Life today is complicated — I think we can all agree on that. We've got work, family, bills, kids, pets, parents, friends, debt, cars, houses, apartments… and somewhere in there we're supposed to make time for our partner/spouse/wife/love muffin. Whatever you call her, it seems like that one relationship adds the most complication to our lives. You know you want to be together, but somehow it seems like the distance between you grows inch by inch until you're not sure if you're a couple or just roommates.
Three of the biggest problems couples deal with in romantic relationships are repetitive arguments (conflict loops), a loss of passion and connection, and the need to create more quality time together. These can feel insurmountable when you're staring down the barrel of a relationship on the rocks. Even if you're still holding strong, no one wants to come home every day knowing they have to face these issues. The good news? There are solutions, and they're easier than you might think. (Skip to watching the video by clicking here)
First, let's tackle conflict loops. We've all been there. You find yourself arguing about whether or not it's socially appropriate to leave the lid off of the peanut butter jar. So the lid gets put back on. Two days later, the jar is topless — yet again — and here comes the fight. Or maybe you've moved on to something more substantial. Now it's the argument about how much time you spend on activities outside of home. You end up having to work late all week. Then you've got soccer on the weekends, and the kids' dance recitals, and all you really want is to sit in front of the TV and zone out with your sweetie. But she's mad because you haven't been home. So you talk about it, and talk about it, and talk about it. But you need to work, and the kids need to go to their dance recitals. So you end up just dropping the topic and watching your shows in silence. The issue doesn't go away... but you hope it stays buried a little longer this time.
The key here is that the things you're arguing about aren't what you're really arguing about. That peanut butter lid is really about feeling respected and valued. And the argument about being gone is really about needing more quality time (not just quantity). The secret to stopping the conflict loop is to get to the core of the issue. You need to ask yourself specific, targeted questions to get to the deeper, underlying issue. Once you do, and fix that problem, the surface issues become much easier to resolve.
The second issue is a loss of passion and connection in relationships (get the connection and passion back by clicking here). This comes most often from a lack of focused time with one another. It's what I like to call HQQT, or "High Quality Quality Time". Most people know that spending time together is important in a relationship, but what they don't always understand is that "quality time" can look very different to different people. I'm going to give a real life example here, one straight from my own relationship.
My wife and I were going through a rough spot in our marriage. We were both busy with our work during the day, and so we used the evening as our time to reconnect. We would watch TV together or go out with friends, and while we had a good time, when it came down to it, we weren't feeling very close to one another. This distance began to affect our relationship, most directly in our sex life. We found the solution by talking about what "quality time" looks like for both of us. Turns out, we connect in some different ways. My wife can get connection with me even when we're out with friends, and I need more one-on-one connection. I can watch TV with her and feel connected; she needs more of my direct focus. It's a conversation most couples never even know they need to have, and it can go a long way toward helping you reconnect.
The last thing I'd like to talk about is how to create that HQQT (High Quality Quality Time) I talked about earlier. You'll find that there are some activities that just light up you and your partner. Some of these will be interests you share, and some may be specific to just one of you. You need to take some time to learn what those are, both for yourself and your partner. Once you do, you can shift your focus to those activities/actions.
Remember I mentioned we're all busy? Well, this is a way you can bring quality time back into your relationship, while keeping the actual time commitment relatively low. Again, it's about "quality", not quantity. If she just flippin' loves to get flowers, take a hot second out of your day and pick up flowers, or have some delivered to her at work. If you go nuts over cooking together, set aside a little time in the evening to bake cupcakes, or make dinner together once a week. Find the things that pack the biggest punch, and then do those things.
At the end of the day, we all want a super rockin' relationship. If you'd like more support, and some more information on how to create that, check out the three free videos I'm releasing. The entire series will teach you how to re-invent your communication patterns so you can work as a team to create a fulfilling and fun life together. It's called "Relationship Magic: How to Re-Ignite, Re-Invent, & Re-Define Your Relationship to Create Deeper Connection, Love, and Passion!" and kicks off with the video "Break Free of Sabotage By Busting Conflict Loops." All of the videos are completely free and you can enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Just go to http://lesbianloveguru.com/magic to sign up today!
More intimacy advice from YourTango:
- The Recipe For Intimacy: Revealing And Accepting
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