There are two kinds of comfortable in a romantic relationship.
Good:The pressure to impress that other person has subsided and you’re finally at ease enough in the relationship to be all of you, from the put-together to the emotionally unhinged.
Not so Good: You are no longer excited by this person or the relationship, routine has become the rut you’re stuck in and you’ve lost that spark that first got this whole train started.
We aim for the first, knowing it’s a rare thing indeed to actually find that sort of comfortable in a romantic relationship.
At one time or another we’ve all faced the second, a potential for relationship suicide. Even the very best relationships will find themselves there at some point. How they survive this barren wasteland can be the difference between a slow death and a fresh start. It requires honest questions and a firm resolve to be intentional.
Is this relationship worth saving?
Yes: It’s your marriage, and/or a relationship that has become this way because you stopped putting in the work, because schedules made spontaneity seem impossible and life just took over. Keep reading.
No: The relationship has stagnated because it reached its full potential and is never going to grow into anything more. Go break-up. Make it quick, clean and do it with integrity.
How did I get to this place?
Any number of factors can contribute to a relationship entering the Valley of Comfortable. Your schedules became chaotic, you’ve been together long enough to get beyond that initial giddy phase, or you stopped making an effort to plan dates and continue getting to know that person. Whatever your reason, it usually comes back to the reality that to some degree, you stopped working on the relationship.
How do I change it?
No one tries to get to this point. But when we stopped feeling the need to impress that person, we may have slowly stopped putting in the same effort we first needed to secure their love and affection.
I’m learning that as my relationship with my husband grows and matures, I need to be intentional about cultivating spontaneity and purposeful in keeping life from becoming routine.
This week, make a list of 5 things that you can do to intentionally be spontaneous, romantic, or simply shake things up. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Send a text at a different time on three separate days that compliments, affirms and loves your significant other. It can be as simple as “I Love You,” “I so admire how hard you work at xxx,” or “Have I told you today how lucky I am to be yours?”
- For you married couples: send some racier texts that can get the heart pumping.
- Write a note and drop it in the mail telling them what you love about them!
- Cook dinner. Or plan a picnic, either in your living room or at a park
- Each of you write a dozen ideas for fun (and cheap or free) things you can do together. Without showing them to each other, write them on slips of paper and put in a jar. The next time you’re tempted to just crash in front of the TV, draw out a slip and do that instead. Twister or a walk around the block count!
- We should never stop learning about that other person. Write a list of questions that will give you some new insight into your partner. Try to ask one each week.
- Plan a surprise date, like a picnic, trip to the beach, or a hike.
- Leave a note around the house or in their wallet for them to find later in the day.
None of these have to be a huge gesture, but put together, they can jumpstart your relationship.
What fun ways have you put spontaneity and magic in your relationship?