How to Restore Warmth to your Relationship

Is your relationship growing cold and thus make you fear for its future? And probably you wonder if something can be done to save your relationship. Yes! You can save your relationship. This article is for you!

But the future of your relationship is in your hands

Some relationships have not survived storms and yet others have come out stronger. It’s not a matter of chance but the effort that the couple puts in. A relationship is a project that depends on your good management for its success.

In this article we shall look at some tools that may be useful for repairing and maintaining your relationship. Oh yes, I talk of tools because you need them to work on your relationship. There’s no magical way.

Given the different types of intimate relationships that exist, in this article I choose to use the word partner and I have in mind a relationship of couples that want to spend life together.

This article, quite long, is divided into three parts. Firstly, we shall consider the experience of falling in love; secondly, the factors that may render your relationship flat; and thirdly, we shall propose some tools that may help you revive your relationship.

I. Oh, how beautiful it was!

Seeing how cold your relationship may have become, probably, you just can’t help the nostalgia of those days when you fell in love: how beautiful it was! That’s a point of reference and you want your relationship to continue like that.  When you fell in love it’s more than just intense emotional experience; it’s your entire life that was turned on, even your biology. In fact, the effect on your brain was like someone who had consumed cocaine –you were on cloud 9.

Your partner became somewhat the axis on which turned your life and it’s hard to imagine your life without your loved one, hence, the insatiable desire to be always in his company. No effort is needed, you are simply carried along –it’s like love at first sight.  However I prefer the French expression which I find more dynamic: coup de foudre which literally means thunderbolt. Falling in love is a kind of energy that sets you in movement.

Like under drug, your perception is altered. If it’s hard to advice a person who’s drunk, it’s not any easier for a person in love either. Naturally you idealise your partner like a little divine without blemish and everything about him is a source of pleasure for you. You relativize a lot of things, but for how long?

If such emotional experience is powerful enough to spur you into relationship, however, it can’t assure stability and direction to your relationship. When the high emotional voltage comes down you begin to see things differently especially when reason, values and your aspirations begin to reclaim their place in the relationship.  Such moment may present itself in form of questions and doubts about your relationship; it’s a crisis meaning that you reach a point that calls for readjustment. What are the signs? Let’s move to the second part.

II. When the battery of your relationship goes flat

Here we consider the forms through which the low voltage may manifest itself in a relationship. In fact, it’s a time when you are likely to say: ah, but that’s not what I thought! It’s not necessarily because the other has changed but you only begin to see things differently. What’s important is not to dramatize the situation but to know how to negotiate this new phase in constructive way.

When you take your relationship for granted

Unintentionally the relationship can be neglected especially when you feel so settled that you don’t make any effort to nourish it. There are many factors that may lead to that: the pressure of professional work that consumes your time and energy. Consequently, your home becomes only a place where you retreat in the evening to eat and sleep. Your interactions with your partner are reduced to house management: things to buy, repairs to do or bills to pay. That would not be enough for the health of your relationship.

When routine becomes your master of ceremony

Routine is another thing that can drain life from your relationship. You remain attached to the activity that no longer nourishes your relationship. Besides, you become so used to each other to the extent that your relationship degenerates into sister-brother thing.  You lose the intimacy proper to love relationship. Consequently, you make no effort to be affective and attractive to partner. Age or sickness, par example, can dampen your relationship.

When a partner is chronically ill naturally the other one becomes a “nurse”. Beautiful, isn’t it? However, the risk is that one is reduced to a patient and the other becomes a caregiver, unconsciously freezing the couple relationship. Compassion and care become the only means of interaction –passion and intimacy go into hibernation.

Well, when one or more of such signs of crisis begin to weigh on your relationship it’s high time you did something. Waste not your energy accusing each other but channel it to repairing your relationship. For that you need tools –check in the third part.

