basis (think along the lines of The Five Love Languages vibe). These are your micro-moments of love and they help you feel connected, loved, and energized.

When our emotional cups are depleted and a stressful situation, demand or interaction pops up (e.g. we have participated in a large family gathering that makes us uncomfortable or pushes our boundaries), we no longer have the emotional energy to deal with it.

Proactively plan NOW to make time and connection activities to fill up your emotional relationship cups, so that you can move through the season as a team and have each other’s backs through the last ups and downs of the year.

Cups of Cheer

Depending on where you live, what you celebrate, and the number of social gatherings you have committed yourself to, your calendar may already be filled up to January 1st. But will your relationship cup be filled up? Probably not, if you have not thought about it or planned out some extra moments to fill it up. In a thriving relationship we are constantly doing small, everyday things that help to make our partners feel loved and appreciated. In the well-known framework and book “The Five Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman, he explains how different people feel and express love in different ways (5 different ways to be exact) which include acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, and physical touch. If you are not familiar with it and want more context, do check out the book’s website and quiz (you could even do the quiz together as a couple activity). The importance of this concept is that there are lots of everyday little things we can do to make a person feel loved. That’s great news. That means that in these busy times, we do not need to add in a huge date night out or some costly gesture. We can just remember to do the small things: bring our love a morning coffee or compliment the dinner they made or snuggle while zoning out to Netflix. We can fill up each other’s cups and keep our cups brimming with these small acts of mindfulness.

It is when we get too busy rushing out of the house in the morning to pour that cup of coffee or we scroll on our phone instead of cuddling that we miss the mark and the opportunity to share our love and feel connected. So, ask each other, over coffee this morning or dinner tonight or even over text on your work break, what little everyday things make you both feel loved or thought of and put those on your priority list. Fill up each other’s cups with cheer!