In the beginning of every romantic relationship we are all a little twitterpated. But as we know, it doesn't last forever. Once the "honeymoon" phase is over, that giddy, lovey-dovey emotion seems to vanish...but it doesn't have to. Here are some tips on keeping that feeling alive.
We all have expectations for our partners. But rarely do we let our significant other in on what we expect. For some reason, we think they should just read our minds. In most relationships it's only a matter of time before you fail to meet each other's unknown expectations. One of the most important things you can do in a relationship is to communicate and understand each other's expectations.Unmet expectations can cause feelings of resentment and irritation. Making sure your partner knows your expectations will help love flourish.
Communication is the most important part of any relationship. Almost every couple I've seen come in for counseling says they need to communicate better. Communication is a simple thing to do, but is often one of the biggest struggles for couples. In life's busy routines, couples often don't take the time to really talk to each other. Make time. Try scheduling an hour or two when you both can engage in meaningful conversation. I like to tell couples to pair communication with another daily event. For instance, use dinner time or after you have put the children to bed to talk to your partner. Some easy discussions points could be: what your goals are this month, or what your biggest stressors are. Once you're communicating regularily, it's easy to discuss what makes you happy (and twitterpated) in your relationship.
Most of us have heard about the importance of love languages. When love languages are used correctly, they increase the feelings of love and happiness for both partners. Love languages are very important because each of us show and receive love in different ways.When we are in a relationship, we try to be a good partner. We use examples that we had growing up, like our parents, to model our own relationships after. But we don't usually realize that our significant other grew up with a different set of ideals about showing and receiving love. We all have different ideas about what love should look like. Figuring out how you show and receive love is significant. Once you learn how your partner wants love shown to them, it gives you the knowledge and power to change your relationship.I have seen many relationship change significantly once they have learned to communicate their love needs and wants. Discover what your love languages are here.
Life is so busy for all of us. There are so many things that we could be doing with our time. With so much to do we struggle in getting our priorities in order. One of the most important things we could be doing with our time is spending it with our spouse. I suggest having a date night once a week. I know you're busy but I would bet most weeks you have a couple hours to spend with your best friend. It's important to remember the grass is greener where you water it. Try rotating who decides what you should do for your date nights. That way you both feel like you are putting forth effort in the relationship. Spending time together and doing things you both enjoy will really make a difference in your happiness and feelings towards your partner.
Even though the twitterpated phase seems to have come and gone, love can still grow and change over time. Being in a relationship takes hard work and can be challenging. But, by following these simple tips you can still keep love in your everyday life.
Justin Olsen, MA, ACMHC specializes in assisting individuals and couples to overcome life's challenges. He practices at Life Stone Counseling Centers' Midvale and American Fork locations. Learn more at www.lifestonecenter.com.