Are you not making time for romance with your partner? If you answered and unequivocal “yes,” then you might be in a stagnant relationship.
But, what do you need to do to get those feelings of butterflies back into the relationship?
The longer you are in a relationship, the more likely you will feel settled. However, that contentment leads quickly to stagnation if you fail to carefully tend to your needs and those of your spouse.
A relationship is somewhat like growing a flower. When it’s a newly sprouted seed, we tend to watch out for its needs, carefully watering it and keeping it free of pests and weeds. As it shoots towards the sun and develops a budding flower, we feel proud of our efforts and bask in the prospect of a flower. We enjoy it in full bloom. Then, though, those petals begin to wither. The plant needs our care to repeat that cycle in perpetuity.
But what about your love life? Do you expel that same level of intense energy cultivating it? Most of us do not. And so, when the petals wither so to speak, we let them drop to the earth, untended. The very roots of your relationship can grow weary from lack of care.
But, you’re not alone. This stagnation is a rather common problem. In fact, six out of ten adults reported to Psychology Today that they felt stuck in relationships that don’t satisfy them in a survey. Furthermore, of those six people surveyed, four consider ending their relationship altogether.
Naturally, the best cure is prevention but, seeming as though that ship has sailed, let us skip to the steps you can take to nourish your relationship so that you can renew that growth.
Four Ways to Deal With A Stagnant Relationship
1) Talk it out
This point might be more painful for men because of their masculine feelings of pride. However, women might also get hurt by thinking they are no longer attractive to or loved by their chosen mate. When in a suitable environment, you must conduct an open, honest discussion respectfully. Both parties should spend the time to speak and listen in equal measure.
The key to this is not just listening. It lies in hearing everything your loved one has to share with genuine interest.
The Ten Commandments of Listening
Here are the ten commandments for active listening, as suggested by Herbert G. Lingren, in the article Listening– With Your Heart As Well As Your Ears in Stronger Marriage:
- Stop talking.
- Put the speaker at ease. Assure your partner that you will not hold the discussion over their head like a weapon–and mean it!
- Pay attention to the nonverbal language. Body language and eye cues are essential, here.
- Listen to what is not said. Sometimes the unspoken words are the most telling.
- Know precisely what the other person is saying. Restate what she or he says to ensure that you understand their meaning clearly.
- Be aware of “tune out” words. Those phrases or words will strike an emotional chord.
- Concentrate on “hidden” emotional messages.
- Be patient.
- Don’t interrupt the speaker.
- Hold your temper! You might experience hurt feelings, but this is not the time for you to respond with emotions.
- Empathize with the speaker.
Don’t be afraid to request to hold this conversation with your loved one. The chances are pretty good that he or she recognizes the need to talk about these things, too.
2) Help each other – and be consistent with it
When was the last time you offered to fill her tank up with fuel, fellas? Ladies, when was the last time you bought him something to help with his hobby? If your answer is the 3rd of never, you really ought to at least consider it.
Having a support system at home increases appreciation and affection. Indeed, it shows that you care about all the things in your partner’s head and heart. Reach out! Do not just sit there going through the motions, be there, and stick at it.
Here is a humdinger from Dehli’s Deepak Chopra:
“Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone.”
3) Recovery from the pain of a stagnant relationship
Plainly put, past pains powerfully place plight, passionately persuade partner positivity. Do you want it stated another way? Of course, you do.
Alright then, let Chopra take the floor once more with another pearl of Karmic relationship wisdom:
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”
Even if you have had the mother of all arguments, always let the past exit your system and move on in the relationship together. As we all know like attracts like. Therefore, if you offer forgiveness to your partner for their wrongs, he or she will forgive yours.
4) Rekindle the flames of your love
“No fire, no heat… no heat, no life. That’s, that’s the equation,” said Marlon Brando’s character, the psychiatrist Dr. Jack Mickler in the movie Don Juan DeMarco.
There are six ways to rekindle the flame of dying love, according to Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. in World of Psychology. They are:
- Try out a new activity with your partner. Ballroom dancing lessons, skydiving, mini-golf. What you decide to experience does not matter, as long as you do it together.
- Add some small, charming surprises to your relationship. When was the last time you sent her flowers? Or you tucked a note of appreciation into his lunch box on a random Wednesday? These gestures show that you care.
- Do something that kicks up your adrenaline just a little bit. Couples who workout together connect regularly and find that a friendly bit of competition is a bonding experience.
- Plan a weekend getaway–a mini-vacation sans kids. Reconnect without your friends, siblings, or the little ones. You will share many small moments that might remind you why you fell in love in the first place.
- Touch each other casually. An arm over the shoulders or around the waist is a familiar and comfortable feeling.
- Indulge in some playtime! Dance like nobody’s looking at you, sing in the rain, or build a silly-looking snowman. Your playful side will shake away any remaining boredom.
Your relationship needs continuous care, just like a flowering plant. Because the truth is, no love is perfect all the time. From career to kids to just too tired to deal with it, life will get in the way. However, if you make tending this relationship one of your top priorities, you can restore those first blossoms of love.