HOUSTON - When your house starts to look worn and drab, remodeling a room can have a big impact on energy and mood. The same applies to your relationship. If your relationship is feeling frazzled and stunted from a year of quarantine, summer is the perfect time to remodel.
Being stuck inside together every day while the days blur together can make your relationship stale. However, a healthy relationship can’t wait for situations to calm down or for pandemics to go away. It insists on intimacy and nurturance each day. This summer, instead of talking about your intentions to spend more time together, proactively schedule one day a week to talk and define goals for the week. Below are suggestions for a five-week plan:
Week 1: How did I make you feel appreciated and special? When couples look for opportunities to make each other feel special, it enhances communication and closeness. Talk to your partner about what actions make them feel loved and communicate openly.
Week 2: How can we feel more emotionally connected to each other? Without an emotional connection, a relationship cannot survive. Writing down what makes you feel close can restore interest in the relationship. For example, your partner may express that they feel closer when you have mini-dates throughout the week, so planning small meetups throughout the week to talk or walk is key to staying close.
Week 3: Are you comfortable with the way we disagree and how can I make it better? Couples who boast that they never fight or argue are in denial. If the relationship is real, arguing is inevitable. However, the way you argue can bring the relationship closer or tear it apart. Brainstorm together about healthier methods you can use in your relationship and practice them during your next argument. If it’s not fixable in the first 7 minutes, take a time out and readdress it later. This is important for establishing boundaries and telling your partner their point of view matters. Both partners will need to change and be willing to sacrifice winning for the relationship.
Week 4: How can we work together to create romance? Make this week all about increasing romance in your relationship. Make surprise phone calls, flirty text messages, or date plans to help your partner feel cherished. Small, unexpected actions of romance are the most fun.
Week 5: Practice personal self-care. Remodeling your relationship means becoming the best partner you can be. If you stay healthy, your relationship is healthier. Stay aware of your physical appearance and take responsibility for eating healthy foods and getting exercise. Set goals for yourself that challenge you and keep you healthy. Taking care of yourself reminds your partner to invest in being their best self, too. When each partner takes care of their own health, they lower the stress that it’s their partner’s job to care for them.
Just as remodeling your home makes you feel better about where you live, remodeling your relationship makes you satisfied and happy in your relationship. Knowing your partner loves you enough to invest their time and effort validates your love and commitment to each other.