As much as we’d like them to be, our relationships are never perfect. We all thrive in the honeymoon phase, experiencing that head-over-heels puppy dog love we see in movies, but it eventually comes to an end and we get into the real stuff. If you’ve been with your partner for a year or more, you’ve probably surpassed your honeymoon time and have settled into your routine as a couple. Routines are great, but sometimes your routine becomes too, well… routine, and you’re left feeling bored or wondering why you don’t feel the spark you once felt in your relationship. This, my friends, is the age-old relationship slump, and it happens to the best of us.
It’s not always easy to know if the person you’re currently dating is in fact, “The One.” If you’re not entirely sure your SO is in it for the long haul, go through these 7 signs of commitment that will leave you certain they are.
- You Want to Spend All the Free Time You Can With Each Other: Of course you’ll want to have your alone time and schedule dates with your friends and family, but if you’ve been together for a while now and still value your time together as a couple, that’s a pretty great sign.
- Taking Trips Together: Travelling as a couple means that both of you want to make lasting memories together to think back on in the years to come. Travelling with your significant other can be a big step in any relationship and you will most likely face challenges in a different environment. If you both actively work through anything that comes up on a trip together, then odds are you know how to effectively communicate with one another.
- Going Out of Your Way for Each Other: If you find yourself going the extra mile to make your partner happy, it’s a sign your spark is still lit and you haven’t become complacent in your relationship.
- Purchases Becoming ‘Ours’: Combining finances or making larger purchases together such as a car or home require a level of commitment from both of you that is evidence you’re ready for a future together.
- Exchanging Keys: If you don’t live together just yet and decide to give each other access to your home by swapping keys, this is a huge sign of trust that may lead to a greater step in your relationship – moving in together.
- You’ve Seen Each Other at Your Worst: In the beginning of any new relationship, everyone is usually on their best behaviour. Overtime when you’re getting to know someone better, their true self is exposed through various situations life throws your way. A partner who has seen all sides to you and loves you for who you are, hold onto them.
- Planning Your Futures Together: Nothing says commitment like thinking about your future with one another. If you and your partner have a 5 year plan that factors one another into it and you’re working together to support and accomplish each others goals, you are definitely in a healthy and committed relationship.
If you notice these points to be true of your current relationship, it might be time to start thinking of that engagement ring to keep your partner in your life forever!
Over time, most long-term relationships accommodate certain (often treasured) routines, but even the healthiest partnerships can fall victim to romantic ruts. To avoid complacency in your love life and continuously appreciate your special somebody, in no particular order, here are 5 ways to ensure you’re not taking your partner for granted.
- Listen – Sounds easy, right? Well it’s not, always. Sometimes it’s something as simple as being engrossed in a show on Netflix while your partner gets home and tries to tell you about something that happened at work. Despite every ounce of you not wanting to miss one second of Black Mirror, your partner deserves your full attention. That means you may have to mute the television, or mute some music, or stop what you’re doing and sit down beside them, or step out of a room to take their phone call, depending on circumstances. It’s about respect, and being an active listener can take some real work, but undistracted communication will make your relationship stronger!
- Kiss Hello/Goodbye – This one sounds even easier – but it shouldn’t be underestimated! Physical contact with the person you love, even with a quick kiss, is a great way to reinforce your bond. Life can be hectic, but a hello/goodbye kiss can almost act as a seconds-long team pow-pow, and lets your partner know that they are important to you. Make this your appreciation ritual!
- Help Them – But you already help your partner already! Of course you do. However, sometimes it’s about going the extra mile. This can range from tougher stuff like identifying when they are struggling in everyday life and making yourself available to support them, to simply taking on their chores for the night when they’ve had a crazy one at work. As a rule of thumb, treat your partner how you would want to be treated. When you’re truly partners, you pick up where the other person leaves off, and make an effort to be strong when they are feeling weak.
- Pay Sincere Compliments – Next time she does something new with her hair, or wears that dress you like, or even tidies up the kitchen, let her know you’ve noticed! Too often, we may be thinking something nice, or assume that our person inherently knows we think something already, that we don’t actually ever tell them what’s going on upstairs. The more unique the compliment, the better. Pro tip: Some of us aren’t great at vocalizing this stuff, so try penning a short note for your special someone, paying them a short but sweet compliment!
- Carve Out Time Together – This can be a tough one. Especially when you’re both working and trying to stick to commitments, social lives and hobbies outside of each other. Time apart, and in a big group of friends can be fantastic for a relationship, but to make sure you’re not taking your partner for granted, make time for just each other, too. This can be as simple as referring to tip #1 of this list, or going out for dinner to reconnect. Quickly research some fun, cheap date ideas in your city, or if time and money allow, indulge in a romantic week together!
If you’re in a serious relationship, there will inevitably be a time or two where you fall out of love with each other. There are countless reasons as to why this phenomenon may occur, but what’s most important to note is that your relationship will continue to last until you are no longer willing to make it work. If both parties are willing, a relationship can revitalize itself back into it’s original state of love, peace and tranquility. The key remedy here is “willingness”. Below are 4 ways any couple can fall in love all over again.
Start your day with an act of gratitude. It may sound cliché, but waking up grateful for the people who are in your life will help redirect your focus from what’s lacking in your life. Taking a moment to appreciate the time, energy, effort and sacrifice that another has given, will give you a greater appreciation for them. More importantly, it will give you peace of mind. By showing your significant other how much you love, value and appreciate them, you create an environment of positive energy that will only go away if/when you stop expressing your gratitude.
Pay Attention To Detail
It is human nature to seek validation for those whose opinion we trust, value and respect. Sometimes, we don’t verbally express that we are seeking attention, but it may be subtle/indirect ways that we hope to be acknowledged. For example: A new hairstyle, weight loss, a promotion at work or other personal achievements. Showing your significant other that you are aware of the things that are happening in his/her life shows them that you care. The more you support one another, the more you’ll grow deeper in love.
Give Each Other Space
It is healthy and normal to want to do things without your significant other. Being a couple is referred to as interdependence, but as an individual it’s important never to lose your independence. By maintaining your own personal interests, you create opportunities to create space between you and your partner in a healthy and respectful way. Doing so allows both parties to do what they love and then look forward to coming back to the one they love. This also creates an opportunity to miss and be missed by your partner.
Do Something Special
The magic in healthy relationships, if done correctly, is you will have acquired enough information about your partner over the years, to know exactly what makes them happy. This puts you at a greater advantage to sweep them off their feet at the drop of a dime. Put this into motion by using your exclusive insight to do something from the heart that will lift their spirits and soften the mood. This works just as masterfully when the relationship is going well as it does when the relationship appears to be falling apart.
Falling back in love with your partner is about choices. Choose positive over negative, long-term over short-term, win/win over lose/lose. If you’re focusing 100% of your energy on the positive, they’ll be no room for the negative.
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