Being in a long-term relationship can have its moments of being stagnant. It doesn’t mean your relationship is going downhill. It just means you have to put in the extra work to keep things fresh. You should want to improve your relationship. Even though you have made things OFFICIAL doesn’t mean you stop dating each other or working towards having a healthy relationship.
It is very easy to fall into a routine and stop doing the things you were doing when you were dating. Sometimes you feel like you don’t have to work as hard to keep them in the relationship because you made it official but it is quite the opposite. Once you make it official you have to work harder to maintain the relationship.
If you don’t you run the risk of taking advantage of your partner. Nobody wants to feel that way.
I am really exposing my relationship here. LOL But I think it is important to talk about. Relationships can become monotonous and stuck in a routine. Sometimes it may feel like you are just roommates who sleep in the same bed. So here are 10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship Right Now.
Freebie tip to Improve Your Relationship
This is a freebie tip but I think a major one to consider when you are slacking in the relationship department. One thing I contribute to Mike and I being together for 10 years is that through every up and down we have had… especially those down moments we chose each other every time.
No matter the issue at hand in the end we knew that we didn’t want this relationship to end. We have said from the beginning of our relationship that if it didn’t work out we would probably spend the rest of our lives alone… because sometimes starting over with someone new is overwhelming.
So as long as you choose each other in the end I think your relationship will last.
Make your relationship a priority
This goes without saying. In order for your relationship to be long-lasting, you have to make your relationship and partner a priority. It is okay if it has to be put on the back burner sometimes… SOMETIMES because we all know life shit happens. You have to let your partner know though. It is okay to say to them. I am swamped right now with _______,_______, and ______. I need to focus on these right now but I will make time for us as soon as one of these is finished. That is great communication… However… HOWEVER… You don’t leave your relationship on the back burner for too long or you run the risk of burning it.
In our 10-year relationship, I can count on one hand how many blowout fights Mike and I have had. I don’t mean disagreements because that is to be expected. We are 2 different people raised 2 different ways. We have different opinions. morals and boundaries. Disagreements happen but I mean full-fledged “this could be the end of our relationship” fights. We recently had one of those where we both said enough is enough. If we can’t fix this then we need to part.
It took Mike and me 9 years to figure out how to resolve fights. How to listen and ACTUALLY hear what the other person was saying. Mike never had to have a real heart-to-heart conversation about a relationship. I told him that needed to change because maybe if had, had those conversations he would still be with one of his previous ex-girlfriends. That he is a man of a certain age and he can’t keep acting the same way he did in his 20s. He can talk about anything in this world but when it comes to his relationship he can’t.
Having this heart-to-heart conversation really opened up a lot of avenues for us to go down.
Personal Growth Journey
These heart-to-heart conversations really help with Mike start his personal growth journey and me continuing my journey. In a relationship, you need to be able to be self-aware and know your own personal toxic traits and not just blame it on the other person.
To be open and honest in a relationship you have to be willing to be open and honest with yourself. You want to become the better version of yourself and live up to your full potential. Not only for yourself but for your partner. Go on this journey together and inspire each other to be better than you were the day before.
I am going to get real here. I am a talker. When an issue arises I want to talk about it right then and there. I get pissed off even more if we don’t. Mike shuts down. Mike’s response to everything is I don’t know. Which I don’t like. How do you not have an opinion about what we are talking about???? We are living it!
So after this last blowout fight, I suggested to Mike we start a couples journal. Because I am more of a verbal person, I can also write my feelings out (hence why I have a blog… LOL) and he is not so good with his words. That this would be a better option for him. We did establish some ground rules and guidelines to follow our entries. I will share the basic ones… Not the personal ones that pertain to our relationship.
RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR OUR COUPLES JOURNAL
- You must write at least one thing in the book before passing it on.
- Give the other person a hug before giving it to them.
- You have 3 days to write in this book before hand-off.
- You cannot read the book until the other person has left the room
- Unless the other person says you can read it in front of them.
- If something is bothering you write it in here to discuss.
- You can discuss anything in this book when we are alone.
- This is a safe space to work on ourselves together
- No Judgement against the other person.
- The goal is communication.
- Be loving and understanding to each other.
- You must date every entry.
- Do not rip out pages.
- Decorate your page any way you like.
We have been using our journal for a while now and it has really helped our communication. It gives Mike 3 days to read what I write and come back with an answer instead of just saying “I don’t know” like he normally would if we were verbally speaking. Making this adjustment in the way we discuss things helps him be MORE active in finding resolutions for the things we talk about in our couples journal. It has been a game changer.
Figure out your love languages
Another thing we are working on is… because again we are 2 different people with 2 different outlooks on life and have VERY DIFFERENT WAYS on which we like to receive love. We are taking the quiz online to find out our love languages. I also have the book that we might read together. I would love to, but Mike is not much of a reader. We will see.
