How to Rekindle a Relationship – Discover 5 Basic Reasons Relationships Sour and How To Fix Them
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Do you need to rekindle a relationship?
Do you find yourself wanting to take your love life from lackluster to a steady simmer (or maybe a raging boil)?
Do you wish you had kept in better touch with your college BFFs?
Has it been too long since you’ve really had a good talk with your sister?
Learning how to rekindle a relationship may be just the help you need.
The number and quality of our relationships is often a vital aspect of how we assess our quality of life. (Close Relationships and Quality of Life.)
Knowing how to rekindle relationship helps to ensure you'll always have strong and healthy connections to those who mean the most to you.
It's sad when relationships are allowed to diminish or deteriorate.
However, there are some simple steps we can all take to counteract this distance, andlearn how to rekindle a relationship that means so much.
Whether romantic, friendship or familial in nature, relationships often go bad as a result of these five fundamental issues:
1. The relationship is being neglected.
These days, everyone is busier than ever, and it can be increasingly difficult to keep up with relationships.
One of the most common reasons relationships fail is that the relationship becomes neglected in favor of other aspects of one’s life (priorities or lack thereof).
Individuals involved in romantic relationships can often grow apart when one or both members of the relationship begin to prioritize work, other activities or other relationships over their romantic partner.
So, how to rekindle the relationship?
In this instance, scheduling date nights and setting aside quality time with one another is an easy way to rekindle your relationship so that neither partner feels neglected.
Plans can be as simple as settling down on the couch at the end of a long day with a bottle of wine and a good movie or as extravagant as planning a weekend away together.
How you choose to rekindle the relatonship is up to you.
What really matters is making sure that part of your normal routine is dedicated to enjoying each other’s company and cultivating opportunities for feeling close to one another.
With friends and family, an “out-of-the-blue” phone call can often help you keep up with goings-on in each other’s lives and to avoid emotional distance and feelings of neglect.
Even if you don’t have the time to make frequent calls, a simple note, email or text can help the other person know you’re thinking of them.
Scheduling even an hour out of your week to keep in touch with friends and family can do a world of good for strengthening your relationships.
Similarly, scheduling quality time that fits with your schedule can help to keep friendships and family bonds alive and healthy.
This can be as simple as meeting up for coffee if you're in close proximity to one another, or as planned out as going on a cross-country trip together.
2. Your relationship is taken for granted
Expressing gratitude for your loved ones is one of the most important foundations of a healthy relationship.
How often do you say I love you to your partner?
How about your parents or siblings or best friends?
“I love you” is a powerful statement, and though it can be hard to remember to express this sentiment as regularly as we should, it is extremely important.
Other simple acts of gratitude such as saying “I appreciate you” and “thank you” can help to strengthen a relationship and make sure that the other person doesn’t feel they are being taken for granted.
Aside from verbal gratitude, you can also show appreciation by extending help.
Does your partner hate doing the dishes?
Even if it’s his turn, you could always do it for him and leave a little love note letting him know that you wanted to help him out.
Little gestures like this can extend non-verbal love in a way that makes your partner feel appreciated.
This goes for friends and family as well.
Though it may be harder to find small acts of love to complete when you don’t live together, sending small care packages or letters through the mail can be a great gesture, particularly if you know that a friend or family member is struggling.
If you feel your relationship is suffering because the other person is taking your relationship for granted, it can be important to voice this concern.
They may not realize they are doing this to you in the way that you yourself may not have evaluated how often you tell your partner you love them.
3. Lack of communication
How often have you heard that “communication is key” in a relationship?
The truth is, good communication and healthy relationships are inseparable.
Without open and effective communication, there can emerge a distance between two people that in some cases can become unbridgeable.
Sometimes, even if this is acknowledged, it can be difficult to actually take the leap of improving communication.
How do you rekindle the relationship?
One of the most important ways to open the lines of communication is to ask questions.
