5 ways to refresh your relationship

By: Jen Kirsch

© Arcurs Author: Canadian Living Credits: © Arcurs


5 ways to refresh your relationship

By: Jen Kirsch
Although it can be tempting to let to let relationship upkeep slide in amongst all of the commitments on your busy schedule, it's important to take time to rebuild the romance in your relationship. Sure you might be comfortable with the way things are, but a healthy and satisfying relationship takes conscious and continual effort. While relationships are frequently complicated, simple changes can often have significant effects.

We asked Anita Fiander, a women's empowerment expert, for her suggestions on how to refresh your relationship with your other half.

1. Focus inwardly

In order to nurture a mutually respectful, kind and loving partnership you first need to look after yourself. When you take the time to make your wants and needs a priority and to have a life that doesn't depend solely on your relationship, you will be better able to engage with your partner and appreciate the time you do spend together, says Fiander.

"If you're not showing yourself love by taking care of your mind, body, spirit and heart, then your partner cannot do so either. Take the time to take care of yourself and, in turn, support your partner to do the same," she advises. Realize that your partner is someone who you should share your life with, but who isn't your entire life.

2. Have clear communication with your partner
We often think we are clearly communicating our wants and needs to our partner, but there are times we assume more than we actually say out loud, says Fiander.

"Every time you talk to your partner, give him something to feel, something to remember and something to do," Fiander suggests. By doing so you will be more clear about your expectations and your partner can act accordingly. Remember to also give him time to take in what you've said and to ask questions if necessary.

If you pressure your partner for an apology or an immediate response, he may feel attacked and go on the defensive. "Don't expect a response right away. Give him time to absorb and respond," Fiander advises.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover fun and easy ways to bring romance back into your relationship on page 2
3. Bring back that loving feeling
When you think back to when you and your partner first started dating, you likely get that feeling of butterflies in your stomach. This feeling comes with the memories of being pursued and wooed, which help make you feel desirable, tended to and special, Fiander says. Bring the romance back by doing some simple things to recreate that attentiveness within your relationship.

Making time for romance doesn't have to be expensive, says Fiander. Something as simple as holding hands during a walk around the neighbourhood can make for a quick and free romantic gesture, she advises.

"Romantic notes and texts are also a simple and easy way to inject some passion into your relationship," says Fiander. The goal is to make your partner feel desired and admired.

4. Take responsibility
It's easy to hold a grudge over something your partner did or didn't do, but try to avoid pushing all of the blame for your frustration onto your partner.

"If you've had a falling out, then take responsibility for your part and apologize," says Fiander. "Take time to understand, accept and respect the differences you and your partner have."

Since her focus is on empowering women, Fiander stresses the importance of accepting responsibility for the role you play in your own relationship. Once you are more aware of how your words and actions shape your interactions with your partner, you will be better able to work through any problems that arise.

5. Don't be afraid of going to a relationship expert
If you want to refresh your romance and are struggling with a way to do so naturally, Fiander suggests seeking professional assistance.

"You probably don't fix your car yourself or perform surgery on yourself -- you get an expert. If your relationship is really struggling, bring in a professional," she says. "That's what they're there for."

When you hit a wall in your relationship or get too comfortable to make an effort, you might not want to seek advice from friends for fear of judgment. However, a relationship expert or counsellor is an unbiased professional who can help you with new ways to improve your relationship.

Every relationship has its ups and downs, but you deserve the most out of it, so realize when things have gone stale and be open to refreshing your relationship. "This relationship is one of the most significant aspects of your life," says Fiander. "So give it the attention it deserves."

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5 ways to refresh your relationship