Do You Feel More Like Roommates Than a Couple? Learn How to Reconnect With Your Partner
Has the relationship between you and your partner become routine and stale? Do you seem to be merely co-existing? Now is the time to do something about it!
Although each relationship is unique, some common signs emerge when things go stale: feelings of separation or loneliness, an unfulfilling connection, a lack of communication, unproductive routines, and festering disagreements are among them.
It takes effort to bridge or overcome these pitfalls once they have developed. They won’t go away if ignored or left alone. Here are some things you can do to breathe some life into your relationship and learn how to reconnect with your partner, the one you fell in love with long ago.
Be generous with signs of affection. It could be a smile, a hug, or a kiss. Where kisses are concerned, a quick peck is okay, but when was the last time you shared a deep, passionate kiss—the kind you used to enjoy in your earlier days together? Dr. John Gottman, marriage and relationship expert suggests embracing in a six second kiss as a part of reconnecting with your partner. Try it!
Your love life is part of life, too. When your love life goes stale, part of your life has gone stale. Start slowly finding ways to reconnect with one another physically. Ask your partner what he/she would like and dedicate some time together. Start small with cuddling before bed, a back rub, or plan an intimate night together. It helps you connect on many levels.
Take Time for Yourself
Any marriage or life partnership is composed of two individual people. Together they’re a couple, but they’re still individuals. It’s important for each party of a couple to maintain his and her identities. Time spent working on hobbies, watching sports with friends, or attending a book club may help you develop your individuality.
Most couples benefit from time spent apart. Make an effort to cultivate relationships with friends and family. They help you maintain your identity. If nothing else, the time spent away from your partner will give you something to talk about when you’re together again.
Do you spend all of your time together just hanging out? Hanging out is okay, of course, but if all you do when you hang out is watch TV or read, you aren’t engaging each other in any meaningful way. That can drain the energy out of a relationship in a hurry.
If you’re going to be home together, challenge your partner to a game of Scrabble. Pull a new recipe from the internet and make dinner together. Have some friends over with a plan to eat dinner, play Catch Phrase (ever played it?—it’s a great time!), or play a card game.
You’ve heard it all before: it’s about listening. Why do you keep hearing that? Because you’re not listening! However, while good listening can’t be over-rated, it’s only half of the communication equation. Your partner isn’t a mind reader. If something is wrong and you don’t speak up, or if you beat around the bush with cryptic communications, don’t expect a desirable response.
You don’t have to be curt or terse, but be clear and direct about what’s bugging you or what needs you have. If you leave it unsaid or unclear, you are inviting the problem to fester. That’s certainly not going to help your effort to reconnect.
Do Something New Together
When you experience something new and novel, you retain impressions and memories of the experience (some more than others). You remember who you were with. You remember the situational humor or humorous reactions to the unknown. Experiencing new things together is a great way to freshen old bonds.
You could go to a new restaurant together. Or take in the new museum exhibit. Try a new kind of food or a new dish. If you are more adventurous, maybe you could go mountain climbing, deep-sea diving, or learn to surf together.
While doing something new will help provide new bonding opportunities, doing something that used to make you both happy is good, too. Sometimes revisiting the good old times does wonders to freshen up bonds, too.
Practice Connection and Communication with Your Partner
If you’re looking to deepen or revive the connection with your partner, it’s never too early to meet with a couples therapist. Too often, people come to couples counseling when there are deep problems that have gone on for far too long. Rather, when things start to stagnate or you notice difficulties in communication patterns couples counseling can be a great resource. Think of couples therapy as an educational tool not a crisis management tool. Just as you might want to improve your tennis serve or professional skills, we can all benefit from learning more about how we communicate and connect. In fact, we probably receive the least amount of practical education in those areas. Think of your relationship as something that needs routine maintenance.
The Marriage Refresher Course Workbook for Couples provides an opportunity for you and your spouse to benefit from learning the basics of strong, connected marriages, no matter how long you’ve been married. If marriage disconnection is an issue for you, this can be a helpful tool to get you back on track together. This can be a great resource to bring in with you to couples therapy. Click here to view more details.
The Premarital Counseling Workbook for Couples is designed to help you embark on marriage with a strong relationship skill set. We encourage you to strengthen your relationship foundation BEFORE you tie the knot – to pack your toolbox for the inherent ups and downs of life. This can provide insight for discussion in premarital counseling. Click here to view more details.
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