Every relationship hits a rough patch at some point. Some couples go from those early days of wild romance and pheromones to getting a little too comfortable and taking each other for granted. Others end up fighting over things that never seemed to bother them before. If your relationship is experiencing some rockiness, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of ways to turn things around and recapture that earlier sense of intimacy with your partner.
Open the Lines of Communication
When you and your partner know that you’re having issues but avoid discussing them, all this ends up doing is creating more distance. Your relationship problems won’t go away on their own if you just pretend they don’t exist. It’s vital for both of you to sit down and talk about what’s going on, then work toward finding ways to handle your problems. Remember that relationships require compromise, so don’t expect to get your way. You’ll need to come up with solutions that both of you can commit to.
Set Rules on Disagreements
Arguing is the easy way to handle disagreements, but it’s not the healthiest one. If you and your partner don’t see eye to eye on certain issues and end up bickering about it, you’ll need to work on having calm and rational discussions instead. Resist the urge to start squabbling over a disagreement, and set some rules on how to deal with them. You should both agree to avoid heated arguments and plan on discussing your disagreement when you’re both feeling calmer. Make a rule that your discussion should only focus on your current disagreement. Don’t bring other issues or problems into it. Save those for another time. You should also agree to speak respectfully to each other and not stoop to making sarcastic comments or snide remarks during your discussions.
Rekindle Your Romance
It’s common for couples to lose sight of why they were drawn to each other in the first place. When you get caught up in day to day life and start taking your partner for granted, you might not remember how you felt about them when you first met. Try to recapture those emotions by thinking back to your early days together. Reflect on what you liked about them so much and why you wanted to be with them. Share these feelings with your partner by discussing them. Relive some of those earlier moments by going to the place where you first met or doing some of the activities you used to enjoy together, such as dancing or going for long walks.
Focus on the Positive
The longer you and your partner are together, the easier it becomes to start noticing all the things you don’t like about them. This is the opposite of the beginning of your relationship, when you mainly focused on the positive aspects of your partner. Instead of seeing your partner’s faults and flaws all the time, make an effort to focus more on the things you love about them. This will remind you of why you fell for them. It’s also important to remember that neither one of you is perfect. Learn to accept or at least overlook minor personality flaws, and your partner will do the same for you.
Start Dating Again
When was the last time you and your partner went out on an actual date together? If you’ve been together for awhile, and especially if you have kids, you might have forgotten what it was like to have a night out together. Make plans to enjoy a romantic dinner at a local restaurant, see a movie or do something you both find fun and exciting. Reliving the thrill of having dates to look forward to and getting to spend that quality time with your partner can go a long way toward helping you turn your relationship around.
The author Diana Oak is a relationship consultant and co-founder of LiveLoveLaw. You can tweet Diana for free advice: @MissLoveDoc