September 27, 2022

Strategies for Rekindling Connection in Your Romantic Relationship.

It’s true that relationships go through phases depending on many factors, but we need to make sure that we aren’t accepting stagnancy and lack of connection as a new normal. One of the most common complaints we hear in marriage counseling sessions is that partners are taking each other for granted and lacking healthy boundaries. This can often be a more minor warning sign before some of the more challenging problems even arise. 

When you began your relationship, it’s likely that you prioritized time with each other, noticed the ways your partner was communicating their care, complimented one another on those unique characteristics that drew you to them, and enjoyed sharing a wide variety of life experiences together. You probably even tried to do special things to make their day brighter. These are important ways that people bond and develop their relationship.

Over time, couples often become busy with work, kids, friends, hobbies, and additional responsibilities. They might be dealing with the challenges of life including various illnesses, exhaustion, frustrations, grief, and other stressors. It can be a comfort to depend on the trust you’ve previously established with your partner, knowing that you’re both in it together and usually working towards common goals. However, when we put the relationship on autopilot too much of the time, we will eventually feel the effects of taking each other for granted. It’s important to continue feeding the relationship all of the things it needs to thrive.

Think of it like a houseplant. What that plant needs is quite basic. Each one is somewhat different and has unique preferences, so we need to know what those are. If we neglect the plant, it will begin to show signs that it isn’t doing well. If we aren’t even looking at the plant to see those signs, that’s when we run into trouble because it’s inevitable that the plant will not survive if the lack of care continues. 

This is one of those problems that we don’t always notice right away and isn’t usually something we do consciously or with malicious intent. If you notice this to be an issue in your relationship, one of the best ways to overcome it is to acknowledge that you feel a lack of connection and communicate with your partner that you miss them and want to do what you can to develop the relationship more. Pay attention to what your loved one says, what frustrates them, and what makes them feel special. Give your brain a creative assignment, and brainstorm something you could try daily, weekly, and monthly to feed your relationship what it needs. 

These can be simple things, such as:

  • Bringing each other coffee in bed in the morning
  • Leaving thoughtful notes to make them feel seen
  • Asking them to tag along on an errand to have some time together
  • Putting your phone down when they’re talking to you and remember to maintain eye contact
  • Reach out for physical contact to show affection
  • Thank them for doing something you appreciate
  • Offer to help them with a task they don’t enjoy

The options are endless and once you begin noticing your partner again, you might be surprised at the renewal of your feelings of love for that person and even an excitement that your relationship can be fun and lighthearted like it once was if you take the opportunity to make it so.

If you’re reading this thinking that you’d like to experience closeness in your relationship again but don’t know how to start, please reach out to Panahi Counseling and we will pair you with a therapist who can help.

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