When stress and the busyness of everyday life creep into your relationship, you may notice less and less time for attention and affection in your relationship. This dynamic takes you and your partner down a lonely and disconnected relationship path. After all, it's the complete opposite of where you started at the beginning of your romantic love.
You may have spent hours and hours on dates looking at them with nothing but love in your eyes. Or, you heaped love and appreciation by phone calls and text messages when they were at work. You may have felt very enchanted with your partner and hoped they would become your person to live out your hopes, dreams and create a life together. You know that phase - Romantic Love.
Then, you entered the next phase...
You became a committed couple. You felt more secure and unconsciously wanted to rejoin the world and behave like "normal" people. Suddenly, upon waking back up from the romance coma, you are grabbed by all the things in life you need to do. You may even discover that you need to catch back up and focus on your issues and your own life once again. At least a little more. Right?
As your day-to-day life continues, that's when the stressors start to creep back into life. You begin to forget a little more about making sure your partner feels loved or special by receiving your time, attention, and affection. Then, it slides even further, and the neglect settles into the relationship.
Rest assured, this is all normal. It's expected that once you feel safe, you can go out and slay dragons. After all, you can't live in the romantic phase in a heightened state of intense romance forever. Instead, that romantic phase becomes a place we return to and revisit with our partner in special moments together, date nights, or fantastic vacations and getaways. The key is to remember to prioritize your relationship and share special moments.
So, here are a few tips to help you hit the refresh button on your relationship.
Three Tips To Reboot Your Relationship and Prioritize Love Again:
Tip #1: Be Open To Bids For Connection In Your Relationship.
Be open to your partner's bids for connection. It may not always be the right time or place, and you may even be thinking about something else from work or the kids. However, when you focus on the positive, your partner still wants to connect with you, even after years. That way, you can lessen the immediate defensive posture if you aren't 100% where your partner is when trying to connect.
Learning to pause in those moments when you want to become defensive because you aren't quite ready or didn't expect to connect you and your partner have good feelings between you.
Tip #2: Small Daily Gestures In Your Relationship.
Focus mindful attention on the beautiful gifts of the small daily gestures. These small acts of love are just like putting money in the bank — all those moments add to feelings of an abundance of love, fun, and support. You may even want to increase this in your relationship and add a daily loving gesture quota with your partner with small gestures like:
Share a little touch as you walk by
Share a look of love in your eyes.
Share a hug for no reason.
Purchase their favorite frozen yogurt or ice cream
Purchase a gift for no reason
Cook their favorite meal after a long drive home
By focusing attention on the small daily gestures and learning to be less defensive when your partner wants to connect, you are continually adding money to your relationship bank account. Be mindful about looking for the positives in your partner instead of focusing on the negatives or what they aren't doing.
Tip #3: Give Thanks In Your Relationship.
Ok, we couldn't help ourselves. It is the time of the year to give thanks. There's an old adage (actually based on physics and true) that energy follows attention. What you focus on expands in your mind and your life.
Might we suggest writing down the items you appreciate and feel grateful about in your partner? It's helpful even to reread your appreciation list every day.
It's even helpful to give that appreciation list to your partner as a gift during the Holiday Season. Your partner may even relish this list, and it can become the most delicious part of the Holidays.
There will always be stress or schedules in your life, but working together with good communication, active listening, sharing appreciation, focusing on gratitude, and prioritizing the relationship is key to having a long-lasting and healthy love.
Reboot your relationship! When you do, you'll both enjoy the rewards of more joy and love and even have an abundant relationship savings account too!
If you're struggling in your relationship, we're here to help. Check out our virtual and in-person Imago Relationships Workshops and Imago Relationships Therapy.