The last 18 months have not been kind to our relationships, particularly for those of us who have been living with our partners. Many of us know of a couple who have broken up during these challenging times. Being cooped up with our partners for days on end has resulted in us questioning whether we’re really meant to be together or wondering how we can reboot our relationships.
We’re all so different and the little habits of one person can easily get on the nerves of another, no matter how much you love them. It’s amazing how relationships can stagnate despite spending so much time together. It’s easy to become stuck in a rut when you least expect it.
With that in mind, in today’s blog we’re going to look at some tips that will help you reboot your relationship. Love is worth working at, so let’s explore some ways that you can reignite that spark and bring back that loving feeling.
It may seem contrary, but one of the best ways to keep your relationship fresh is to make sure that you keep your own passions and hobbies alive. Making sure that you have your own interests will allow you to stop relying on your partner to fulfil your happiness. No one is more responsible for your own feelings than yourself.
Relationships can easily become toxic if you start relying on your partner for everything. It can place an unnecessary strain on your relationship as being emotionally dependent is very different from wanting emotional support. If you have a problem or issue that you’re dealing with, don’t immediately look to your partner to solve it for you.
Be your own hero and try to solve things yourself first before asking for help. It will help reduce the pressure on your relationship so that you become a partner rather than a dependant. Emotional dependency is often a product of childhood insecurities. Rather than carrying these insecurities into our adult lives, it’s important to work on ourselves and seek the help we need rather than becoming dependant on our partners to fix us.
If your partner does something that regularly winds you up, then don’t ignore it. If we regularly turn a blind eye to the little things that annoy us, the irritation can easily turn to anger over time as the incidents continue to build up. Sparing their feelings can often lead to more pain later.
Instead, try talking to your partner. Open up to them and tell them about the way you are feeling. Let them know that you have an issue with their behaviour and explain how it makes you feel.
Be prepared to listen to their responses and understand that it’s not all about you either. They could have their own opinions about certain things that you do, too. It is only by talking and listening to each other’s issues that you can start to work on your problems together.
Lack of communication is the biggest blocker to intimacy in any relationship. If you have trouble communicating with each other and talking together does not fix it, then it may be time to seek couples’ counselling with a qualified professional who can help you to build the bridges that may have been broken in your relationship.
Express Gratitude for the Little Things
In a long term relationship, it’s not the grand gestures that bring a smile to our face. It’s the little, every day things that we do for each other. Whether it be your spouse taking out the rubbish without being asked to or making sure that they always buy your favourite snack when they go shopping, the small things matter because it shows that they care about you and your happiness is in their thoughts.
It’s amazing how we can take these little things for granted as time goes by. Don’t forget to show your appreciation every now and then. Express your gratitude so that they don’t feel taken for granted. Show them that you noticed and that you care. Relationships are all about partnership so make sure you express your appreciation for each other regularly.
Do Things Together
As well as having your own interests, it’s also important to make time for each other. Don’t fall into the solo Netflix trap. If you’re regularly binge watching a series in one room whilst they are watching a football match in another, then it’s time to find something that you can watch together!
Share a series, open a bottle of wine and enjoy it together. Then you can discuss it, comment on it and have a common viewing interest. Television watching has become the number one activity for most couples over the last 18 months so make sure that your viewing interests don’t pull you apart.
Now life is slowly returning to some version of normality, why not make some new memories together? Look for a new activity that you can both enjoy. If you’re both learning something new together, be it a new sport or hobby, then you’re both starting from scratch working on something new and building skills as a couple.
Date nights are also an important activity that we seem to forget about when we’ve been with our partner awhile. Set aside a night once a week or once a month and go out to see a movie or have dinner. Get dressed up and make it fancy. You could even take it in turns to cook for each other and turn your dining room into an intimate bistro.
Make time for each other and reignite that romantic excitement you both felt when you first started dating. Turn your phones off and talk. Relationships need attention so make sure you’re giving yourselves the time you need to make yours flourish.
If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it’s very easy for your sex life to stagnate. Whether you’re both tired from work, preoccupied with the children or just stuck in a routine, it can be easy for our sex lives to fall off a cliff after a couple of years. This is pretty normal so I wouldn’t let it worry you too much.
Rebuilding your intimacy and rekindling that passion can seem difficult at first but again, it’s all about the small gestures. Try injecting little moments of tenderness throughout your daily lives. Hold hands, kiss your partner goodbye in the morning, give them a back rub when they’re feeling stressed.
Little touches build intimacy and can be a good way to start rebooting your sex life rather than jumping straight into the pressure of trying to plan a sexy night in. Also, try sleeping naked together rather than pulling on that comfy pyjama top. You don’t have to do anything but removing the barrier of clothes can often be the first step in recapturing that sexual attraction that first ignited your relationship.
We hope that some of these tips will help you to start rebuilding your relationship with your partner. No relationship is ever without it’s ups and downs. Things can get stale if we let them. If you love your partner and want to stay with them forever then it takes work from both sides and a willingness to reignite that spark together.