Once you take the quiz and figure out what your love languages are then you know how to show your love and appreciation for your partner. You don’t want to show them love by doing what you would want to be done for you. That’s not what they would want. So make it a cute little date night of self-discovery with your partner.
Just Because Bucket
I saw this on TikTok and I am absolutely in love with this idea. You buy a cute little basket or bin that is a decent size and you buy things for your partner that remind you of them or think they might like. I think it’s a cute way to actively think of your partner when you are out. Be thoughtful about it don’t just buy random things that you or they won’t use. And you can put a budget on how much is spent. So you nor they go crazy. I think a good amount is 20 bucks.
In our 10-year relationship, we have not been actively dating each other. We do the normal things go out to eat or ordered food to eat at home. We don’t get dressed up and go out. Firstly because we are so out of the loop we don’t know where to go. We aren’t into clubs, bars, or drinking that much.
Another thing we find hard in our relationship is when we find something cool we want to experience. We want the kiddo to come along because we think she would enjoy it. But we have to have some alone time where we make memories as a couple. It’s hard with kids because we both want the kiddo to experience all the things we didn’t get to grow up with.
To help with our dating dilemma I made a page in our couples journal dedicated to date night ideas. I put my ideas for dates and when Mike has a chance he will write ideas that he would love to do. So when we are stumped we just open the book and pick from the list to plan accordingly.
What I have added to the list so far is
- Cook together & film it like we have our own cooking show. (because we don’t have a lot of videos together. I want to change that.)
- Take a dance lesson or learn one at home on YouTube.
- Read a book together (you know like the 5 love languages)
- Get a $20 tattoo ( NOT of our names, but something we want. LOL)
- Go to an arcade
- Painting with a twist at home but we switch canvas every 5 minutes.
Those are just some of my ideas. Now it is Mike’s turn. LOL
For a while there our conversations became very stale because of work and life in general. It became routine, monotonous, sometimes snarky… In our couples meetings, we discuss our relationship, money, household things, or just things that have been bothering us lately. I expressed that Mike has not been as romantic or flirty as he once was when we first got together and I kinda missed that. I know that sometimes I could come off as bitchy and he wouldn’t want to when I was in a mood.
So the first thing we are currently working on is how we speak to each other. Did we respond with an attitude or some kind of tone that doesn’t sound good to the other person? Or… they could take it the wrong way? We are also simultaneously flirting with each other. Cutting up, making jokes, and making each other feel wanted by the other person.
With an open line of communication flirting should come naturally when you want the other person to feel loved, wanted, and appreciated.
I wrote years ago that Mike and I did a life audit to see if we were on track with our goals. Where we ask ourselves 4 Questions that really help us reflect on who we want to be, who we want in our lives, and how we want to live our lives. We would do monthly check-ins and then one big giant audit at the end of the year. That has become also stagnant over the years.
To shake things up… we are starting something new called couples meetings. Not only do we talk about our goals, but we talk about everything. Bills, money, household, projects, dreams, wants, and needs. The list could go on. We are using this time to check in with one another so we are on the same page. In our couples journal, I take notes about what we talked about. So we can remember for future reference.
No phones, no distractions… just me and mike communicating and our couples journal.
One question to ask yourself
One question I have brought up to Mike over the years that I think would help us in our relationship is asking ourselves what is something I can do to help my partner? I work from home and sometimes I struggle to keep up with the laundry. Having him go switch the laundry for me is a huge help. Or if I am stressed about writing a blog post and I am second-guessing myself I would love to bounce ideas off of him. That would make my day.
The same goes for me towards Mike. If he had a long day at work and just needs to relax for the night. What can I do to make his night better? Give him a foot rub, turn on the shower for him, or maybe have dinner ready when he gets home. ( I… sometimes am not good with that. I am working on it. He cooks more than I do) It is just small things you can do for your partner to ease the stress of life on them a little bit.
One thing Mike and I try to do every night and have been doing for YEARS is while laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep we ask each other the question… What do you love about me today? That kinda goes along with the question above. If you are doing things to help your partner it should be an easy question to answer. LOL
There is no wrong answer, but you must be specific. You can’t just reply with I love everything about you. That was always Mike’s go-to response. What you can say is that… I love that you grabbed me my favorite snack from the store when I told you I was having a rough day. I love that you wrote in our couples journal. I love that you called me on your lunch to just say hey.
It can be big things… It can be small things. Expressing appreciation for your partner and letting them know you notice the things they are doing to make you feel loved. It goes a long way and helps with keeping an open line of communication.
Improve Your Relationship
Relationships are hard work, man. You have to have an open line of communication and be willing to work on yourself to become a better version of yourself. You are not single anymore and you have to start thinking about the other person. Growing and evolving is part of human nature. If you want to share your life with someone you have to be willing to compromise on both sides.
It can’t be one side giving giving giving and the other person just taking. It leads to resentment and a breakup.
Let me know in the comments what are some things you use to improve your relationship.
Until Next Time, Have a Great Day! Remember you are a badass!