Relationship rut: how to get unstuck
How do you know if your relationship is in a rut? Usually it is because you have settled into a comfortable pattern together where you do the same things day in day out; eat the same meals on the same nights – even love making may have become routine and predictable. While some people thrive on routine and predictability for others it quickly becomes boring and uninspiring and left unchecked can make them question the validity of the relationship as a whole.
The good news is that a rut is often the result of compatibility – your lives have merged and the time you spend together has taken on a routine because that is what suits you both but feelings can change. If you are feeling dissatisfied or long to put a bit more sparkle back into the time you spend together here are some suggestions to help you.
It is amazing how quickly couples stop talking to each other. They talk about the day to day things but often stop talking about the deeper more meaningful aspects of life. They may enquire about how someone’s day was but stop being interested in their opinions on bigger issues like spirituality or the economy. It is important that you keep talking and keep sharing and not fall into the trap of letting movies or TV take up all the time you spend together.
You could begin by talking about whether you both agree that your relationship is in a rut and what you want to do about it. In order for any changes to be effective, and the relationship to move forward, it is important that you are both pulling in the same direction. Problems often begin to change almost as soon as they are acknowledged so having a conversation about how you are feeling is the important first step. The conversation is more likely to be constructive if you talk about your own feelings rather than criticising your partner.
One of the most common misconceptions people have about romantic relationships is that once they have found the right person that they will be happy and that happiness will last. If you suffered from low mood or lack of motivation when you were single the chances are that after the initial flush of romance has waned you will still suffer from low mood and lack of motivation. You may even have teamed up with someone who has the same personality traits and now that you have a companion to eat pizza and watch movies with there is even less motivation to make the changes you need to move your life forward.
You are responsible for your own happiness. If you have stopped doing things that used to bring you joy or make you feel good about yourself because you are in a relationship it is important that you resist the temptation to get cosy on the sofa and get back in touch with those things and with any friends you may have let go of since you got into a relationship. If you are happy and fulfilled in your own life, you are more likely to feel happy and fulfilled in your relationship.
Space and time
The most important thing you can invest in your relationship is time. In modern relationships it is easy to be in touch 24/7 via email, text, and on social networks but in some ways this can be detrimental to the relationship because you don’t have a chance to start to really miss each other. You may feel like you are giving the relationship quality time but actually your attention may never really be on your partner. Allow there to be some space between you – time when you are not in touch and getting on with your own life.
When you are together make it quality time without other distractions. Turn your phone off, go on dates together, talk to each other about your plans and the things you want to do together in the future. You may feel like you spend lots of time with your partner but how much is actually with them?
By communicating how you are feeling; taking responsibility for your own happiness and spending quality time with your partner when you haven’t seen or heard from each other for a while any toughs are sure to soon turn to peaks.
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