The athletes at the Olympics wanted to succeed not just for themselves but also for their loved ones who supported them.
When a man or a woman feels like a hero to their mate, it is a sense of fulfillment that can be compared to little else. For many, it’s a powerful source of motivation.
Of course, we’re not all Olympic athletes, but we can be heroes in everyday life. In relationships, the opportunities for being a hero may seem few and far between, but the truth is they happen all the time. We simply have to get better at looking for them.
For a man, washing and filling up your partner’s car will be seen as a heroic gesture if she hates doing it. For a woman, preparing a nice meal can be seen in the same light. It’s all about the little things, for being a hero doesn’t require grand actions.
We seem to think that heroic acts need to be something out of the Trojan Wars, but, in truth, catching that jar of pickles before it hits the floor or reminding your mate about an appointment he or she may have forgotten is an act of heroism.
Many men are wired to be providers/protectors, and they enjoy this role. For many women, the homemaker/cheerleader position brings out the best. And in some circumstances these roles can be switched. Doing things for others may be a learned habit, but the experience is inspired and deepened by the feeling you get when your partner looks at you with pride in his or her eyes.
Doing things that make your partner want to say, “You are my hero!” is very motivating for many people. Some folks will do for others what they wouldn’t do for themselves. Certain actions, like listening when your partner has a problem he or she wants to discuss for the 10th time, are acts of heroic love that will make the relationship stronger.
When events aren’t going the way you want them to, knowing that your mate believes in you and has your back will help you make those leaps in life that can be very scary from time to time. Sometimes we can be braver for the people we love than we can be for ourselves. But no matter where it comes from, doing things that make your partner’s life easier and nicer will affect both your lives in positive ways.
Being a hero in your relationship means that you try to foresee the needs of the one you love and you do your best to keep him or her from harm.
Remember to acknowledge the heroic actions of your partner; it will help inspire him or her to keep doing them. All that’s required is a thank you when your partner does something to assist you or goes out of his or her way to make a better life for both of you.
You are in this together, and being each other’s hero is a wonderful way to go through life.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychotherapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, the author of eight books and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with more than 28 million readers. He is available for video consults worldwide. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears Sundays and Tuesdays in the News-Press.