Keeping a relationship interesting and making it last isn’t always easy. Relationships are hard work. and Communication and honesty are key ingredients for a relationship to thrive. Too many couples begin to take each other for granted and lose the excitement of a strong relationship. It is shocking to know that many couples today are not having fun nor are they having sex, and these couples include the Millennial generation! When you reach a difficult period in your relationship, couples counselling in Vancouver can help you.
The goal for a lasting relationship is to make the relationship a priority – that is to make your partner a priority and work continually at strengthening your relationship. Yes, life is busy and full of challenges. However, having a relationship that is front and center makes every day a lot easier.
Here are 6 tips that could help you and your partner strengthen your relationship.
1. Take care of yourself first
Every adult individual is responsible for their own overall health. It is paramount that you take care of yourself. You are responsible for your own happiness. A strong relationship will enhance your happiness but no one person should be responsible for making you happy. Therefore, find work that you enjoy, maintain your health, have a few friends, have an outlet (yoga, choir, volleyball). It is imperative that you set time aside so that you can relax and rejuvenate. Sometimes you might need a long run and another time you may need quiet time in a hammock. Do your best to maintain a balanced life.
2. Be Positive & Give Some Compliments
Mundane everyday life can dampen the spark and excitement between you and your partner. We can fall into “life is a grind” mentality and ooze negativity which can fuel criticism or sarcastic remarks. It takes 20 positive statements to recover from one negative one. So take some time to think about it and give your partner or spouse a feel-good compliment. Compliment the new hairstyle, the dinner, the eyes. Small acts of kindness are key for keeping the sparks flying.
3. Touch Each Other & Make Love
Touch is a basic human need. Revive the spark by touching each other as you did at the beginning of the relationship. Kiss your partner randomly when s/he is least expecting it, hold hands in public, hug, plan time for intimacy. Flirt with your partner. Even in busy households with kids everywhere sometimes flirting on Monday starts the process to make sure there is lovemaking by Friday.
To deepen the love and intimacy, it is important to build a friendship through support, trust, and making time to chat about how your day went or how you feel, without distractions like phones or laptops.
4. Be an Active Listener
When you are listening to your partner express their emotions, really listen. Don’t try to jump in with solutions, interruptions or advice. Most of the time when we are having a conversation with someone, we are thinking of what to say next. Learn to become present and focused on what the other is saying. Hear it from their point of view. Don’t judge, be curious to understand more. Summarize what they are saying, confirm with nods and eye contact. Most of the time all our partner really needs is our presence and to feel like we really heard them.
5. Speak Up
Be vocal. Don’t assume your partner knows what you want. If you want roses for your birthday – tell him. He is not a mind reader. If you would like your partner to attend one of your hockey games then ask her to and let her know that it is important for you that she be there. If your partner gives you a choice, give an answer. Do not say “ it doesn’t matter” or You don’t care”. Care – if given a choice, give a decisive answer.
6. Be the Change & Fight Fair
Instead of pointing the finger at your partner when something goes wrong or an argument arises, be the change you want to see. It can be tempting to blame the other person when you feel unhappy or upset about a situation. Take a time out and then come back and listen to your partner’s point of view. Find a way to solve the issue together. Using “I statements” with open and clear communication is paramount. There can be many solutions to a problem. Be smart about when you choose to have serious talks that could potentially escalate.
Conflict is part of every relationship. The goal is to find the joy in conflict resolution. Conflict is an opportunity to resolve an issue. It doesn’t always have to be resolved your way. Don’t stay stuck in the blame game. Such negativity is stressful on the relationship and on each other.
If you feel you need help in tackling the issues that are troubling your relationship, couples counselling in Vancouver might be of service to you. Please get in contact with me to learn more about how I work. We can set up an initial consultation at no charge to see if we are a good fit for improving your relationship.