You can probably remember how excited you felt about your first love or someone you thought was your soul mate. You got giddy thinking about them. You looked forward to spending time together. You felt excited above all.
But what happened over time? Did your relationship keep the spark or start to dwindle its flame?
According to U.S. statistics, one in two marriages end in divorce. There aren’t any statistics about how many of the people who are in #romantic relationships stay together because those relationships are working. By working, I’m referring to “sizzling.”
So how can we keep our love relationships hot even after being together for years?
Relationships are about an investment of time, energy, and thought. Think about someone you were friends with who moved away. If you don’t keep up with them by calling, writing, or visiting, the closeness you feel to that person won’t be as strong.
If you’re in a relationship where you live with your partner as two roommates who share a space, but either never see each other, or see one another without sharing each other, you will drift apart. Conversely, when you spend quality time with someone you care about, talking about your latest updates, asking about them, and creating experiences together, you build a connection.
Sounds simple, right? But if it were this simple, we’d all be doing it.
This takes mindful action.
Here are 5 essential steps to making your relationships sizzle:
Spend time together daily where you share experiences from your day. This can be at the dinner table or in bed before going to sleep.
Carve out time in your week for date night where you can get away from responsibilities of daily life and focus on something fun together. To routinize this, pick a day of the week and stick to it. If you decide on Tuesday nights and you have kids, get a babysitter that can commit to a weekly gig.
Plan for shared adventures, such as travel, on a quarterly or annual basis. This requires not only thinking of where you want to go, but also how much it will cost you so you can budget accordingly and save your money.
These first three steps have to do with #planning. Sit down with a calendar. Schedule activities and write them down to ensure you stick to the plan.
Focus on being a good #listener with your partner. Research has shown that 93 percent of communication is nonverbal, so pay attention to both what your partner is saying and how they are saying it.
Become familiar with your needs and express them directly. Avoid mind reading or passive-aggression. Be clear, have good #boundaries, and you’ll increase the chance that you get your needs met.
These last two steps have to do with #communication. This requires that you understand yourself and your partner in terms of needs and get to a win-win scenario.
Relationships take work, but they are the most important aspect of our lives. We thrive from connection, we learn from them and grow, and have a chance to give of ourselves and be seen.
With the right planning and communication, you can ensure your relationships sizzle rather than #burnout.
*This article appeared in On Trend Magazine