When you and your partner have been together for a while, you can get quite comfortable with each other. This is something to look forward to!
When you know where you stand with your spouse, you reach a point where you understand each other on an intimate level. You can almost tell what the other person is thinking with no words spoken.
When your relationship has moved past the honeymoon phase, it’s important to assess if you are deepening your relationship or are actually stuck in a rut.
You’ve heard the term settling down with someone. While that isn’t a bad thing at all, it doesn’t exactly bring up thoughts of excitement or romance.
Registered psychologist and relationship expert, Mallory Becker says that finding your relationship in a rut is very common.
We have to be mindful in our relationships; she says, or they can lose their spark.
The Gottman Method for relationship therapy works with couples to build up the components of healthy relationships.
You need to think of your partnership as if it’s a living, breathing thing that will die without your care. It’s all too common to think you fall more into the comfortable versus settling camp, but ruts can be sneaky things.
Here are a few things to consider if you think it may be time to give your relationship a jolt:
Ways to Tell that You are in a Rut
You Have the Same Conversation Every Day
It’s important (and polite) to ask about each other’s day, but it’s key to ask more than only the basics.
Becker advises practicing curiosity with your partner to understand them on a deeper level.
This can mean following up basic questions like, how was your day at work? with more probing questions like – How did your boss’s comment make you feel?
Then actually listen to the response.
You Compare Your Relationship with Other Relationships
It’s very easy to look at how others’ relationships are portrayed and feel that yours is lacking.
Keep in mind though that Instagram, Facebook and social media in general are not a true representation of a couple’s reality. People love to post highlights and exaggerate experiences for an online audience.
Instead of looking at these relationships, look towards the ones that have stood the test of time. Seek to model the behaviours of those couples whose love has lasted through the ups and downs of life.
Chances are if you talk to them, they will tell you about the challenges they’ve faced in life.
They might also share the steps they had to take to keep the spark in their relationship.
You Talk to Other People More than Your Partner
This is a huge red flag that the intimacy in your relationship is fading.
When you find yourself confiding in others more than your partner, it is a sign that you need to make some changes.
The next time you are going through something that you need to talk to someone about, reach out to your partner.
Allow them the opportunity to hear you out and help you through whatever it is that you are going through.
Your Sex Life Has Become Boring or Predictable
The dreaded sexless marriage or partnership is something that everyone knows about, but wants to avoid.
How do you revive intimacy with your partner when you feel that the spark has gone out?
Think about what you know you want in your sex life. Communicate that with your partner and have a night where you make each other’s desires a priority.
Connecting with each other in new and exciting ways can make an established relationship seem fresh again.
You are Not Excited to Spend Time with Your Partner
If you are feeling this way, you must consider why it is that you do not want to spend time with your significant other.
Oftentimes, it is life that draws us apart and your partner is actually hoping for time with you.
If you consider the advice given here and try them out, you might be surprised. Your feelings may change from not wanting to spend time with your spouse, to looking forward to your next moment alone.
All couples want a good marriage, but in order to achieve that, they may want to apply this one piece of relationship advice: be curious about your spouse.
Human beings like routine. We like to be able to predict what is going to happen next; it allows us to know that we will be safe.
We like to go to the same coffee place each morning; we like to buy the same brands we are used to, and we get annoyed by the same behavior in our spouse.
Ways to Reconnect with Your Partner
1. Start by Recognizing When Your Partner Does Something Thoughtful or Kind
It’s human nature to want to be recognized and appreciated.
When you’re acknowledged for doing something or shown gratitude for your efforts, it makes you feel loved and valued.
For example, if your partner makes supper, does the dishes, pours you a coffee, etc.; – take the time to say thank you and let them know you appreciate it.
This simple action can make them feel like you are seeing them and value their efforts.
2. Try Something New Together
They say there is nothing new under the sun, but in the case of relationships, trying something new can be just the thing to reinvigorate your bond.
Whether you have children or not, taking time with just the two of you to try a new activity can bring some much needed energy back into your partnership.
There are lots of great options for date nights. You have many choices like sports or the arts or something adventurous.
Trying new things together can add a lot of fun and excitement to a relationship.
3. Set Aside Time for a Regular Date Night
Life can be overwhelmingly busy and it is a big part of why relationships can end up on the back burner.
Don’t get caught in this mistake!
You have to spend time connecting with each other, otherwise it can be too easy to grow apart.
A lot of people think that date nights need to be a big elaborate event – which isn’t true at all.
If you have kids, finding a babysitter can be a challenge and can put you off spending time with your love.
A date night can be as simple as a movie at home, with some quality one to one time afterwards.
It’s a matter of carving out time that is only for you and your partner. Time to spend together, reconnecting and enjoying each other’s company.
4. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
You are together for a reason, even if things are stagnant now. Something special brought you together.
Spend time together reminiscing, taking a trip back to when your relationship was fresh and new.
Remember the spark that brought you together. Relive old memories and use them as a basis to build new memories from.
Life can move people apart, but remembering how you started can bring you back together and make you stronger than ever.
5. Show Affection
This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s easy for it to get lost in the busyness of everyday life.
Take a page from how it used to be back at the start of your relationship.
You likely would pay each other compliments, you would take the time to hug and kiss each other, hold hands or have some form of physical contact when you are together.
Loving words and simple affection can bring the spark back in a major way that is often overlooked.
6. Meet with a Couples Counsellor
Reconnecting with your partner needs to be a top priority.
If you are looking to improve your relationship, sometimes the best way to do this is to schedule a session with a couples counsellor.
Having a licenced professional trained in relationship therapy can help you work through your differences and issues to get your partnership back on track.
Oftentimes having a neutral and safe space to talk can make communication flow a lot easier.