All relationships need an overhaul now and again. With day-to-day pressures it’s easy to let romance slide, and before you know it that connection between you is lost. Recover that loving feeling and make your relationship shiny new for 2018.
- Reminding yourself of the good times
REMEMBER HOW IT USED TO BE
Things change over time. Job and family pressures, children and mortgages – these all take your focus away from that loving feeling. Of course, practical things need attention and managing life together is all part of what the two of you have to do. But it isn’t, and it will never be the whole story.
Consciously bring to mind the way it was when you met. Talk to your partner about this. What was wonderful about it? How did it feel meeting, falling in love and making plans?
You are still the same people, you can still recreate this if you both make a commitment.
ADDRESS MAJOR PROBLEMS
Nothing eats away at love as much as resentment. You may have suppressed certain negative thoughts in order to maintain harmony. Maybe you avoid rows because you’re too tired, or despair of ever finding a solution. However, if there is anger in your heart it will drive out the more positive emotions.
Arrange a time when you will talk about these matters. Each of you must promise to:
- Not to accuse, judge or condemn
- To be committed to finding a way forward
It may be that you can’t reach total agreement, but that’s not necessarily the most important outcome. What matters is that you both feel heard and understood. Hurt often fades when you receive empathy.
Make notes on your meeting, however formal that sounds. You may need a record of what you decided, even if it wasn’t anything definite. Then you can pick this up when you have your next ‘meeting’ and maybe take it further.
Commit to having a discussion like this once a month, to keep that dialogue going.
HAVE FUN TOGETHER
Arrange times when you can have a laugh and maybe do some silly things that you used to enjoy. In the past you may have had more time and ‘fun’ may have flowed. But spontaneity can be over-rated! Unless you book time to enjoy, the days and weeks can go by and all you do is plain old same old.
So put that date in the diary and make it a priority. You may be pleasantly surprised at the creative ideas that occur to you both as a result.
TURN OFF THE TELLY
At the end of the day it’s easy to collapse on the sofa and do very little all evening. This can mean that you hardly talk to your partner. Many couples also have a television in the bedroom, meaning there is still little attention for each other.
Don’t press that remote unless you have discussed it and there is something you both want to watch. As for the bedroom, the rules of Feng Shui (Chinese system of creating positive energies in your home) do not encourage screens in the bedroom, so get rid of it and think of your bedroom as a place for two things only – sleeping and making love.
Similar rules apply to your smartphones. There must be times when you put them down and switch them off. Shut off all the demands and think only of each other.
SHARE YOUR SPIRITUALITY
Spirituality can have different shades of meaning, according to what you believe. It is not the same as religion, or faith. It is a sense of the true meaning of life and what lies beyond it. ‘Spirituality’ may be as fluid as a simple wish to explore the nature of reality, or realising you feel good when helping others.
Even if one of you has a definite religion and the other is a disbeliever, you can still find common ground. What brings you both satisfaction outside yourselves? For instance, you might want to help your neighbor because your religion teaches this, while your partner might just want to create harmony. But that doesn’t matter. If you do meaningful actions together it will bring you closer.
With spiritual matters, words can be hard to find. Often discussion doesn’t get you very far, because underneath the real motivation is a ‘feeling’ of belonging, of being part of something greater than yourselves. So don’t question too deeply. Just create something good between you.
BE GRATEFUL – AND SAY SO!
Taking your partner for granted erodes a relationship. Instead of doing this, focus on all the qualities – good to amazing – that your dear one displays. Then make sure you tell them about it. Even say ‘Thank you’ if that seems right.
Buy your partner thoughtful gifts, even if this is only a bar of chocolate or a magazine. Pay them compliments and make them feel really valued. If your partner blossoms then so will the relationship.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Now you have some information and suggestions for renewing your relationship this year. You can remind yourself how things used to be, address major problems, have fun, turn off the telly, share spirituality and show gratitude. All of these will truly renew your relationship, but sometimes problems can be too deep to respond to such an approach. If so, you need expert and insightful advice, so call our team of Readers without delay and give your partnership the best chance in 2018.
PUBLISHED: 01 December 2017