Relationships (like individuals) die if they don’t grow and for those of you reading this that have been with your partner for more than a few years, will know that the relationship goes through cycles of growth and death. Keeping the ‘spice’ alive in the relationship is not always easy and the key is how do we have more growth than death?
Having been with my partner for 18 years we have been through our fair share of cycles and I am 100% convinced that these 5 tips have kept our relationship alive and growing and able to weather any storm life throws at us. Before I get into it I want to put a disclaimer out there, that you probably already know these tips, this isn’t rocket science, you just might have forgotten about them and other things have become more important, right?
So let’s get started!
# 1 – Have a designated time together each week.
Sounds simple right! Well it actually isn’t. Most of us have busy lifestyles and we try to jam in as much as possible into our weeks. Sometimes the thing that goes to the wayside is spending time with the one we love the most. This time that you plan to spend together has to be quality time – what does that mean? Time alone with just you two, doing an activity -preferably one where there is connection between the two of you and PHONES AWAY! The one strategy I love to get people to implement, is to sit down on a Sunday and plan your individual weeks together. That way you know what time there is to be able to spend time together and there can be no miscommunications.
#2 - Have time without each other.
I know this might sound like a contradiction from point number one, but it is vital for the sake of your relationship that you spend time doing things without your partner. Do not mesh into one human (Trust me, I have been there and it isn’t fun). Remember not to lose who you are and what you love – your partner fell in love with you for those very reasons. So, after prioritising time with your partner, prioritise time without them and encourage them to do the same.
#3 - Be open to admitting you are wrong!
This might be a bitter pill to swallow so take a breath! I know first-hand this can be difficult because how do you ‘win’ an argument if you are wrong. Well, you can be right or you can be happy. When you are in the middle of an argument take a time out card and step away. Think about the way you have been communicating – What has your tone been like? What language have you been using? What non-verbal communication have you been displaying? The art of arguing is a whole other topic, but what most couples forget when they are arguing is it is both of you against the issue (or world) and not you against each other. So, walk back to your partner and apologise for what you have done wrong without thinking about what you think they have done wrong – stop justifying your actions.
#4 –Don’t lose the FUN and PLAY in the relationship.
There was a time in my relationship when I was under the false pretence that if I wasn’t serious in our relationship majority of the time that the relationship wasn’t serious. Luckily, I have a very playful husband that was persistent in having fun, but back to point 3, I could have continued thinking that I was right in being serious or I admit I have been wrong and try a new way! Every couple should be laughing (out loud) at LEAST once a week. I would prefer it if you were laughing every day but not everyone can be as silly as me! Try having fun in the middle of an argument, it will certainly break the ice and you will probably forget about what the argument was about.
#5 – Try new things
Think about it, if you had the same routine and did the same things all the time, what does that = BOREDOM! And that is not good for any relationship. We are so lucky now to live in a world that offers us endless opportunities, so continue to try new things! A great technique that I get couples to try if they are stuck in a bit of a rut is called “Fishbowl” – Each person writes down 5 things that they would love to do on individual bits of paper. You then scrunch up each piece and add to a bowl. Then each week, fortnight or month (depending on how adventurous you are). You pick out one of those bits of paper and you try the thing written on it. This way each person gets to try something new that they want to do and both parties get a go at their choice of activity.
As I said above these tips are not rocket science but they are relationship saving tips, and please don’t wait till your relationship is on the rocks to implement them. Pick one to implement and then move onto the next, try them out, see how they feel. After all you are the author of your own life and your own relationship and you get the chance every single day to rewrite the narrative.
Beck Thompson is the founder and leader of The Relationship Circle – A relationship coaching service for single women and couples who want to experience the most out of their relationships now or in the future. Beck has over 10 years in the coaching and counselling space and loves the s**t out of LOVE. She is passionate, friendly and fun.
Phone – 0415 885 437
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org