It’s no secret that relationships require work; all the best ones do. This work doesn’t have to be a grueling process, though. Give yourself a relationship refresh and maintain a healthy, productive connection with your partner.
Perfect your communication skills
Okay, so there’s no such thing as achieving perfection, but we all know that practice helps you get closer to it.
Communication is one of the most vital aspects of any relationship. Because everyone has a different style of communication, it’s also the aspect that many people struggle with the most. It’s important to remember that communication is a two-way street. Some researchers even believe that listening is the key principle of communication and understanding. While it’s certainly vital that you express your needs to your partner, it’s even more important that you maintain strong, ongoing understanding of what they need from you.
When you and your partner both prioritize each other, you’ll have more harmony and balance in your relationship.
Try something new
Many couples get into a relationship rut because they’ve been stuck in the same routine for months, or even years. The longer that you and your partner have been together, the more likely you are to experience this type of relational boredom.
Of course, there are many benefits to creating a routine, stability and security are good. But, like everything else in life, you can have too much of a good thing. To break your cycle of routine, suggest something new and adventurous to your partner. These changes don’t have to be drastic, even the little things add up.
For example, instead of going to dinner at your favorite spot, try that new eclectic restaurant that just opened up. Another good way to seek a relationship refresh is to do something that you’re both interested in but haven’t tried before. Volunteer at an animal shelter together or take up rock climbing. Whatever you try, make the most of exploring your mutual interests with one another.
Get in tune with one another’s love maps
In John Gottman’s studies, he expresses the importance of building “love maps”. A love map is essentially an internal web you create that examines everything important to your partner. This web contains small information tidbits such as your partner’s favorite ice cream flavor, to bigger information like your partner’s religious beliefs or life aspirations.
You create this map over the course of time, but with relational distance. You may find your own map has become smaller. For a relationship refresh, communicate with your partner to update your love map frequently.
Date each other
As mentioned above, the longer you’re in a relationship, the more inclined you are to develop a routine. Responsibilities and everyday routine may prevent you from engaging in the activities you once did at the start of your relationship. It’s important that you continue to grow and enjoy your relationship over time.
Take measures to restore and relish some of the excitement you experienced at the beginning of your life together. For example, instead of staying in to order pizza on Friday nights, go for a night out. Date your partner with the anticipation and excitement you once enjoyed.
Balance “me time” with “together time”
A healthy relationship involves a balance of independence and togetherness. Being in a loving relationship doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to spend every waking hour with your partner. Spend time alone or with your own group of friends as a means of keeping time with your partner novel and fresh.
In order to be the best version of yourself and contribute to a happy relationship, make time to recharge. Many couples make the mistake of spending too much time together and become bored or codependent. This makes for an unhealthy relationship down the road.
It’s a common misconception that couples counseling is only for couples who are experiencing relationship problems. They view counseling as a last resort and often don’t give it any consideration until things are heading south. In truth, any relationship can benefit from couples counseling, even the healthiest and happiest ones. In couples counseling, you’ll get to know both yourself and your partner better. You’ll work on improving your communication skills as well as taking preventative measures to tackle potential problems.