Life is good! You are in love, your relationship is not work, it just flows and spending time together is easy. You are living with your best friend.
I hope this all reads true for you, but keeping this or getting back to this is not all easy.
What comes easy when we are falling in love takes work and intention as our relationship ages and life gets busy.
What are some practices and habits that can protect or re-enliven your relationship as the years pass by?
1) Date Night: There is the good old standard ‘date night’ but for that to be effective it needs to include some connecting, not just practical getting stuff done. What makes a great date for you and your partner? What was one of your favorite dates ever?
2) Check-ins: Regular check-ins are great for re-adjusting and catching bad patterns before they settle in. Anniversaries are great as are birthdays for reminders to check in. Here are some questions you can make a worksheet out of if you like:
* What is going well in our relationship?
* What have we stopped doing that would be great to do again?
* What should we be doing less of?
* What else needs to change moving forward?
* What one thing would you like less of from me?
* What one thing would you like more of from me?
3) Relationship Support: Find a coach or therapist that you commission to check-in with you both regularly so that proactively you can evaluate how your relationship is going and make adjustments as need be. As our relationships progress we grow as individuals, which changes how we relate to each other. The other pattern that happens is that patterns and beliefs from childhood get triggered and we relate to each other out of old, unhealthy patterns that we may not even be aware of. Unless you both had perfect childhoods (hahaha, lol) then this will happen. Having someone who knows you both and as a couple will be an incredible resource for supporting your relationship. If you're be interested in this option, you can check out my Couples Coaching Program.
4) Take Responsibility for your Well-being: Make a commitment to yourself. Knowing that you are in charge of your own well-being and making choices to make sure your needs are met and that you are ‘filling your tank’ up regularly will be so beneficial to your relationship. If we mistakenly think our partner is responsible to meet our needs we end up co-dependent, bitter and angry. What we do for each other is wonderful but we need to be clear that our well-being is our own responsibility.
5) Personality Assessments: Having a personality or style assessment done gives you new information on each other and yourself. Instead of just doing this alone, when you both get an assessment done you can really apply the results to your relationship to see how you complement each other and where both strengths and challenges as a couple come from. Even if you both have had assessments done at work separately sitting down and reviewing results together can be very useful. (If only one of you had the assessment done you can likely arrange for the other person to get the assessment done through a coach. (Reach out if you need to find a resource.)
6) Couple's Retreat: Attend a couple’s enrichment or retreat session or weekend. Being exposed to specific training or simply time set aside for focusing on your relationship and the conversations that everyday life don’t allow for, is powerful!
Ok, well, here’s to your relationship!
Until next time!
Marilyn Orr, The Luv Life Coach
Marilyn Orr, MA, CEC, PCC is a relationship coach with Luv Life Coaching, passionate about equipping couples with the tools for real and lasting intimacy.
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