Every person is different and, therefore, every relationship is different. It’s not like you can do exactly what your best friend does and have the same marriage as them.
On the other hand, generalities are also worth bearing in mind. Most people like food. Most women will want children at some point in life. Most people don’t like being shouted at. Most men enjoy sex.
And somewhere in between we have anecdotes, personal experiences that can be applied to life, with a pinch of salt.
That said, here are nine ways Jon finds I improve his quality of life, in the order they came to mind to him.
1: Massages to keep on top of exercise and injuries.
Jon has a number of injuries to his back and knees. This means that he needs to find that sweet spot between doing enough exercise to build the supporting tissues around the injuries and not doing so much that he’ll further damage any tissue. Which means a lot of massages.
After weights, after a sedentary day or before bed, Jon needs to have massages on offer to make sure his body carries on working. By massaging him when he needs it, I allow him to carry on lifting weights and working long shifts without suffering the pain that would normally follow.
Jon works long shifts and tries to keep busy in between them. He lifts weights, reads, writes, studies, trains the dog, learns to paint with me, goes shopping, goes hiking, helps me with the garden and everything in between. And that’s before we begin to look at his less educational entertainment, such as games, films, social media or TV shows.
Just to cook the high calorie, high protein, high carb, easily digestible food he enjoys would take 30-60 minutes of attention each day. Never mind learning how to combine ingredients and seasoning so that he can enjoy the variety of foods he likes, eat some cheaper products and improvise.
By cooking for him, I am either freeing his time for other things or making sure he gets the quality of food he wouldn’t have on his own.
3: Keeping things in order.
Again, because he is so busy with everything else in life, the house isn’t his first priority. When he gets home from twelve or thirteen hours outside, he doesn’t want to do the dishes, put the laundry through, walk the dog, iron a shirt, hoover the hallway and weed the garden. So having it already done is a big plus.
4: Take on small tasks and assist in projects.
Likewise, there are small jobs and large projects that take up a lot of time. If he is sending out CVs, composing a story or calling to book an appointment, then that will be eating into his time elsewhere. By having someone else to take on menial tasks, the end of his day is free.
5: Make things more fun.
Sometimes he just has to do things. Go and get some groceries, take the car to the mechanic, meet social obligations or go for a walk to relax a joint. On his own, he finds these tasks hard to enjoy. They’re just tedious parts of being an adult human being.
By making a bit more of an event out of them, we can take our focus away from the more tedious aspects of these tasks and enjoy our time together instead.
Few people like doing everything alone. And those who do often choose solitude because they find it hard to find someone else who shares their passion without spoiling it.
Jon is also a fairly solitary person, seeing even his closest friends only every few months. So having someone he doesn’t mind sharing his life with adds value to it. He likes having me there to spot his weights, sit in the garden with, go to the pub with or read to.
7: Keep updated and informed on various topics.
One person only has so much time to spend reading, clicking through links, finding studies and investigating theories. By splitting up our reading over the day and regrouping at night to discuss various events and developments, we keep updated on a number of interesting topics and always have a conversation subject to bond over.
8: Cheerleading and grounding.
Jon, as you have seen above, does a lot. A life like his, where you are always on the go, wears down eventually. So he enjoys a bit of cheerleading. That is, having someone to tell him he’s doing well, to encourage him through the day and to support him in his pursuits.
But he also enjoys being grounded from time to time. Everyone goes through times when their decisions or goals are unrealistic, self-destructive or too time-consuming. And at these times, most people need and want to be grounded, not cheered on.
By keeping me updated on his work and goals, Jon ensure he has a cheerleader and a grounder, to make sure he fulfills his ambitions.
9: Focus on the future.
This one’s a more nuanced one. I don’t actually do anything myself to create this. There is no way to make someone else pay more attention to one thing or less attention to another.
But simply by existing, Jon finds I’m a reminder of the future ahead. He knows he will have children with me. And he knows we both rely primarily on him. By removing most uncertainty, it gives him something to focus on. Which means life feels easier, even if it’s actually a bit harder.
And those are the ways Jon says I improve his quality of life.
Everyone is different, and this may not work for you and your partner. But maybe it gives you some ideas as to how to make sure they are getting the quality of life they deserve.
TTFN and Happy Hunting!