III. DIY to better your relationship

When you get into Do-It-Yourself (DIY) store, the tools that will likely to draw your attention are those necessary for the kind of work you have at hand. Similarly, if your intention is to save your relationship you will turn to those tools that will enable you do the job. Indeed, your relationship depends on what you put-in as couple. Think of the transactional analysis: you get what you stroke, meaning, in the relationship you reap the kind of stimulation that you provoke in the other –positive or negative. So, let’s look at some tools necessary for boosting your relationship.

Bear it in mind you are a couple

A relationship implies an interaction of at least two people. It’s then a basic condition for a relationship to work that you take the other into account in whatever you do. Even though you remain two different persons with different interests, nevertheless, you must have some common denominator.  So we may agree with Antoine de Saint-Exupery when he says: “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” A shared a vision is essential to your relationship.

Do simple, genuine gestures of affection

What will maintain your relationship is not necessarily the extraordinary gesture that you pose once in a while but the little acts that make your partner feel your constant and persevering love. Isn’t that what the French poet, Jacques Prévert, means when he writes: “Millions and millions of years would still not give me half enough time to describe that tiny instant of all eternity when you put your arms around me and I put my arms around you.” Try it, perhaps, you will be the next to testify.

Love your partner in a personal way

Pay attention to your needs and to those of your partner. You may not be able to satisfy them but the act of recognising and honouring them assures your partner that you care.  It’s only when you know the needs of your partner that you can love him in a personal way. Besides, knowing your needs will help you organise your life as couple around those needs –a kind of common project.  

Have a common project

A common project can enrich your relationship in two ways: it gives a future perspective to your couple and it allows you to have something to do together.

When those strong feelings of falling in love subside there are questions that you have to face in your relationship: what next? That is, what do we do? Where do we go? That’s when a project can save you from incertitude and give you also something to look forward to. It’s also a sign that you are willing to continue, otherwise, if you have doubts it’s unlikely that you invest yourself in anything on the long term. Contrariwise, a couple invaded by sentiments like someone diagnosed of terminal illness will have difficulty projecting itself into the future. So, the relationship just becomes lifeless.

Secondly, a common project gives you the reason to be and to act together. That’s healthy for the relationship regardless of what you do. In their Looking out, Looking in Ronald and Russell affirm: «When partners spend time together, they can develop unique ways of relating that transform the relationship from an impersonal one to an interpersonal one.” But that calls for creativity to avoid routine.

Be positive

Invest your energy into activities that inject good feelings in your relationship. What differentiates a happy couple from an unhappy one is not the absence of conflicts but rather what couples do feel good in their relationship. That gives them the chance to deal with conflicts they may have in a constructive way. So check your approach orientation: is it about stop sign concerned about avoiding negatives or are you acting positively?

Tap from the treasure of your past

When things go bad in a relationship the tendency is to pass time ruminating on the good old times. But you can do more. Try to identify the elements that gave vibrancy to your relationship and see if there’s something you can use today.  I see a relationship like walking in the woods. The farther you get away from your starting point the higher the chance of getting lost. Won’t it be true that sometimes we end up in difficulty simply because we have distanced ourselves from the initial spur of the relationship? So, why not sit down together with your partner and retrace your starting point, those days of the coup de foudre? You may find something that can serve to rejuvenate and re-ablaze your relationship.

Conclusion: what I imagine for you tomorrow

Firstly, whatever situation you are in, the future of your relationship is in your hands. So sit down with your partner and get yourselves to agree on the present state of your relationship: satisfying or unsatisfying? Degenerating or improving? And what dream do you share as couple for your relationship tomorrow?

Secondly, get yourself to work in order to realise that dream. Focus not on who’s culpable but on things that inject positive feelings into your relationship. It doesn’t mean ignoring the conflicts you may have but you can deal with them more constructively when you have established a good, friendly ground.  

No magic but only your efforts will better your relationship. And so one day, I can imagine, you will look back and congratulate yourself for your determination to repair your relationship. What a joy when you look into your partner’ eyes and say, yes –we did it! Then you become a beacon of hope for other couples caught in similar uncertainty.  

Yes, it’s possible to warm up your cold relationship, but it belongs to you as couple to strike the match stick.

See also: Do you know the enemy of your relationship?

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