Being in a long-term relationship is fulfilling, satisfying and comfortable. You always have someone to talk to and you can’t really imagine your life without them. And as lovely as it can be, people can easily get settled into the relationship and not want to change anything out of fear of ruining it – but ultimately just leading to a standstill in both your relationship and personal progression. The worst thing you can do is think that you’ve reached a “peak” in your relationship and that it can’t get any better, that you can’t get closer or that you shouldn’t change. Here’s how to make sure your relationship stays balanced and healthy and how to revive it if it went south.
Start asking questions
The easiest way to get something moving is to start asking questions. Some light ones and some hard ones, but when you start opening up about the things that are bothering you and the things you’d like to change, both in your personal life and in your life together, you will start to see change. It won’t be smooth all the time. There will be some rocky movements and troubled sailing, but if you’ve been with this person for so long, you’ll be able to get through all of it with some talking and a few bottles of wine. Talk about your dreams and goals, both ones for your relationship and your personal ones. A big mistake people make in long-term relationships is becoming one with them and identifying themselves through it, when in reality, you can’t be happy unless you actually give yourself the chance to grow as a person.
Start working on yourself
If you’re unhappy with your relationship, you’re probably also unhappy with yourself, and this can be for two reasons: you don’t think you’ve made the right choice of partner, or you’re not satisfied with yourself. For the former, the only thing you can do is leave the relationship, but if you’ve been together this long, it’s more likely to be the latter. In that case, you have to start working on yourself. Yes, you’re not at the prime of your youth, but you’re not dead and you need to keep evolving and finding ways to feel good about yourself because otherwise, you’ll feel stuck in the same place forever. Find a passion of yours that you’ve forgotten a long time ago. Go to the Caribbean for a month and learn to dance salsa. Find the best business coach in Sydney and start a new business. Or just ask yourself what it is that you want that you’ve been putting off for a long time, because you need to be satisfied with yourself first.
Give your partner freedom
Just like you should be independent and happy with yourself, so should your partner. If they aren’t working on themselves, you risk them resenting you or feeling less than you, so you need to make sure that you are supporting them in following their dreams just like you’re following yours. Helping each other out to become better people is the base of any good relationship so put mutual support very high on your priority list.
Don’t hold on to grudges
If something is bothering you, and you overlook it, without really letting it out, it will fester inside you like a parasite, and the longer you don’t say anything, the more resentful you will grow. So if there are some things that were always on your mind about your partner, whether it’s leaving the dishes in the sink or inviting their ex to your wedding, let it all out. Once you clear the air, you will be surprised how much positive energy and room to grow you will free up. Of course, be careful of how you’re speaking, because you want to get your point across, not attack the other side, but still speak your mind.
Take time for yourselves
This is especially important if you have kids. You become less romantic and life partners, and more work partners, running your household and balancing everything out. But if the only time you have for yourself is the evenings when you are both completely exhausted, you aren’t really taking the time. And if you’re saying “We’ll wait until the kids move out”, you’ll be wasting some of the best years you could be having together. So get a swear jar or any spare change, hire a babysitter and go out on real, romantic dates where you enjoy each other’s company and reconnect.
Your relationship doesn’t need to be falling apart for you to start doing something about it to make it better. But if you are starting to feel that things aren’t moving and that you’re at a standstill with your life partner – put in the work to make your life together a good one – it will be worth it.
If you are a single woman looking for your soulmate, we have something for you too. Even if you’ve loved and lost, feel there are no good men out there or have given up, Awakened Love is designed just for you.
Education & Lifestyle Blogger