Fighting the Relationship Doldrums

You have met “the one”, you have moved in together and are relishing your ability to wake up every morning next to this amazing person. About a year has passed and you are comfortable in the relationship. This is when the real work starts!

The first few months of a relationship are wonderful. You have an amazing partner, you get to find out about their likes, dislikes, and everything in between. Now that you have a solid base of knowledge, how does one keep the relationship fresh? What do you talk about once you have gone over the basics, told them all of your stories and they have told you theirs? How many times can you discuss work, the weather, sports and politics?

Wait, if you aren’t discussing these things with your partner, this would be a good time to start. Ask your partner about their work, every day! Then ask them specific questions about it. For example, if they have an important review coming up, make sure to wish them good luck, forward them an article on how to ask for a raise, or give them a hug and whisper in their ear that you love them and think that they do an amazing job! One needs to take a real interest in their job; they spend at least eight hours a day there! Also, never accept an answer of “good” or “ok”. These answers are said in an attempt to get you to go away and usually hide something. Continue to ask, softly, about their specific tasks during the day. People will open up if they believe that you care and listen.

Now that you are communicating with them in a meaningful way, do something out of the ordinary! Take them to their favorite restaurant on a Tuesday or jump in the shower with them before work. Make an effort to do something that will make the day memorable for them! It is important to remember that you are doing this for your partner. So, if your partner likes dramatic documentaries or foreign films don’t take them to see the latest Jim Carrey version of “Dumb and Dumber, Too”. These simple acts are about doing something nice for your partner. Also, all of these acts are to be done without expecting anything in return. If you take your partner out to dinner at their favorite place, you do not have the right to mention it to them when you have an argument. You do thoughtful things in order to keep the relationship fresh, not as some sort of tally to keep score for use later on.

When it comes to sex, make an effort to please your partner. If your partner is always having to initiate sex, make a change and take the initiative. If the bedroom has become more of a routine, get things going earlier. When was the last time that you made out on the couch or in the car? When was the last time you teased your partner in public? Have you sent him or her a suggestive text or picture, lately? It is not a long life that kills you, it is the boredom and routine that ends your life. A great place to start is with a conversation about your sexual likes and dislikes. One must be open and honest. If you always wanted to try something, let them know. If they tell you something, keep an open mind. One of the worst reactions is one of absolute horror when your partner tells you about something that they would like to try. Start with something small and take baby steps. It is the attempts that people remember, not necessarily the results.

As a relationship grows, one needs to allow their partner to grow as well. Encourage them to get more education, a better job, or to start a business. Their growth, and your support of it, will help the relationship reach new levels. Don’t stunt their growth in the fears that they will outgrow you or the relationship. Finally, if one partner is growing, it is important for them to recognize that the relationship needs to grow. Discuss your personal goals and the goals that the two of you have together. Achieving goals and seeing the progress being made toward them is a fantastic way to deepen the relationship.

After the initial phase of any relationship, the real work begins. If the relationship is going to last, one must make daily efforts to help it grow. Step out of the everyday rut, make changes to the routine and take chances. Any relationship needs the opportunity to grow. Don’t plant a seed and then come back to it after neglecting it for six months to see the beautiful flower. Chances are that it will not have made any progress because you did nothing to nurture this beautiful flower.

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Originally published at afishtail.wordpress.com on January 29, 2016.