In the modern age, it’s easy to get swept up in the daily grind and distractions of life. These can be overwhelming, but the strength and support that comes from a loving and committed relationship may make them less so. When you feel at ease around your spouse or partner, you are able to relax and enjoy downtime together and navigate the trials and tribulations in life, knowing your partner “has your back.”
However, challenges can surface when partners become so comfortable in their connection that growth and change, both individually and as a couple, no longer happen. If you have been in a long-term relationship, it’s not hard to forget how critical the “getting to know you” phase was. You became a couple because you genuinely liked and chose to commit to each other. However, neither of you is the same person you were when you met and got to know one another. You are older, and likely wiser, and your life together has become much more nuanced.
Here are some practical ways for you and your partner to strengthen your marriage or relationship and how to give things a kickstart when you have fallen into a routine:
Go on dates again
When your relationship was new, you continually discovered details about each other. You found reasons to connect and explored your similarities and differences. Partner dating is an intentional action taken where the two of you are alone, without the distraction of children, friends, and coworkers. Do this by scheduling a recurring “date night” and committing to keeping it. You will likely have to skip work obligations, let the household chores slide a bit, or hire a babysitter. Then, make this time special, separate, and unique (it doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate).
Ask each other questions
People in long-term relationships often stop asking questions. Perhaps you feel like you know everything about your partner already. However, most likely, you don’t. As each of you evolves over time, keep the conversation active. Ask questions about how their day was and how work went. Ask what they read about recently or what they listened to. Ask what they dream about the most or what they anticipate the future holds. The minutiae of daily life can even drown out big picture topics. So, ask questions, respond honestly, and keep challenging one another to keep doing this.
See a couples counselor together
Considering couples counseling in Reston, VA does not necessarily signal that your relationship is in trouble. The two of you can sit down in a relaxed and neutral setting with a couples’ counselor from an experienced practice like Lindsey Hoskins & Associates as a way for you and your partner to invigorate your relationship. At a couples counseling session, both of you commit to spending this time together exploring your relationship. You agree to be open and honest. All the while, you are working with someone who can help you to communicate and reconnect.