I hear a lot of people talking about how they get “stuck” in relationships. Not stuck as in they want to leave their partner and can’t but that they feel their relationship has peaked and they can’t seem to move forward. The feeling doesn’t have to be dramatic and could be as minuscule as just not feeling the honeymoon phase AS much. I am in no way, shape, or form, an expert at relationships (look at my track record for proof) but I feel like there are certain things that you can do to get that “stuck” feeling to stick somewhere else. Below are five tips on what works for my relationship:
- Time. As relationships evolve, and you become more of a WE as opposed to a ME, things in your daily routines are going to change as well. Maybe one of you (or both) have switched jobs? Maybe a new hobby has been found? Or maybe one of you is just super busy at work? Either way you don’t feel like you are spending as much quality time together, and let’s face it, those days of cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie are over. You both end up falling asleep within minutes and the kinks in your back from sleeping on the couch only get worse with age and don’t seem worth it anymore. My advice to you is…… 10 minutes. 10 minutes a day can do wonders for a relationship. No talking, no cell phones, no kids FOR 10 MINUTES. Jump in bed with your partner (especially if you are on different sleep schedules like my S/O and I) and wrap your arms around each other. Position doesn’t matter whether you do big spoon/little spoon, chest to chest, the “perfect circle”, etc., as long as you take 10 minutes to just breathe. This will make you feel grounded with your partner and it will make all the little things in the world that are going wrong just fade away. You will feel connected again.
- Do something nice. At the beginning of relationships EVERYONE wants to make an impression on their potential mate. Whether that means buying their favorite candy on the way over to their house “just because” or grabbing them a drink from the fridge while you are up during a movie. You find yourself doing little things for your S/O just to be nice but at a certain point in your relationship you stop doing those things. You look back and realize you haven’t bought them candy in months or you find yourself sitting back down on the couch with your own stuff and are left empty handed when it comes to them. You not only realize your side of things is lacking but so is theirs. How to change this? Start over when it comes to the little things. Buy that candy bar you know they love, grab that soda out of the fridge for them, throw their bath towel in the dryer while they are showering so they can have a nice and toasty cotton hug at the end of a long warm shower. *Hint hint Michael* I promise that if your partner is worth their salt than when you start making these changes, so will they and you both will learn to love again.
- Chores. Okay so let’s be real for a second and say that no one on God’s green earth likes doing chores. They are the epitome of evil. One damper in a relationship is when one or both partners stop doing their share of the devils work. Either the trash is over flowing or the animal hair on the floor is starting to look like additional pets running around, something needs to change. Who said that only one person can work on a certain chore at a time? Why not work together to get the house squeaky clean? You sweep, he mops. You pick up the floor, he clears off the flat surfaces that seem like a catch all. It’s a partnership for a reason. No one person should have to carry the load. Not only will you feel more appreciated when they help but it’s also more time together. Nothing says bonding moment like scrubbing a dirty, stinky, grungy bathroom clean TOGETHER.
- What’s for dinner? One thing that I have noticed when it comes to my own relationship is that I spend a decent amount of time in the kitchen cooking a meal while my S/O is in another room doing something else. Some times it’s nice to have that alone time in my own domain and to be the ruler of the kitchen without the questioning of a male but most of the time I just want to be around Michael. So how do I change that? We cook together. He can barely boil water and I can feed an army a four course meal in less than an hour but when we both get into the kitchen together it is nothing but fun. We pick a meal or recipe that neither of us has done before and give it our best shot. This can sometimes start little arguments (because neither one of us can be wrong) but those are easily squashed after a few taste tests that go awry and land on the other’s face. So cook a meal together, kill a bottle of wine, and learn to learn with each other again. You learned so many new things when you first started dating and it’s time to get that back. If you don’t have the time or patience to cook together than start making detours to show them love. If you are cooking than take a break and find them in the house just for a quick kiss. If they are cooking than pop in and out of the kitchen just to wrap your arms around them while they are hard at work. They will appreciate the random caresses and you will enjoy them as well.
- Arguments shmarguments. It’s no secret that couples fight. With some couples the whole neighborhood knows that they fight like starving lions going at each other over a dead antelope in the hot sun. There really are no tricks to avoiding arguments but there is one major trick that I have found works (FOR ME) during those pesky petty arguments. You’ve heard of the saying “Don’t go to bed angry” right? Well I live by that. The only issue is some problems you can’t just talk out and everything will be fine. So then what do I do when talking is going no where? I feel. Literally. I look my S/O in the eyes and take a deep breath. I feel the air go in and out of my lungs and I pause for a few seconds. I think about our relationship and whether the clothes on the floor next to the laundry basket is worth the damage that the argument is doing to us. If it’s not, then I give him a hug. Not a church hug from the side but a full contact, chest to chest, no room for even Jesus in between, kind of hug. And I just hold him. I breathe and I hold him. 9/10 times no matter how angry or irritated he is, he will start hugging back. Hold each other for as long as it takes to make the anger and fight seep right out of you both. Obviously this technique isn’t going to work for major problems but the petty little day to day arguments will get nipped in the butt real quick. After you hug it out for a few minutes then take a seat on the couch and try to talk about it again except this time, hold hands. It’s hard to get worked up when you don’t have your hands winding you up while you’re talking. (You know what I’m talking about ladies! We love to talk with our hands)
So that’s my advice. It’s not the best but it works for me. Anytime I’m feeling a little disconnected I ponder back on these tips and tricks and determine if I can change anything to get back to where my relationship was. I love my guy and I love our relationship but no two relationships are the same. Take my advice and see if it works for you. If not? Sorry Charlie but I tried. I hope you enjoyed my first blog post, feel free to share with your friends!