It is a gift to find a person you love enough to share your life with. Unfortunately, oftentimes, a relationship can begin to feel unfulfilling for one reason or another. If you’re not intentional, time will keep passing by and those feelings will begin weighing you down. It is possible to turn things around though. Here are some tips on how to improve your relationship.
So lately I’ve been feeling called to speak on relationships. If you’ve been in my world for some time, you’d know I ended a long term relationship and engagement a little over a year ago. As a First-Gen Latina in her late 30’s, this was not an easy decision to make. It took me a few years to gather up the courage to do it and being on the other side, it was one of the best decisions I could’ve made.
After speaking with clients and other people in my world about relationships, I realized that breaking up is not the only solution for everyone. I’ve heard of so many couples who don’t even have open communication for instance. This is something that can be implemented and will transform the relationship for the better. If you can’t be vulnerable and honest with your life partner, the person that you’re sharing your life with, the one that you have an intimate connection with, then who can you have that with? It may feel challenging at first, but it’s worth it. Continue reading for some of my tips on how to improve your relationship.
The first step in improving your relationship is to take some time for yourself to go within. Before you involve your partner, make sure you know what you like and what you’d like to see improve in your relationship. So spend some alone time walking through the following exercise. I suggest you journal all of this out.
- Think of a time you felt the happiest, most fulfilled, and on top of the world. What were you doing? Where were you? Who were you with? When was this?
- Next, check in with how you feel with your current circumstances and relationship. How are you currently feeling most of the time? How does it compare to that happy version of you? Does it feel similar? Does it feel unreachable and far away?
- What are some things you and your partner can do to get on the same page to improve your relationship? What would you like to see change? What do you appreciate about your relationship? (Note: nothing is too small/minor. If it’s on your mind, it matters and it’s important).
- Write a list of everything you can possibly think of that you’re grateful for (and why) regarding your relationship and your partner. Aim to write down more than 20 things. It can be anything (For example: I am grateful for his sense of humor because he’s always making me laugh or I am thankful that my partner fills up my gas tank without me asking because it saves me time from doing it myself).
The reason I had you start with thinking of a time you were the happiest is to have that as your anchor to compare your current feelings to. Sometimes we forget that happiness is a possibility if we have been stagnant living in complacency for a long time. It is absolutely possible and your birthright to return to living a happy and fulfilling life. The reason I had you end with a gratitude list is because you chose your partner for a reason. It was your choice so you can always go back to the things you’re grateful for that will spark appreciation for him and for your relationship.
Implement consistent check-ins
Now that you are clear about how you feel about your relationship, it’s time to communicate with your partner through “check-ins.” A check-in consists of a designated time for open and honest communication. This is the time to be vulnerable (as difficult as it may feel in the beginning) and real. The important thing is to have efficient communication where everything is said in a respectful way.
If this is your first time implementing this, I suggest you explain to your partner that you want to simply check-in because you love him and want to make sure you both are on the same page because you value your relationship. Remind him how this is benefitting both of you.
Some things to consider are the following:
- Choose a day and time where you both are well rested and in a good mood (not after work or before bed).
- Be clear headed (no alcohol or substances involved).
- Give yourself plenty of time (don’t rush it).
- Minimize distractions (put phones away, no tv/music in the background, no other people around).
- Set ground rules before you start (to be honest, open, receptive and respectful).
- Make it a consistent thing (whatever works for you, once a week/month etc).
If one of you begins to get defensive, take a break and agree to return to the conversation once you both are in a better head space. Don’t get discouraged if the first check-in doesn’t go as well as you would’ve liked. It can take a bit to adjust to something like this, especially if you both haven’t been vulnerable and open in the past.
Questions to ask your partner
During your check-ins, you can start by asking your partner how they feel about the relationship. Decide and declare that you’re both going to be honest and open without taking things personal. When you feel comfortable, you can ask your partner to rate the relationship from 1-10 (10 being the most fulfilling). I find that using a scale gives room for more follow up questions. After they rate it, ask what would make it a 10 (assuming they didn’t rate it a 10, if they did ask what makes it a 10).
Another question to ask is, “what do you need from me to feel fully supported, fulfilled and satisfied with our relationship?” Remember that this is a two way street and team effort where you’re both required to put in some effort. A few additional questions to ask are, “what do you love most about our relationship?” and “what would you like to see change?” Make sure to refrain from having a one sided conversation where you’re interrogating your partner. Allow it to flow and give your answer to the questions too.
Hold each other accountable
After having an honest and open conversation gathering insight and direction to improve your relationship, you have to hold each other accountable. Make it an agreement that you’re both embarking on this new chapter together. I suggest you focus on following through with your word as opposed to focusing on your partner’s actions. Go back to your gratitude list whenever you’re feeling discouraged. Another suggestion is to bring up your concerns during the next check-in instead of on the spot throughout your week. It can be received better during the check-in instead of it coming off as complaining or nagging during other times.
Bring life to the relationship
Finally, it’s important to bring life back to your relationship. Do fun and playful things together. Relationships aren’t meant to be boring. You are so blessed to have a partner to do life with, why not have a blast together? Continue dating each other (consistently). Try new things, learn something new together, plan a trip or local getaway. Think of some of your first dates and reenact them, if possible. Teach each other your favorite things.
The important thing here is to do these things consistently, whatever that looks like for you. It can be once a week or once a month. You have to make time for your relationship and value it, even if you have children together. Putting your kids first seems like a good idea but it needs to be done with balance and intention because at the end of the day, you’re going to be left with your partner.
Eventually, your kid(s) will move away, that’s why it’s vital to prioritize your relationship with your partner as much as you can. I understand there’s different seasons, for instance, it might not be doable to have weekly date nights with a newborn baby at home. However, it’s important to still implement quality time or at least the check-ins as much as you can during that time.
The final thought I have about how to improve your relationship is to be patient. Again, you chose your partner for a reason and it’s possible to bring your relationship back to what it once was. It’s possible to have a healthy and happy relationship again. You are worthy and deserving of it. So keep communicating as much as possible.
A final thing I’ll say is, if you feel like you’ve tried all of these tips to no avail, continue communicating your thoughts and feelings to your partner. The reason for this is because it’s bringing awareness to the situation and ownership on both of you to improve the relationship. If you still feel unfulfilled, then consider walking away.
If you’re looking for support with any of this, I have space for private coaching clients so book your consultation call here. Feel free to DM me on Instagram at any time with questions or feedback. And finally, make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you never miss a blog post or other things I’m up to! Thank you for reading!
Let’s work together!
- If you’re really ready to create the life you want
- If you want to increase your happiness and feel more confident in who you are
- If you want to trust yourself more and live on purpose
I can help you! Schedule your clarity call to work with me HERE!