Healthy competition versus healthy teamwork.
Have you ever witnessed a husband trying to teach his wife to golf? It doesn’t always go well. He pushes too hard, expects too much, and gets impatient easy. She takes it all very personally, feels overly sensitive, and gets frustrated quickly. It isn’t just in golf. A lot of couples face these kinds of issues when one tries to teach the other a new skill. For some reason the tempers flare, the insecurities rise, and it ends up pushing them farther apart, versus bringing them closer together.
They say healthy competition is good, and couples should have a little dose of rivalry to keep things spicy. I think a man must have said that. Most women I know love harmony, crave connection, and want their husbands to adore them, not shout when they don’t follow through on their back swing. To generalize, men like to compete to see who’s stronger, faster, or quicker…with other men, not their wives. Women like it when all is calm, and their connection is stable. They tend to feel uneasy when their husband’s testosterone starts kicking in, and it is not inside the bedroom.
If you need a bit of adrenalin and adventure in your relationship, try healthy competition in teamwork. Find a way for you and your partner to compete as a couple or team. Look for activities where you can bond together to compete against other people, not each other. Dune buggy racing, tandem biking, rock climbing, skydiving, gliding, and kayaking are just a few of the things you and your honey can enjoy as a pair. Team softball, running club, or relay swimming are activities where you are not against each other, but working as a unit. Everything from pickleball, to yoga, to monster trucks is available for you to do together, building your bond, not competing for it.
Research indicates the couple that plays together stays together. Play is a key component in a healthy connection. Use your combined energy and amazing relationship to find fun ways to be with one another, on the same side. Get creative and step outside your box. Welcome in something that neither one of you knows how to do, and then learn it together. Gain the skills in supporting each other, so the two of you succeed as a two-person team.
Peter and I recently began tandem cycling. It takes a bit of work to pedal in unison. There can not be two leaders, two captains or two decision makers. You need to think alike. You must trust each others’ choices and anticipate the next move, before it happens. In many ways working like this is romantic, sexy, fun and alluring. To be into your partner on a physical level with all your clothes on. It’s actually very exciting. To be connected while accomplishing something, to strive and succeed with the help of the other. To have a common goal and go after it. This kind of connection is super exceptional. I suggest you give it a try for yourselves. It will heighten your connection and bring you closer together in a playful way… and that can lead to more fun in when all your clothes come off, and help you become a dream team in the bedroom.
Living with another person can be challenging at times, to say the least. It is very easy to criticize our partner, in our mind or face-to-face. They can disappoint us, frustrate us, annoy us, and even pester or nag us.
This, however, can be avoided, or at least minimized, if the partners agree to work together as a team. Like a sports team, yes tandem cycling is a team sport, rules need to be established to ensure that the players can, and will, continue to function as a unified team.
Riding a bike, like life, is an activity almost everyone can do…alone. You simply hop on, start pedaling, and off you go. You are in complete control and have the freedom to go and do what you like. The outcome is yours, and yours alone.
Riding tandem requires an intimate connection and takes special skill, just like being in an intimate relationship with your partner. Not only do you need constant verbal communication, you also need to have an innate connection with your partner. You need to sense which way they are going to lean, when they will stand and then sit back down, how much power they can deliver to the pedals. Without this the ride becomes extremely difficult and even unenjoyable.
Relationships with your partner are very much the same thing. You have to stay connected and in-tune with your partner, both verbally and spiritually, in order to navigate the terrain that you both traverse on a daily basis. One wrong move, one misjudgment, and you both can be down on the pavement with road rash that could take a lifetime to heal.
In order to avoid this crash you and your partner need to learn how to work as a team. You can use the following tips to build intimacy in any relationship, create a world-class team, and keep yourself out of the ditches:
Practice ongoing appreciation and acknowledgement; both in your thoughts and out loud.
Work at understanding the world of the other and what motivates their behavior.
Consciously remind yourself that we are all flawed individuals and will make mistakes from time to time.
Keep building your inner muscles of compassion and empathy.
Recommit to treating other in the respectful way you’d like to be treated.
Remember the goals and intentions of your intimate team and consider how your behavior might contribute to its success or failure.
P.S. Yes, the riding kits are VERY matchy-matchy, however, if you know anything about cycling you know that teams always wear the same kits. So go celebrate your amazing team and buy yourself a set of matching outfits. I promise you she will LOVE IT!!