Have you ever heard of the book ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson? It’s one of my all time favourite self-help books that I re-read every year or so.
It isn’t a problem if you haven’t read it… since I’m about to summarize the whole book into one sentence.
The basic premise of The Slight Edge is that…
Small, simple things done consistently over an extended period of time leads to success… and those same small, simple things ignored consistently over a long period of time leads to failure.
Not only does doing these small, simple things lead to greater results, the results also compound over time and they become exponentially greater because of the momentum that naturally builds from those actions having been done.
This concept applies to your health, wealth, and relationships.
If you eat an unhealthy meal today, it won’t give you an instant heart attack. But if you eat bad food every day for months, years, or decades, it will absolutely harm your health.
If you put in less effort into your work today, it won’t deplete your bank account overnight. But if you half-ass it in your career every day for years, it will negatively impact your trajectory in terms of wealth, self-esteem, and the respect of others.
Now, on to the juicy stuff.
How To Use The Slight Edge Model To Improve Your Relationship
If you’ve read this far, then that means that you likely either 1) agree with the underlying concept of the slight edge, or 2) are curious to see how it can help you in your relationship.
The positive effects of the slight edge compound and grow over time, and I believe (I’m clearly biased) that this shows itself the most in our intimate relationships. By putting this mindset into practice, we can either build a thriving intimate relationship where you feel deeply connected to your significant other, or you can lead your path to a passion-less relationship, divorce or the dissolving of your partnership.
So how do you put the magical effects of the slight edge in your favour when it comes to your love life?
What Are Specific Things You Can Do To Have The Slight Edge Work For You In Your Relationship?
There are an infinite number of things you can do to improve your relationship in small, actionable steps. These are some of my favourite categories. Pick whatever is most relevant for you and your partner.
Squeeze their bum while they’re doing the dishes. Come up behind them and wrap your arms around them. Kiss each others genital’s goodnight. And good morning. Why the hell not?
Whatever makes sense to you and your partner, think about it, talk about it, and incorporate it into your regular habits.
Have sex. Talk about your sex life. Be honest and vulnerable in your communication and in your sexual intimacy. Ask for what you want. Put sex in the calendar. Make sex the priority that it deserves to be.
Praise and Appreciation
Tell your partner what you love about them often. And do it with sincerity. Tell them what you find attractive about them. Tell them what you love about their mind. Tell them how grateful you about what they bring to your life. Leave them love letters. Consistently let them know how special they are to you.
Whether it’s verb or written praise, a gift, a shared experience/vacation, or any other number of ways that you show your love, regularly incorporate small romantic gestures into your relationship. Not sure where to start? Start here.
Plan Dates, Adventures, and Shared Experiences
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and begin to see your partner as your business associate that just always happen to have around (especially if you live together). People bond through new shared experiences. Put date nights in your calendar. Plan fun outings. Get your heart rate up as you both do that new thing you’ve always wanted to try out. Not sure where to start for these kinds of plans? Check this out.
It’s so easy to let your communication habits slip in a relationship. Tiny little frustrations, fights, and resentments can get buried beneath the years of micro-denials. And while you certainly don’t need to hash out every single discrepancy between you in order to have a healthy relationship, it’s good to be able to go deep in your communication on a regular basis. Want some general questions to go deep with? Use these. Want to have a real, soul bearing chat about your sex life? Then this article is for you.
I’m a strong believer in connect first, communicate second.
Sometimes it’s too difficult to chat when you’re both feeling defensive or triggered. By physically, emotionally, or spiritually grounding with each other first, and then communicating about whatever you may or may not need to discuss, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches throughout the course of your relationship. Want a few connection exercises to get you both started? Here are six of my favourites.
Inch By Inch, Love’s A Cinch
Remember, the momentum of the baby steps will lead your relationship to where it needs to go. There’s no rush. Just make sure you’re putting in your little efforts as often as you can.
And if the concept of the book appeals to you and you want to read more, you can read it on paperback here and Kindle here.
Dedicated to your success,