Has Your Relationship Gone Stale? — How to Stop Taking Each Other for Granted
When you have a good thing going in a relationship, things start humming along. Nothing is taken for granted.Certain patterns get established, certain behaviors become expected, and certain priorities start to feel less vital and more flexible and postponable… and well, before you know it, you and your partner realize that the time you use to take for each other has given way to taking each other for granted.But you needn’t worry. You can fix this before resentment takes hold and drives a wedge between you. Stale relationships can be refreshed. Let’s look at some key strategies for doing just that:
How to Stop Taking Each Other for Granted
1. Revisit responsibilities: Keep loving service in mind
When things interrupt everyday responsibilities at home or in the family, you might need to look at the situation. Do you rely too heavily on the expectations you have of each other? Mix up the chores and really share the work. Remind each other that you’re there for each other in all things, toilet bowls and trash day included.
2. Touch and tease: Connect physically all day
Bring back the PDA of your early relationship. Public displays of affection refresh that sense that you belong to each other. Reinforce your connection all day long. Affection also signals to others that you’re together and sets clear, protective boundaries around your union.
Touch each other, as you pass in a room. Hold hands, when you walk side by side everywhere. Kiss more, linger when you say hello and goodbye. Really enjoy being close physically and emotionally.
3. Revive intimacy: Bring back regular affection, fun, and a few fantasies
Refuse to waste perfectly good nights, romantic weekends, and vacations not having a wonderfully intimate time. Why not make love with a few new tricks?
4. Review your loyalties: Make sure you put each other first and everybody knows it
To keep your relationship strong, let the other people in your lives know that your relationship has your loyalty. Your partner’s needs should return to the top spot on your to do list.
Run errands, return work emails, and put your kids to bed early enough to leave time for you to spend time together every evening. Make your obligations wait when it’s couple time.
5. Find time and pay attention: Go on dates, create adventure, stay curious
The happiest couples are curious couples. Keep making plans with each other. To do this best, check-in with each other. Ask questions and make mental notes. Notice which preference, dreams, and desires have changed and which preserve some dedicated time.
Plan regular dates and honor them. Do the things you enjoy together. Sign up for a few fresh experiences. Make memories.
Most of all, silence your phone and really share your feelings. Undivided attention is the first thing to go on the path to taking each other for granted. Too often it’s too easy to assume we know all about each other and forget to stay curious and connect on a deeper level.
6. Take a relationship vacation: Fuel fondness with time away
You may find a little distance makes a difference in the way you perceive each other. When the person you love isn’t always in your peripheral vision or traveling through your world in a predictable way, it forces you to notice the role they play in your life. You may find that you miss that morning coffee she pours in the morning. You may realize you really cherish that snoring on the other side of the bed. When you reunite, you’ll see each other with fresh eyes and a surge of fondness.
7. Appreciate, reciprocate, celebrate: Show how much you value each other often
Things can get stale when you forget that your relationship is mutual. Balance matters. Both of you need to feel valued and part of a lasting, loving union.
Regardless of how stable your connection feels or seems, be sure to do the following:
- Say thank you often.
- Find ways to be generous and helpful.
- Celebrate each other privately and publicly.
- Cheer your partner on and champion the things that matter to them.
- Be proud to be seen together and brag about each other to others
All in all, remember that your healthy relationship is too important to put on hiatus. If you haven’t protected your relationship from the drift that comes with taking each other for granted, commit to change. Make the most of your moments. Refresh and renew the way you think about each other and communicate your desire to make the most of your relationship intentionally.
If you’re living in the Houston, Texas, area, why not pick up the phone and contact our office at 832-559-2622. Couples therapy is a great way to find ways to reconnect with your partner before resentments build. Couples therapy doesn’t mean you have a problem, but rather that you are taking steps to deepen your connection with one another and preserve your relationship.
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