How to Keep Your Relationship From Falling Apart
Even if you have the most amazing connection with someone and you are madly attracted to them when you first meet, things can fall apart. Relationships, like most things, take work. Often it’s happy work, but it’s work nonetheless. If you find your relationship sliding, here are some great tips to turn it around and create the wonderful relationship you’re dreaming of.
Stop the Jealousy
He’s a man. He’s got testosterone. He will look at other women, just like you will drool over Brad Pitt (have you seen the pictures of him in his 20s? Oh, la, la!), Zach Efron and the likes. And let’s face it: at some point you will check out someone else’s biceps, just as he will check out some other woman’s butt.
This is different from him drooling over other women and making you feel small…then it’s time to have a chat and if he doesn’t start paying more attention to you: dump him.
Also, you need to trust him, or he won’t feel happy. That means he should be able to spend time with his friends, go away on vacation by himself and whatever else takes his fancy. So long as you are important to him and he always factor you into his life, let him have the space he needs. Trust that he will stay faithful.
Don’t Put Him Down
Yeah, he has a habit or two that probably should change. Do you know the best way of changing someone’s habit? Encouraging what you’d love for them to do. Putting them down for doing something rarely creates anything but hard feelings. Encouraging someone when they do something you love, on the other hand, creates a lot of good feelings. It creates a desire for them to do more of the good stuff. Telling someone they look sexy in their gym wear is often more effective than telling them they look unsexy sitting on the couch.
It’s easier said than done to remain silent when you get irritated with someone’s habits, but keeping your mouth shut might stop your relationship from falling apart. It might also help change the habits you are so annoyed with. Because instead of being a nag, you’ve suddenly turned into someone supportive.
Your job as partners is to lift each other up. Sure, you might have to put your foot down ever so often, but that doesn’t mean you should put him down. Saying stop is different from berating someone.
And the one thing you should definitively not do is to put your man down in public. Even jokes and sarcasm can sometimes take an ugly turn. Don’t crack too many jokes about how bad he is in the kitchen.
Lift Him Up
Instead of putting your partner down, lift him up. Make sure you compliment him at least a couple of times a week for something he does, or something you love in him. This will make him feel good. When he feels good he will be inspired to do good things in the relationship.
Do Things That You’ve Never Done Before
When things go stale they die. You need to keep developing both as people and as a couple to feel good in the relationship. One great way to help with this is to do things together that you’ve never done before, or where you deepen a skill.
For example, you could go on a vacation to a place you’ve never been before. You could learn French together, or take cooking classes together. You could do wine testings, or road trips to interesting museums, or out of this world concerts in the nearby area. You could go on a retreat together, or build a house together.
You can also try activities that spike your adrenaline and make you laugh, like paint balling, skydiving or zip lining.
These are all experiences you share that are fun and invigorating. They give you something to talk about and explore together.
Don’t Hold It In
Most things in relationships need less talking and more doing. You can talk about how bad things are, or you can go about altering them. However, some things need to be talked about. And not just the bad stuff. You have to share your thoughts and emotions to connect with someone. Just remember that men often use fewer words, so don’t overwhelm a guy!
When you share about something that troubles you in the relationship, make sure to do it without malice. You are looking for a solution, not to put someone down. If you get aggressive and start putting your guy down, he will respond in the same manner. It’s much more effective sharing your heart; sharing how much something is wounding you.
The important thing to remember is to share. Especially the things that make you happy, but also the things that truly upset you. You’re a team. You have to be there for each other.
Yeah, I know. You’ve heard it before: date nights are important. They really are. That’s why I’m telling you again. So many relationships fizzle out because people stop paying attention. They aren’t trying to win each other over anymore, so they forget to do the fun stuff.
Start really thinking about dates your partner would love. What would excite them, turn them on, make them feel loved? Then go do it.
Set up a challenge where you take each other on dates every other week or so. So that in a month you plan one exciting date for your guy and vice versa. As there are four weeks in a month, try going on dates the other two weeks as well. Just make it a bit simpler. After all: dinner and a movie, or a Netflix marathon is sometimes needed.
Give Up the Idea That Everything Is Always Perfect
In life we go through cycles. Some days we are more energized than others. Some weeks or months come with more obstacles than others. Relationships are the same.
Whilst there are ways to keep your relationship in a good shape, you can’t avoid some ups and downs. It’s natural. Roll with it. Make the best out of it. Try to always learn from it.
He’s already seen you in your least favorite underwear and when you had the stomach flu. I get it. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see you in sexy underwear though. Of course he does. Just like he wants to see you get dressed up ever so often so he can take you to town and show you off.
Get dressed up for no reason ever so often. Buy some nice underwear ever so often too. And if you can’t buy new underwear, forsake it altogether…
Keep your sex life alive. Read books about it. Learn. It’s an art.
Make it intimate. Make it exciting. Make it romantic.
Remember Forever Isn’t Really Forever in This Life
It’s been said that to truly appreciate something you need to know what it’s like to lose it. Thankfully you don’t have to lose it – you just have to be aware that you can lose it.
Treat every day like the last. Be thankful for every minute you get with your loved ones. Really embrace the now.
Every second counts.
Just bearing this in mind will alter the way you see your man, your relationship and life at large. As a result you will react differently. The things that used to bug you don’t really matter. You focus on making the most out of it. And as you do, things change.
Yes, I know, you already do. But maybe not in a way he understands. And maybe you need to be loved in a way he doesn’t love you.
Gary Chapman wrote the book The Five Love Languages which explains we need to feel loved in different ways. Some people feel loved when they receive gifts. Others through physical touch. Some feel loved when you decide to cook or clean for them (acts of service). Yet others feel loved when you spend quality time with them; when all your focus is on them. Lastly, some feel loved when you express your love verbally, or through letters and notes.
If you can, get your man to read the book with you. If you can’t, read the book yourself and determine what love language you are and encourage your guy to love you in ways you need to be loved. Simultaneously, try out the different love languages on your guy. After all, most of us want a little bit of everything – it’s nice if our partner does their bit of the household cleaning, spends quality time with us, tell us we’re great, hugs us and hold our hand and give us a gift or two.
By Maria Montgomery – Maria is a freelance writer, director and social entrepreneur. She’s also the spokesperson for The Little Angels Community Center and an avid blogger. You can find her somewhere between Cape Town, London and L.A., where you will most likely find her in the hills, looking out over the city she loves. @OhMyMontgomery