We’ve been together for over three years now, and are going pretty strong. This in itself
surprises me sometimes. After a life of tumultuous relationships, filled with drama and upheavals, I’m never quite sure whether to trust in the strength I think we have.
But we do. We’ve been through so much, finishing Uni, major health set backs, moving house and country. And yet, we stood in the kitchen at Lunch time making omelettes together, and I just know that we are in this together.
It’s so easy to get swept up in life, whether it’s work demands, a hectic social calendar or opposing sleep patterns. We’ve had periods of disconnect where I’ve started wondering what we are doing, whether what we have is still recognisable as a relationship. Days can turn into weeks, into months, and you realise that you’ve barely spent any quality time together. Nerves are a bit raw, irritable squabbles break out over nothing, little things start bothering you like never before.
Some might see this as the relationship going south, dying, waving red flags. And I’m sure in some places this is true, if you have actual problems grounded in reality like lying, incompatibility, whatever. But maybe take a week or two first to figure out if you are both just disconnected from each other.
I’ve got to the point of accepting that we will go through these periods at one time or another. If you are two individuals coming together as a couple, life can get in the way. Sometimes you need to be a little disconnected to get things done, personally I find this is inevitable. But that’s okay, so long as you both make a point of coming together to reconnect.
5 Ideas for being Connected again.
Spend a night together.
This can sometimes be more difficult than it sounds if you are on different working schedules, but make a plan, put it in the calendar and stick to it. Have dinner together, preferably one you have both contributed to. Sit, eat, chat. Turn off phones and devices. Don’t be checking messages that ping just on the off chance it’s the one time someone truly needs you in an emergency.
Everyone has their own rhythms. If neither of you can cook, go out to eat. Just so long as you do it together.
We are all guilty of hearing and not listening to our partners at one time or another. Especially when you live together it can be very difficult to devote this kind of time to each other. You have to Actively devote your time to listening to what your partner has to say, which may have nothing to do with you, but might be important to them.
Grab a drink, sit down and talk. Whether it’s just about your day, your week, your plans, ideas, gossip, new things on the internet, whatever it is, just talk and listen.
A great tip if you find this difficult is to while your partner is talking, repeat what they are saying in your head to really keep focus. Give them assurances like Oh, I see and nodding/head shaking, so they know you are engaged. You can also ask follow up questions like, Hmm so what are you going to do about that? Or That’s awful, why did she do that?
Take turns and enjoy getting to know each other. We are changing constantly, every day interactions affect our moods, behaviours and choices. Find out what is going on with one another.
Make plans together.
Whether it’s a weekend break, a day trip to a National Park or gallery, having a Marvel Marathon day. Make a plan to Do something you both enjoy. These days can be rewarding activities for both of you and it’s a new experience to share.
Our likes and interests change over time, this is a great way to show each other what you’re interested in, to either share or appreciate.
Those are great for one of trips but even just mundane daily activities can be made into plans.
We’ve taken to having lunch together every Tuesday in a cafe. I have my therapy appointment and he reads in the cafe taking some much needed time to himself, then I meet him for lunch, where we talk about my session, his book, plans, anything. But it’s a thing, that we do, that we look forward to, together.
It is way underrated as a form of intimacy. Friends do it, acquaintances even get a shoulder hug, dogs get them. But honestly, sometimes you could both just do with a big, fully embraced, hug. Stay like that for a minute or so. Hug them as if you aren’t going to see them for a long time. Hug them as if everything in your world could be solved by that embrace.
There is rarely a day that goes by when I don’t give him a hug. Whether I’ve just come home from a stressful day, or he wanders into the kitchen looking for sustenance because work is getting on top of him. Big Hug. Everything feels better.
Going to Bed together
Again, a hard one for some. We really struggle with this. Whether it’s due to an early morning I need so I’m in bed before him, or he needs to stay up till 3-4am due to a work demand, or one of us is snoring too loudly, it’s sometimes unavoidable.
But making the effort to go to bed at the same time, and not being attached to your phone, can make all the difference.
Whether it’s just some last night chatting as you dose off, or cuddles and spooning, or more intimate activities. All are important to your relationship and all can be improved by just being there together. With nothing else to do other than sleep, we are free to just be.
Get creative! Remember what you used to do together that you don’t anymore. Is it just a matter of priorities?
Leave any thoughts in the comments below,