If you ask your partner or friends questions, it gives them opportunity to express themselves, their thoughts and emotions in ways they may not have felt comfortable in doing on their own.
Something as simple as asking “how are you feeling?” can help to open an important discussion about daily feelings.
If for example, you find you and your romantic partner struggling with your sex life, you could ask questions of your partner in an effort to open up a line of communication where you can both discuss your feelings.
These questions could be as simple as asking what they especially like or want in the bedroom, or how they envision their ideal sex life.
Try to tap back into the exciting moments early in your relationship when you wanted to devour all you could possibly want to know about one another.
Staying in this mindset leads to excellent communication.
With a friend or family member, it is equally important to keep an open line of communication even though these relationships tend to fall into communication doldrums.
It is important for friends and family members to understand what is going on in your life and for you to understand what is going on in their lives as well.
In this way, you can avoid miscommunication and achieve closeness.
4. Unrealistic Expectations
We’ve all heard the tired mantra that love is a game where you don’t know the rules.
This is an extremely misguided thought.
True love and intimacy are founded on open communication.
You and your partner should constantly be communicating in order to establish the “rules” of your relationship.
Are you angry at your partner because he doesn’t show you physical affection when you’ve had a rough day, or doesn't understand when you don't want physical contact for the same reason?
The answer is to talk to him about it.
How can he modify his behavior if he doesn’t understand yours and know why you are angry?
Having huge expectations for your partner, or anyone for that matter, including thinking they should be able to read your every thought or satisfy your every whim without you telling them, is a recipe for disaster.
We are only human.
Some people are better than others at intuiting what the other partner needs.
However, you can learn to manage unrealistic expectations by keeping in mind that everyone is not inherently skilled at intuitive emotional understanding.
So how can you rekindle the relationship?
Instead of expecting the response you want from your partner when you are sad, try explaining to your partner what it is you are looking for to bring you comfort.
Similarly, expecting friends to reach out to you when you won’t reach out to them is hypocritical and leads to disappointment.
Instead, simply letting your friends or family know when you are struggling can trigger the very outpouring of friendship and love you might need.
Managing reasonable expectations and discussing them openly is key.
Even the best of friends and partners are not mind-readers.
5. Lack of Vulnerability
Leaning on people in your times of need is difficult, but essential, in order to create lasting intimacy.
Vulnerability cultivates trust.
Every successful relationship involves a delicate balance of trust and vulnerability.
Each person in a relationship must be able to trust the other completely, and at the same time be willing to be open and thus vulnerable to the other person.
If either one of these things is lacking, missing or out of balance the relationship will suffer.
In a romantic relationship, vulnerability can be cultivated through honesty.
If you are worried about a big job promotion coming up, talk to your partner.
Too often, we worry about being burdens to those we love.
Being stoic and solid is definitely an attractive quality, but in all reality, all humans are flawed, vulnerable, have worries and face difficulties or hard times.
Being open about your own struggles will allow others to be open to you about theirs.
In this way, you will be able to cultivate deep and lasting intimacy in all of your relationships.
An easy way to get become accustomed to showing vulnerability is to simply express your feelings openly.
If your friend asks you how you are, instead of just offering the reflexive response of “fine”, really think about it and answer honestly.
You could tell them you had a good day because you got to spend time doing the things you love.
Or you could mention you are feeling sad because a family member is sick.
Expressing your feelings authentically is a surefire road to intimacy.
How To Rekindle A Relationship
Strengthening relationships is one of the most important goals you can set for yourself in the coming year.
Having strong relationships helps us to feel a sense of purpose.
Strengthening your own relationships might seem like a difficult task.
It’s best to start with analyzing which of the above areas need work in your relationships.
Try some of the tips to improve your relationships and watch as they strengthen and become better.
Once you discover how to rekindle a relationship, enjoying healthy relationships will become a long-lasting benefit to your life.
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Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.