Are things between you and your partner(s) starting to feel a little…stale? How long has it been since you both went on a date with a no-cellphones rule? Or enjoyed each others’ company at home instead of stressing out about chores? A partnership shouldn’t be limited to paying bills, cleaning the house, working, and sleeping.
But many people find themselves stressed to the point that it affects their mental health and their relationships. To help keep relationships strong, we’ve compiled a list of the top three steps you can take with your significant other(s) to keep romance strong amidst the trials and tribulations of life.
Work On Your Mental Health
The first step is to turn inward (and encourage your partner(s) to do the same). Our mental health affects our relationships 100% of the time, and how we cope matters. For instance, if you lash out at a significant other when you are angry and stressed, it can build resentment between you. Self-help books can help, and there are a myriad of mental wellness groups on sites like Facebook and Reddit.
There are even mental wellness apps for smartphones! If you can afford to see a counselor, having a therapist to talk life over with can help you vent and learn proper coping skills. You also may find there are things you have been bottling up that will be freeing to discuss and release.
Another option is to clean up your spaces. Enlist your partner’s help in decluttering and decorating shared areas, and if you can, have a place that’s just for you. Exactly how is different for everyone, but the status of our rooms and where we spend the most time can affect our emotional well-being. As the viral Marie Kondo advice goes, you should fill your space with things that “spark joy.”
Consider Couples’ Counseling
Working with a therapist can help you both grow in communication and closeness. Many people are under the assumption that therapy is only for you if you have an immediate problem to address, but that’s not the case! Couples therapy in California can be a great tool for firming your relationship, even deepening it. You can also learn how to work through issues together using data-proven methods and learn to recognize when your partner(s) is upset at you or upset at something else and lashing out.
A licensed counselor is an objective third party with a toolbelt full of helpful advice, coping methods, and more. They can help you process the past and plan for the future, or they can help you improve your present. But you and your partner(s) need to take those first steps—- agree to go, schedule the appointment, and follow through.
Don’t Let Romance Die
You hear it all the time from couples who have been married for a while. The dating life fell by the wayside, and they only really spend time together at home. That’s not healthy for a relationship! Especially if there are kids in the picture, you and your spouse, significant other(s), or partner(s) should make time for romance and relaxation together. If schedules are packed or finances tight, it doesn’t have to be often— but it should be intentional. Choose a day and mark it off on your calendars
The Bay Area is full of dating activities for you to enjoy! You can revisit old favorites or try something new. Alternate who gets to pick activities for your dates and play along with whatever your partner(s) chooses. If you end up not enjoying it, you’ll know for next time— but it shows your partner(s) that you are willing to try what they enjoy. (Note: there are a few exceptions. Obviously, your partner shouldn’t be taking you to eat somewhere you are allergic to and shouldn’t force you to risk life or limb on something dangerous.)
Not all dates have to be outside of the house, but you should still spend intentional time together. This could be lighting a few candles and cooking dinner, watching a movie together, or playing a game, like video games, board games, or TTRPG games like DnD. You could even invite other couples or polycules you are friends with— just not all the time.
Ignite the Sparks
Love is more than an emotion. The longer you are with your partner(s), the more you may feel those giddy butterflies fade away. That’s because love is also a commitment. It’s intentional action to care for the person(s) you are with. That’s why it takes things like working together on a project, rekindling date night, or even talking with a counselor to get new perspectives on your relationship. Whatever the best action is for you, we wish you luck in your love!