Rejuvenating a Relationship
In a long term relationship, it takes a lot of two sided effort to make it last. Any relationship will have its own fair share of ups and downs, but sometimes it’s the plateaus that are the hardest. Sometimes in a relationship we reach a point of complacency. Sure, there isn’t any drama, but the relationship might’ve lost its shine, its sparkle. Getting that back doesn’t happen overnight, but can still be ignited in an instant.
Get to Know Each Other
Over the years, people change. Life happens, our preferences develop, priorities might shift, habits are born or die. All these things can change who we are and affect our relationship with our significant other. One day you might wake up and realize the person you’re in a relationship with is different than the one you started of with. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, as you probably changed too. What is important, is that you recognize these changes and take the time to stay in touch and get to know the person you are with, otherwise it can start to feel like you’re in a relationship with a stranger. Just like you keep in touch with a dear friend who might live away, keep in touch with your significant other. Notice when they do something new, be interested in their life, ask questions, and play an active not passive role in noticing even the smallest changes in their life, while also showing them the changes in yours.
Two Way Courting
Courting is not a phase of the beginning of a relationship, rather it can be a practice sustained for the duration of one. When you were courting, you probably tried to put your best foot forward and made an extra effort. Sure, courting was also exhausting. Courting does not need to be constant or grand, but it doesn’t need to be sparse or worse, extinct. What did you do when courting in those earlier days? Recognize that courting is not the responsibility of just one person. Maybe the early courtship days started off one-sided, but it does not need to be that way. You now have the advantage of knowing the preferences, likes, dislikes, and favorites of your loved one. When courting after many years together, there is less second guessing and you might be able to take more liberties and act with more confidence, knowing this is something your significant other appreciates and enjoys. Sometimes, you will find that courting can start a positive ripple effect. It might not seem like a big deal to do your hair or ask your spouse out on a date instead of saying, “hey I wanted to see the new movie,” but it can make a difference.
Just like a car needs a tune up or you see your doctor for an annual checkup, your relationship may need a little outside help. There is no shame in seeing a marriage and family counselor. More people should take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to have professional help. This can be especially helpful if a relationship is struggling with a hardship. It can be beneficial in rejuvenating your relationship, to have a neutral third person that is non-judgmental and confidential.