Last week, in the midst of mess, sick kids, sleep deprivation and more work than I could handle, I turned into a bleary-eyed banshee.
“You’re not hearing me,” I screeched at my husband. “Sometimes I feel like we’re talking different languages.”
He walked away. He does that.
It wasn’t our finest moment.
I said we were talking different languages, but it wasn’t so much that. It was that we hadn’t been talking about anything lately, aside from kids, finances, household chores, groceries, bills, work.
Our relationship, the big-fat-romantic-love-of-our-lives relationship, had lost its place on both our to-do lists.
Love. If it’s ‘meant to be’ it should be easy, right?
I don’t think so. The idea that romantic love should happen effortlessly is a big pile of poo rolled in Hollywood glitter. Every other aspect of your life — a fulfilling career, happy kids, friendships, healthy meals and a decluttered home — doesn’t just happen by itself, so why should your most important relationship?
It’s time to put some effort in. I’m no expert, but here are four little love ‘tweaks’ that are helping us help get the ‘elation’ back in our relationship.
Figure out your love language (and theirs)
Gary Chapman, love guru and all-round good guy, says there are five emotional love languages. According to Gaz, each of us has a dominant ‘love language’ and if you and your partner are talking different languages, that’s going to bring out the banshee in anyone.
You may feel most loved when your partner tells you how amazing and beautiful you are (words of affirmation). He may feel most loved when you initiate a midday quickie (physical touch). Doing something that doesn’t come naturally to you is a greater expression of love. And what you give, you get back (hopefully in your own love language).
Nurture your relationship by changing habits
Changing a few simple habits can make a huge difference to your relationship. Try and eat dinner together a few times a week (not in front of the telly), go on a date or plan a weekend away.
Ditch the dull routine if you can. Go roller-skating. Paragliding. No cash? A beach walk in winter or a picnic in the hills will work just as well.
Lower your expectations and find the positives
I’ve said it before, expectations are bullshit. When you expect others to act in a certain way, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Your expectations are not top of their lists. Theirs are not at the top of yours. Instead of what makes you want to tear your hair out, think about what you love about your partner. Write it down. Now show your partner your list.
Talk, talk then talk some more
You make time to talk about shopping, washing, childcare/school, money, work. So make the time to talk about your dreams, share your visions, communicate your plans, the things you love, the stuff that needs work. Tell your partner what makes you happy (and what you love about them) loudly and often.
Let’s face it — it’s not Hollywood. Relationships are hard work. But they’re usually worth a bit of effort.
So banish your inner banshee, stay in the room, get over the small stuff and put that big-fat-romantic-love-of-your-life relationship back where it belongs — at the top of your to-do list.
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