This week, I’ve talked in my blog post about how relationships change over time, and often do so in an unnoticeable way. And then some day, it’s like you wake up and don’t recognize your own relationship anymore. Don’t let that happen!
Look at the following questions and answer them. If you find you are not where you’d like to be, focus on that area for the next week and actively try to make some improvements.
If you find that your relationship could use some attention in more than one of those areas (that’s totally possible, don’t panic!), begin by choosing just one area to concentrate on. Then next week, or whenever you feel the time is right, you can move on to the next area. Don’t set your goals too high or you’ll set yourself up for failure!
1. Are you still putting your partner first?
Do you know when your partner is going through a challenge at work or experiences challenges in another area of their life? Are you prepared to drop other things and help? Do you often find that you cancel lunches or dates with your partner because other things come up? If you do, make your partner your first priority this week!
2. Do you appreciate your partner as a person?
List ten things you love about your partner. Quickly 😉
How did it go? If you have trouble finding things you appreciate about your partner, think back to what you liked about them when you started dating. Do they still have these qualities, or have they developed new ones you really like? Take a moment to appreciate the good sides of your partner and tell them so!
3. Do you love your partner just as they are?
What are your partner’s habits that really annoy you? Is there a chance they’ll be able to change, or is that not going to happen? If they’re not going to change but there is a habit that seriously bothers you, reevaluate. Is there something you can change to make things easier on you? How can you come to terms with the habit, or can you even start to love your partner’s quirks (just like you may have in the beginning)?
4. Are you talking frequently and in a meaningful way with each other?
Do you still spend time engaged in meaningful conversation? Or are you basically two roommates who inhabit the same place but do not have much to say to each other? If you find you have nothing to talk about, check out the conversation starters here.
5. Do you spend time together on a regular basis (doing something you both enjoy)?
Do you and your partner have an activity you enjoy doing together? If not, is there anything you would enjoy doing together? Try to find something you both like - you could take regular walks together or embark on a journey to explore your town’s restaurants to find new favorites.
It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. For example, the time Bob and I really look forward to is watching a movie together in the evening after the kids go to bed. We rarely make it longer than 15 to 20 minutes because we are so tired, but we both enjoy cuddling up on the sofa together and having some time to ourselves.
6. Does each of you have the freedom to develop their own interests?
Does each of you have a hobby, or the freedom to meet with friends from time to time? If you’re a happier person, your relationship will benefit as well. If you don’t have a hobby to pursue and feel like you need some time for yourself, use this week to think about what you’d like to do. Likewise, give your partner the freedom to have some “me-time” in whatever way fulfills them.
Good luck in your quest! As always, let us know if you have any questions and share with us how things went!