Like most things in life, relationships go through cycles. There are periods where you can be all in, rushing to get home just to sit on the couch and watch reruns of The Office while eating homemade popcorn with your partner. Some periods involve spending more time with friends and then taking a few hours out of the day to cook dinner with your significant other. Other times, let’s be honest, things can get a little grey. You fall into a routine and things just feel different.
I’m not talking about arguments that spark every few weeks, which I think is a separate conversation, but it’s like the feeling you get when you eat your favorite food every day. It still tastes amazing, but it’s different now. So, with a relationship how do you keep that same energy as when you took the first bite that got you hooked? The answer is never simple. But relationships are work right?
Pray for them. Nothing brings things into perspective better than prayer. Taking the time to examine my relationship always reminds me of the blessing I have in the first place. If you don’t know where to start just thank God for the positives in your relationship and go from there. Ask Him for clarity in the areas where you both struggle. Pray for growth. If all else fails, try one of these prayers.
Write down why you’re grateful for them. I have a daily gratitude journal that can become redundant at times. I try to break the usual mold of what I’m journaling and list at least one thing that I didn’t write down the day before. Do the same thing for your partner. Even if you’re only writing down one thing each day, take a few minutes to mentally evaluate why that one thing is something that you appreciate in your significant other.
Journal found at: Etsy
Take time to love yourself. I’ll say it again for the people in the back. TAKE SOME TIME TO LOVE YOURSELF! It’s so easy, especially when you live together, to become a girlfriend or wife or life partner and forget that you are also a daughter, friend, sibling, individual, etc. A healthy relationship combines two functioning individuals to create a beautiful union. So take the time to love yourself and see how much your relationship improves. Transparency alert: I’ve started going to therapy, yoga and the gym on a regular basis which has changed my perspective as I start to better understand myself and what I bring to my relationship. Still a work in progress, but progress nonetheless.
Plan. If time is an obstacle, sometimes you need to plan your relationship out. There’s a misconception that once you have to plan and schedule things in your relationship it becomes boring. So the solution to that is don’t plan boring stuff. Think like a child and remember what you liked to do before you were afraid to be vulnerable. Plan the date, plan your outfit, just plan and make it thoughtful.
Handle with care. My favorite podcast discussed treating yourself with the compassion you would give to a six year old and I think we should do that with our romantic relationships as well. Your relationship is a growing being that you have to be patient and understanding with. You have to take the time to understand why things are playing out the way they are. Meaning, you have to take the time to listen to its woes and provide solutions. And like dealing with a kid, when you notice a pattern of behavior that isn’t the norm or conducive to a healthy relationship you have to take the time to understand what’s gone wrong without judgement or condemnation.