So you've found the person you want to be with. You're madly in love. But after a year or so the first flush of romance fades. You settle into a necessary routine and start taking each other for-granted. Real life gets in the way of romance and the relati

Keep the Spark in your Relationship


So you've found the person you want to be with. You're madly in love. But after a year or so the first flush of romance fades. You settle into a necessary routine and start taking each other for-granted. Real life gets in the way of romance and the relationship niggles pile up. You need to take time out to focus on keeping your relationship exciting. Here's how to put the spark back into your relationship.



Question: I don't feel as if my partner listens to me. How can I change this?

Answer: The most important aspect of a relationship is to know your partner is listening to you and hearing and understanding what you are saying. Without this basic communication, all the hearts and flowers in the world will not keep your relationship alive. Relationships break down when people don't feel heard. Listening and hearing is the ultimate intimacy. You are sharing thoughts and feelings - this is more intense than physical intimacy.

Try this...

In a calm moment, tell your partner you don't feel listened to. Suggest you have a conversation with your partner about both your hopes and fears. This is a chance to re-connect with each other. It doesn't have to be a serious - laughing together is the best bonding communication. Speak to your partner as you would speak to your best friend. Respectful and warm communication can break down barriers. If you have a disagreement, explain how you feel and say why rather than simply accusing.

Pause and focus when your partner is trying to communicate. It helps you make a mental note and reassures your partner you have tuned in, if you repeat back what has just been said, for example,

'Can you remember to take out the bins?'

'Yes, I'll be able to take them out tonight.'



Question: Why do we always argue?

Answer: Conflict arises when you react to a situation before thinking about it. Your initial reaction of fear or anger can become blown out of perspective if you allow yourself to become lost in this emotion. If you feel anger rising walk away and cool down before you try to talk about the situation.

Try this... Compromise is the foundation of a successful relationship. Try to see things from your partner's point of view. How might s/he be feeling about a situation? Stop to think why they night be reacting in a particular way. Compromising doesn't mean 'giving in' all the time to your partner, it's about tailoring your actions and plans to suit both of you.



Question: I feel like we're growing apart. What should I do?

Answer: Relationships run in cycles. Sometimes you feel closer, other times not so much. So don't panic and think your relationship is doomed if you are going through a tough patch. To get through this you both need to focus on spending quality time together. This means time when you are alone, relaxed and can talk and be intimate. But you must both take action now. The longer you allow the situation to continue the further apart you'll feel.

Try this...

The strongest relationships are built on friendship. So it's important to go out and have fun together as you would do with your friends. Something as simple as cooking a meal together or going for a walk in the countryside can help you reconnect and remember the personal qualities you were first attracted to in your partner. Leave the children with a babysitter and nurture your friendship with your partner.


Question: I don't get along with my partner's mother/friend. What can I do?

Answer: Part of loving your partner is about putting their needs before your own some of the time. This is one of those times. Try to nurture a civil relationship with the people who are important to your partner - for your partner's sake. Of course there are limits. If these people are having a seriously negative impact on you or your relationship, you should limit the time you spend with them - or in extreme cases not see them at all. Make sure you have good reason for this, though, and explain your reasons calmly and clearly to your partner.

Try this...

Find common ground with your partner's loved ones. Strike up conversation about a subject you know they are interested in. Avoid discussing your relationship with them.


Question: Why has the intimacy in our relationship disappeared?

Answer: The routine of everyday life can swallow up the desire for intimacy. Don't let this happen! Affection is a good way to show physical intimacy when jumping into bed is not a possibility.

Try this...

Holding hands, a kiss, a protective arm around the waist or sitting close together will strengthen the loving bond between you, making your partner feel cared for and loved.




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