Relationships require hard work and commitment to be sustained for the long-term. Know that, no matter how solid your relationship is, there will be times when the two of you don’t agree and even drift apart. These challenges can even lead to deeper problems that cause the loss of intimacy and interest. Getting stuck in a relationship rut is certainly not an unusual experience and doesn’t mean it’s over or unfixable. In reality, tough times can bring opportunities to dig deeper and find common ground that you never knew existed. It can also give you a chance to spice things up and do things differently. Though every couple will have their own way of managing difficulties, here are a few of my top suggestions to get through relationship challenges.
Do Something New
Trying out something new together can be both exciting and fun. This is important, as not spending quality, fun time together is one of the main problems that relationship counselors hear when couples come to them. It’s important to find things to do that you both enjoy as well as activities that you can do in support of the other. For example, if your partner loves going to baseball games, and you love the museum, agree to do both as a compromise. Even small things like cooking together or watching a new TV show can add new things to talk about and enjoy.
I also recommend that you schedule date nights that can be simple at-home events or a night out on the town. Make sure you have no other responsibilities and can focus on each other for a designated time. These alone times can also help you to revamp some intimacy and communication in and out of the bedroom.
See a Counselor
There’s no shame in seeking outside help when your relationship needs a boost. It can be helpful to have an outside opinion or a mediator if you struggle to communicate openly. You can opt for general couples counseling or select a specific topic like sexual issues counselling to bring new tools and information to the table. However, you both have to be willing to commit to the process and do what the counselor recommends. Remember, it’s easy to feel good and accomplished when someone is guiding you, but you won’t have that crutch once you leave the counselor’s office.
Take Some “Me” Time
Being in a relationship is about working as a team, but it’s also important to be your own person. If you’re stuck in a rut, it might be partly because you’re spending too much time together and not taking care of yourself. Be mindful of what other interests and relationships you have in addition to your primary relationship. These things help keep you fulfilled and stimulated in your life. Whether it’s going out with friends, relaxing at home on your own, or hitting the gym, make sure to give yourself ample time to spread your individual wings and be more than one half of a couple. Encourage your partner to do the same on a regular basis. Trust me, you’ll have much more to talk about and share with each other when you do come together for couple time.
Work Toward a Common Goal
Teaming up to reach a common goal can help to stimulate a sluggish relationship because it creates unity and the need to communicate effectively. This is especially true if the goal is a mutually beneficial project like owning a new home or creating a beautiful garden. I recommend things like setting a lifestyle goal like getting fit, improving your diet, or expanding your friendship circle. If you are feeling really adventurous, how about starting a small business together?
Getting through relationship challenges can be tricky and even difficult. That said, the work is worth it if you can restore and even improve the romance, trust, joy, fun, and magic you both truly want. Give it some time and try some of these things or come up with unique ways to celebrate and honor each other.