Ah, spring. Those first few warm days where people feel the urge to open the windows, dust away the cobwebs, and deep clean the grime that has accumulated over the winter. Relationships can benefit from a regular “clean up” as well, or in this context it could be more of a “check in.” Whether it’s once a year on your anniversary or as often as a weekly or monthly date night, make a point to touch base with each other on the state of your relationship. Here are some things you might have on your task list:
Dates are harder to make happen than we’d like to admit. There’s the challenge of prioritizing it enough to get it on the calendar, and then actually figuring out all the details and logistics, like finding a sitter.
Another challenge is deciding what to actually do! If you’ve been with your partner for any length of time, you know that dates can easily feel redundant and routine. You make the time to connect, but what if that connection time just feels like a rinse-and-repeat from the week prior? How can you spice up those dates you work so hard incorporate in your marriage?
Do something different! That’s the easiest way to make dates feel like something special and exciting. But we get it – thinking of date ideas is like adding one more task to that list of things you have to do to make it happen. Good news! We’ve got 25 date ideas for you – conveniently categorized into five different types to try!
Is it just us or does the statement, “Don’t get so defensive!” seem to have the same effect as when someone tells you, “Just try to relax!”
In other words, it makes you feel the opposite of what’s intended – more defensive, less relaxed.
Unfortunately, defensiveness can be a catalyst for negative communication patterns. It can make it hard to talk through issues and be open, authentic, and vulnerable with each other.
Sometimes our defensiveness is our own doing, and sometimes it’s just a natural response to protect ourselves if we’re feeling attacked or exposed. And that’s why if we want to decrease defensiveness, it’s not just one person that needs to put in the effort – it’s a two-way street.
“New year, new you.” The saying has become pretty ubiquitous, but the idea of a new calendar year signaling a fresh start is hard to deny. The problem with the phrase is that it insinuates that you need to change completely, but hey, you might really like what you have going on! And the same goes for your relationship. You might not need a complete relationship overhaul, but perhaps there is room for a “refresh” in areas that have begun to feel mundane or routine. Similar to the burst of motivation and energy you get when you rearrange or reorganize your office, your relationship can be energized as well!
Here are five ways to inject some “new” into your “same old.”
Longing for self-improvement or achievement is an all too familiar feeling we seem to get around this time of year. We look forward to what’s to come and think that something magical will happen on January 1st to boost us up with energy to hit new milestones. These goals we set for ourselves can be sourced from all aspects of life. We want to eat healthier and exercise more. We want to be more present with our families and less connected to our smart phones. We want to achieve more at work and secure that promotion. It’s natural to want to get better and the marking of a new year feels like a natural time to set those goals.
However, we’ve also all likely felt the devastation of realizing we made nearly zero progress towards a goal once we’re about six or so weeks into the new year. The novelty of a new routine has worn off or the challenge of trying something different has just become really hard, so we cut ourselves some slack on the goal. We lower what we’re reaching for, push out the timeline we set, or we just give up entirely.
Why is this? You start to wonder. I’m capable, I have the desire, why do I stall out when the work to get there feels mundane or difficult?
Does it feel like “What are you doing for the holidays?” is a loaded question this year? You’re not alone. Whether you’re doing the usual or changing up your plans, there’s bound to be some stress and strain making its way into your psyche – and maybe your relationship. Here are four “C’s” to help avoid unnecessary stress and strain between you and your partner.
It’s that time of year. The time of year where most people fall into one of two camps: the “I’ve already finished my holiday shopping” camp, or the “What are you talking about, I’ve got a whole month” camp.
All joking aside, the holidays can be stressful, and this year is definitely no exception. Maybe your partner is hard to buy for, or maybe they’re not. Maybe you love the task of finding the perfect gift for them or maybe it’s a struggle. Perhaps money is tight this year, or you just want to do things differently (it’s 2020 after all). Wherever you’re at, here are four “gift” ideas that will strengthen your relationship (and don’t have to cost a lot of money).
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?
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.
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”: