Maybe things haven’t been as good as they should be. One or both of you has neglected the relationship or behaved in a way that’s upset the other. Or perhaps you just want to inject some energy into the mix, rediscovering what brought you together or finding fresh interests to share. Your partner can be your lover, but to make a new beginning, do some groundwork.
OFF WITH THE OLD
Be clear about what hasn’t been right and agree about this. Ensure that you both want to make changes, that you are both willing to put in some effort.
• If one of you has been hurt, perhaps by infidelity or some other form of betrayal, be sure that you can put this behind you and start with a blank slate. Suppressed bitterness can sabotage the best plans.
• If either of you has a specific issue, such as drinking too much or getting into debt, that needs to be sorted independently of the partnership. Make sure the commitment is in place.
• If there’s something one of you does that the other truly can’t stand, such as continually moaning, driving carelessly or having poor hygiene, this needs to be resolved. Thinking you’ll put up and shut up is not starting anew – it’s reinforcing an old habit of simmering, and it’s not a basis for growth.
• Get rid of bad reminders such as photos, garments, ornaments. Rearrange your furniture – you may even consider moving house.
• Identify parts of your routine that need to be changed. Slobbing out on the sofa, watching stale telly, hunching over your mobiles doing the thumb tango – such habits need looking at.
• Get agreement on shared tasks. Neither person should have to do all the chores. They don’t necessarily have to be divided down the middle – maybe one of you is contributing more in other ways. But both of you should be happy with the arrangement.
• Agree on a code-word that either of you can say if the other brings up some aspect of the past that you’ve put to bed. After this code-word has been said, have five minutes silent think time while you assess the matter. This can prevent arguments and let you cool off.
ON WITH THE NEW
That fresh start wont just happen. You need to put some goals into place, and it will take a while before these become second nature. However, just doing something new and absorbing together will have an amazing knock-on effect.
• Have an in-depth talk about your interests and see if there is something you share. Maybe you never realized your squeeze was into history, was worried about the environment or had always dreamed of owning an Afghan hound. You may find a new passion to share if you talk about this.
• What are your dreams and ambitions for the future? Love isn’t gazing into each other’s eyes – it’s looking ahead at the same goals. Having a shared project is a wonderful way to cement your partnership and go forward in step together.
• Exercise together, even if this is just a twenty minute walk. The feel-good factor and fitness benefits will be a terrific bonus.
• Set aside half an hour each week to review progress. You can treat this like a committee meeting if you want – after all, a relationship is to some extent a contract and/or business arrangement. You each want to get certain things from the partnership – how is this going? Has either of you slipped up? What can you do to sort this out and get back on track?
• If you argue, make a pact that you won’t bring up the past. That should have been sorted (see the previous section). Stick to the issues in hand and resolve them. Work out a plan for the future.
• Put plans in writing if you like and pin them to a notice-board. This will keep your shared objectives in the forefront of your minds.
• If you don’t have a pet, consider getting one. As long as your background issues are settled, caring for a creature together forms a lovely bond, as you each see the tender aspects of the other’s personality. And pets are great at healing and dissolving tension.
Sometimes however hard you try, relationship issues seem impossible. Maybe you’re confused and hurt, unable to see how this can change or be understood by your other half. But help is at hand. Relationship advice and dating advice are available with a few clicks, when you contact us at The Circle. Find support with your love issues, get your relationship horoscope or benefit from psychic insight. There’s no need to cope with your anxieties alone – put in a call today
PUBLISHED: 26 January 2015