Let’s face it, we all have certain expectations of what a romantic relationship is supposed to look and feel like.
When we find ourselves entering new relationships, we get caught up in the swells of infatuation and sexual chemistry. We may even lose awareness of ourselves and the values we bring to the relationship, which can greatly impact it’s trajectory. How we speak to our partners, how much time we feel like we’re supposed to spend together, and even how often we have sex can get difficult to figure out.
We carry a lot of cultural baggage when it comes to relationships. And when two people decide to have one, all their baggage comes with them.
The reassuring news is, there are many relationship types that differ from the ones you typically see in movies. Improving your relationship is all about finding ways to communicate better with your partner, and strengthen your relationship on your own terms. Because this can seem like a daunting task, here are some not so obvious ways to improve any relationship.
Spend some time apart
While it may seem like a paradox, we can often strengthen our relationships by taking some time for ourselves. Hollywood would like us to believe that there is only way to “be” in relationships. Often, this fantasized perspective displays a deliriously happy couple who always sticks together. But some time apart is actually normal and healthy for every relationship. Taking some time for yourself to enjoy your own personal hobbies can rejuvenate your relationship and give you the opportunity to share your individual experiences with one another when you reunite.
Have a date night
This is a happening tried favored by many therapists, and probably of your friends too! Setting aside frequent date nights that work well for you and your partner can help you reconnect amidst the chaos of everyday life.
Focus on you
One of the best aspects of being in therapy is having the opportunity to have a personal space where you can learn your relational patterns, identify your triggers, and figure out the sore spots. In-depth personal exploration can make you a more informed lover and partner, who is capable of communicating his or her needs and desires, even when the relationship gets to feel a bit too heavy.
Take on new adventures or try something new
When you’re spending most of your time with your partner, it’s perfectly natural for things to get a little stale. With all the responsibilities of life (work, family, etc.) it can be easy to fall into the rut of the mundane. That’s why it is so important to step out of your comfort zone with your partner and embark on some new adventures. Consider embarking on a vacation to an exotic location together, or surprising your loved one with a special lunch during their long work day. Anything out of the ordinary will help reignite the spark and remind you of why you became a couple in the first place.
Learn to communicate more effectively
When frustration and stress take hold, it can be extremely difficult to communicate with your partner. If you find that you and your partner aren’t sharing as much with each other as you used, consider trying couples therapy as a way of strengthening the relationship. Not only will you and your partner gain more insight into each other’s emotional states, you will have the safety net provided by a couples therapist to help you express your feelings. This invaluable experience can have a significant and long term effect on your relationship.
If you’d like more in-depth guidance on the individual work that you can do, join us on Talkspace for a one-on-one consultation with an experienced therapist.
But remember, if you’re looking for ways to improve your relationship, strategies such as these can offer you a good place to start to build on the foundation that you and your partner already have.
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