Don’t grow old in your relationship, grow bold.
MORE THAN MEDICINE
Sitting on the park bench was an old couple holding hands and leaning on one other. Those trembling hands tried hard to stay on the cane but had a trusting hold on each other. On a bench 5 steps away sits another couple; the husband is scrolling through his phone while the wife looks a bit lost in her thoughts. During my run, I often see such couples. There are couples that discuss their errands like coworkers in a meeting and then there are those who cannot stop smiling and steal glances at each other during their walk. There are couples who laugh together and appreciate the flowers, and then there are those who argue about a certain habit of the other. What is 1 similarity they all have? They are together. The thread that holds them might be at the verge of emotional/physical snapping, but they still are together. Hard truth is that every quality relationship—no matter with whom—needs work, effort, and fostering.
How does one create/foster/reboot a relationship with our other half? Why does monotony seep in? Why don’t we feel attracted to them anymore? Where is that adrenaline rush we felt in the beginning? In relationships, there are 6 major needs that one wishes to be fulfilled: certainty, growth, love & connection, contribution, significance, and variety.
Certainty refers to stability. Human emotions are volatile forces of nature. To feel secure in the relationship, one needs stability. Knowing your partner is going to be there through thick and thin provides that security. Disagreements are common in a relationship, and you should find healthy ways of coping with them.
Be it intellectual, emotional, or spiritual, it is crucial to support your partner in the areas they feel most passionately about. Understanding and nurturing your partner’s passion helps with growth and emotional intimacy.
Love & Connection
A couple communicates both verbally and nonverbally. We should not take our partner for granted and assume that they know that we love them. Besides telling them those 3 magic words and giving compliments, it is always better to show it in little ways like bringing flowers, leaving love notes, helping them finish an errand, switching roles and giving them breaks from usual household chores, and replacing their damaged belongings if any, because actions do speak louder than words.
Contributing and giving is something that solidifies our existence on the planet. How do we make a difference in a person’s life, especially the one who shares a life with us? Besides giving gifts and material things, what matters more is giving undivided attention, time, forgiveness, second chances, the benefit of doubt, and respect and privacy.
We all need to feel significant in life. Appreciating your partner and their qualities is an everyday process and gratitude never hurts. Being thankful and letting your partner know their worth in your life should be a priority.
We all have an inner child that gets shushed in the hustles of being an adult. Eventually, we do start craving the thrill of novelty. Rather than creating new romantic relationships every year/month/week seeking that thrill, rekindling the current relationship can be worth it. Keeping the inner child alive not only makes a relationship fun, but it is an excellent stress reliever. Dancing, working out, running, singing, painting, gardening, cooking, reading, and traveling together results in incredible growth both as a couple and as an individual.
Going this way, you can explore new dimensions of your relationship with your partner and with yourself, each day… every day. The bottom line is… life is too short to stay in monotony.
Dr Kaur is a consultant psychiatrist in Punjab, India.