Okay! It’s time to get serious!
If your friends could watch the behind-the-scenes footage of your relationship, would they still think you are the perfect couple?
Perhaps it’s time to reboot your relationship; to bring some excitement back into it – remember how you both felt about each other when you were first together?
Often relationships tend toward a slow fade. By that I mean that the more and the longer you are together, one partner (sometimes both) begins to take the other for granted. What you take for granted… disappears. You have become a married single. You are still together and when you awake together in the morning, neither partner seems to really be emotionally there for the other. Your relationship is in a funk. That’s not quite what you signed up for. Right?
Here are a few thoughts to focus on that might help you both get back on track. I suggest that you print two copies of this article, both find a quiet spot, put some of your favorite music on in the background, and each read the article and then share some of what hit you between the eyes. Then make time to offer some new promises to do and be differently in your relationship.
1. Pay attention. Part of being together is remembering to be “aware” of your partner. You are in each others lives and you need to acknowledge that paying attention to your partner shouldn’t only happen when something has gone sideways. It’s time for you to really BE in your partner’s life. Notice things. Notice when a family member needs a word of praise instead of another problem to fix. Look for the good. Catch them doing something right and show your love and affection in words and deeds. Be inspired by the wonderful things you share. Enthusiasm for your relationship is contagious.
2. Demonstrate your sensitivity. Remember to keep special days and anniversaries in your family at the top your list. Send a special card to to surprise your partner – not an e-mail or text… U.S. Post Office delivered. Put a “Love” stamp on it. Listen attentively when your partner is speaking. No distractions… it’s your “partner” speaking. Be a sensitive and committed listener. Be sensitive to your partner’s needs – even if you don’t understand. Part of being sensitive is to allow your partner to fully express their feelings without judgement and sometimes without any response but a warm and tender hug.
3. Plan PlayDates. Take the lead and offer some ideas – even if you are always the one to do this. Once you’ve had a great time together, talk about doing this more often and let your partner know that next time is their time to shine. Having a social life together and taking care of yourself aren’t mutually exclusive. Activities together bring the best kind of balance to your crazy awesome life. PlayDates can breathe some energy into your relationship. Believe the magic you share. Have more fun. Fun is about spontaneity. Fun finds us when it wants to and our job is to be ready for it. The couples that play together, stay together.
“To be able to row with the flow, you must be fully present in the current moment. When you are replaying the past in your head or projecting a possible future in your mind, you cannot fully experience what’s going on right here and right now.” – Steven Lane Taylor
4. Be completely present. Leo Babauta once said, “If you are completely present, external forces are no longer a problem, because there is only you and that external force, in this moment, and not a million other things you need to worry about.” Social media and other digital distractions don’t interrupt us if we close them out and learn to pour ourselves completely into the present task of being present in our relationship. It becomes more a mode of being rather than a task on your to-do or someday list. Relationships should be worked on “all the time,” not only when they are broken and need to be fixed. The practice of noticing more is how we get more present and mindful.
5. Have meaningful conversations. Some of the couples I have coached have shared that they only seem to talk about things that need their attention. Your relationship demands your attention and the best way to give it is to converse. Actually speak to each other. A kiss or a hug from your partner when you come home can help change a bad day to something better. When your partner comes home, give him/her at least 30 minutes to adjust from the days work to being home. After that quick time lapse you might ask, “What’s the best thing that happened to you today?” You might be surprised at the answer, and at least you are talking. Have no withheld communication. Ask each other questions to learn more about each other. Question the answers. “Tell me something about you that I don’t know?” The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask each other. Stop talking about things that don’t matter. Express your hopes and dreams. Learn to talk about anything and everything – that is relevant to your relationship – all the time, in the most loving way possible. Talk. Listen. Talk. Listen.
6. Healthy is beautiful. Get your fitness buzz on together. Take a hike. Eat nutritious food. Work out, together. Live at full volume. Throw a party. Less sugar. More fruit. Less meat. More vegetables. Less soda. More water. Less driving. More walking. Less worry. More sleep. Less words. More action. Healthy is the new beauty. Be active. … And travel the “healthy is beautiful” road together.
“Losing weight doesn’t start with diet or exercise. It starts with believing that you deserve to be healthy.” ~ Dr. Phil McGraw
7. Upgrade your naughty. Be intimate often. When you were new lovers, you talked a lot and sex was easy. Introduce some new sexy to your intimacy. It will help you to never be bored in bed. Say (out loud) what you like and what you would rather not do. Flirt. Phone sex can be fun, too. Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you. Open a dialogue about what really turns the both of you on but do not do it while you are in the middle of making Love. Talk. Listen, etc. Have morning sex. “That’ll get your day started!!” Light some candles. Get tangled up together. Take turns giving each other a warm luxurious massage. Silliness is a great way to be vulnerable with one another. That silliness communicates intimacy and closeness. Physical agility can be helpful too, but emotional flexibility will really improve your sex life. The longer you and your partner are together, the more you need options. Agree to have an occasional quickie every now and then.
“Upping the kink factor in your relationship can actually be a great way for those of us who are more vanilla to break out of shells and experiment with something new. It can also be a way of feeling closer to our partner.” ~ Author Unknown
8. Laff a lot. Wear your best smile. It looks good on you. Smiling communicates a feeling of well being and it is also contagious. Wearing a genuine smile will truly capture your partner’s attention. Express your sense of humor. Laugh together. One couple I coached told me that the make it a point to tell each other a joke everyday – her one day, him the next. When you laugh together, no matter what is going on, things just seem a little less troublesome. People who laugh a lot are much healthier than those who don’t. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones, and strengthens the immune system. It elevates your mood. Laugh a lot, and when you’re older, all your wrinkles will be in the right places. 😉
9. Show off your best self. Be your best self. Be glamourous. Be kind. Be happy – it’s a choice, you know. Looking your best self means figuring out what’s attractive about you and and choosing to show that side to your partner and the world. When you look great, you feel great. Improve your posture. Stand erect. Don’t slouch. Wear clothes that fit. Take care of your skin. No matter what you’re wearing, if your skin looks dull and dry you won’t be showing the world your best self. Be aware of how you are being.
10. Be good at being different. Different is good so don’t try so hard to fit in. Forge your own path. If you follow the crowd, you disappear in it. Go for goose bumps. Trying something new and exciting on a regular basis goes a long way in breaking the monotony and turning the heat back up in your relationship. Explore your differences and search for more things that you and your partner have in common. Common ground can be found in music, sports or a passion for what is new and trendy or very traditional. Often you need to meet in the middle. Do something with your partner that you would rather not do. For example, if he likes to go fishing and you don’t, make a deal with him. You will go fishing with him and next time he will do something that you like to do and he doesn’t. The point is being together… together.
Just going through the motions on autopilot quickly zaps the energy and joy out of relationships. Follow these rebooting ideas and they will take your relationship from Ho-Hum To Woo-HOO!
Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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