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Why Your Expectations Sneak Up On You

By Relationship Basics No Comments

Expectations are like a measuring stick that we hold our reality up against. If they’re too high, you’re going to feel pretty disappointed in the state of things. Too low, and you might be settling for less than you should.

In the context of relationships, expectations play a huge role in how happy and satisfied you feel. But the process of learning how to manage them in a healthy way can come with its own set of growing pains. Why? What makes it so hard? Well, one reason is that oftentimes we don’t even realize we have them, or if we do, we don’t understand where they came from.

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Staying Curious

By Relationship Basics 11 Comments

Let’s call it what it is, life is tough right now.  We’re still trying to learn our new normal, adjust to working from home, figure out virtual visits, and experiencing a lot of change to our daily routine.  On top of all of that, we are trying to keep our relationships steady and maybe spending more time in our pajamas together.

I have to say, I am personally spending a large amount of time with my partner during the pandemic.  It’s hard to get together with friends or see family, outside of virtual visits.  Since nothing is open, we have been enjoying more movie nights or making dinner together.

With that being said, we are spending so much time together that I cannot lie, he is getting under my skin!

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Break Your Communication Barriers

By Relationship Basics 4 Comments

“If there’s an issue, make sure you always communicate,” they said.
“It’s the key to everything,” they said.

If only it were that simple. We’ll be the first to admit we’re big on emphasizing the importance of quality communication in your relationship. And it is important. It’s the foundation for staying connected, working through conflict, and the key to so many other aspects of your relationship. But as straightforward as that sounds, that very basic thing can actually be very difficult. You might feel like, “Oh geez, if we can’t even do the basics, where does that leave us?” That can be very discouraging.

Sometimes when we’re trying to work through a conflict or a contentious issue, things quickly devolve into an unproductive argument. Once again, nothing gets resolved. Why does this keep happening? There may be barriers preventing us from letting down our defenses and being vulnerable so that we can truly hear each other.

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Your Relationship Winterization Checklist

By Relationship Basics, Resilience 4 Comments

Here in Minnesota, we have to do something called “winterizing.” If you live in a region that gets cold in the winter, you probably know what this is, but if you live somewhere that’s warm year-round, you might be saying, “Huh?”

Winterizing is basically adapting or preparing something for use in the winter. For example, you might winterize your car by replacing the wiper blades, switching to snow tires, testing the battery, and making sure you have a winter emergency kit in tow. You winterize your house by checking your furnace, sealing up drafty window and doors, and putting away the patio furniture.

The idea is that you know a new season is coming, and you’re taking proactive measures to avoid ending up in a less-than-ideal situation, such as coming out to a dead car battery in a snowstorm or paying a sky-high gas bill because the heat is literally going right out the window.

Does your relationship need winterizing? Perhaps your “winter” is a new addition to the family, or a new career, or your kids entering a busier, more demanding stage of life. How can you take stock of your relationship and prepare it for what’s to come?

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The Key to Combating Relationship Complacency

By Connection, Relationship Basics 7 Comments

If you Google “quotes about complacency”, you will see many different iterations of the same idea — complacency is the enemy. Companies get complacent, and they begin to lose customers to their competitors. Employees get complacent, and they are shocked when they are passed over for promotions or are let go altogether.

Complacency slowly corrodes the motivation, desire, and potential for progress, improvement, change, growth, and ultimately success. Apply that to relationships, and… yikes.

The scary thing about complacency in relationships is that, by nature, it silently takes root and eats away at intimacy. You don’t notice it lurking because hey, things are “fine.” You’re both just busy with work, and the kids, and your separate hobbies, and any number of other things. Why rock the boat? Then one day you find yourselves standing on opposite sides of a Grand Canyon-sized chasm, wondering, “How did we get here?”

But that doesn’t have to be your fate. You can combat relationship complacency. How, you ask?

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How to Create “Feel Good” Habits in Your Marriage

By Connection 8 Comments

Everyone knows we should all be striving to create healthy habits in our daily lives, and we also know the struggle that can sometimes be. It’s hard! Habits are little behaviors, routines, or rituals we do on a regular basis – sometimes they just kind of happen over time, and other times we’ve worked to make it happen. In addition to the healthy habits we have, we also likely have some unhealthy ones that we try to break. That is also hard!

We most often think of habits when it comes to things like lifestyle: nutrition and exercise, or maybe even more relevant these days, work life, specifically productivity as so many of us have transitioned to working from home. However, there’s another part of life that can benefit from healthy habits – your relationships! And specifically, your marriage.

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5 Tips For Making Date Night A Reality

By Quality Time 5 Comments

A regular date night always sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? In theory, it seems easy enough to follow through on. But while some couples are great at making it a priority, others struggle to make it happen. There are just too many things that can get in the way (and that was even before this whole pandemic thing). Maybe it’s your season of life, or your jobs, or your finances. You’ll always be able to come up with reasons why a date night just isn’t in the cards this month.

But here’s the only reason you need for why it should be: your relationship is worth it.

Your relationship deserves, and benefits from, intentional time together. And we want to help make it easier for you. Here are 5 tips for making date night a reality.

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10 Tips For A More Balanced Relationship

By Connection, Quality Time, Relationship Basics 4 Comments

We all know that one couple that seems to do everything together. You know the one. They share every leisure activity, and rarely, if ever, does one partner make plans that don’t involve the other. Maybe you see this in your best friend’s relationship, maybe in a relative’s relationship, or maybe in your own!

Maintaining a sense of emotional closeness with your partner is important; it is one of the major pillars of a healthy intimate relationship. That being said, you can have too much of a good thing.

Here are some tips for achieving a healthy balance of “I” and “We”:

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5 Questions to Replace “How was your day?”

By Connection 15 Comments

When you finally get the chance to reunite and reconnect with your partner at the end of the day, what do you say?

“How was your day?”

There’s definitely nothing wrong with this question! It shows you’re interested in each other’s daily lives and can be a great way to start a more in-depth conversation. But when you both start asking the question mindlessly and responding with one-word answers, it might be time to say hey, we can do better!

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