AVOIDING THE RELATIONSHIP RUT
Romantic relationships are so difficult and confusing that it's amazing we can navigate through them with our psyches remaining somewhat intact. We openly consent to living with, loving, and overall immersing ourselves into someone we deem to be worth it all the while not being able to make the concise decision of what we want to eat for dinner.
Maybe I'm just speaking from personal experience on that one, but the idea of monogamous partnerships has always somewhat baffled me, especially when it comes to inevitably getting too comfortable in the relationships we are in. For today's post I wanted to discuss my thoughts on the relationship rut that many of us will experience throughout our lives and hopefully provide some signs I've learned in my 4.5 years of being in one that can help avoid it.
BEING TOO COMFORTABLE
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing more satisfying than knowing you can be yourself and do whatever you want in front of your partner without judgement. However, I think a line needs to be drawn when you start to think your partner is you. You may feel incredibly at ease in their presence, but you are still two individuals with different thoughts and goals. Those thoughts and goals may align from time to time, but sometimes they won't and that's okay.
By being too comfortable and assuming your partner wants to do what you do or thinks the way you think, there is a risk of great miscommunication and potential signs of dissatisfaction that you might be missing. Yes, you two know each other better than anyone else, but it's when you forget you are part of a partnership rather than one organism that it might be time to sit down and have a bit of a verbal catchup of each other's lives, thoughts and ambitions.
FORGETTING TO COMMUNICATE
This is the most well known sign of any relationship losing its fire, but as I mentioned above, I've noticed it can be caused by being too comfortable. Remembering to communicate your thoughts rather than expecting your partner to read your mind is hard sometimes, and that's understandable. It's also quite difficult to lay any vulnerabilities out on a table for them to see, but allowing yourself to be vulnerable in front of your partner can be a good thing, in my opinion, as it can show the trust you have in them.
I hate confrontation more than anything, so I find that writing my thoughts down helps me organize them a bit more and actually form cohesive sentences. I also find that it helps me remember everything I want to address rather than possibly starting a serious conversation and then forgetting the major points that made you me it. I am a millennial so I am not ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoy sending out a massive text paragraph when something has irked me. Most of the time, I feel good about having done it and it clears the air when it comes time to seeing each other again.
NOT MAKING PLANS
I am notoriously bad at making plans, because who wouldn't want to sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day? But after a few years that can get a bit boring and lonely. Taking the time to actually organize a proper date can make a world of difference, in my opinion. You've set aside some time where you can dress up and dedicate it to each other. This is especially important when you live together, because it can start to feel like date night every night, but there's a difference between hanging out and actually spending time together. The latter requires a dedicated attention and mutual understanding while the former might only require a comfortable pair of pants and maybe a glass of wine.
I'd love to know your experiences in long-term or even short-term relationships. How do you avoid getting into a rut?