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Rekindle the romance in 9 easy ways

Rekindle the romance in 9 easy ways

We’ve all been there; you meet someone, fall in love and the romance blossoms. So after that initial honeymoon period ends, what next? It’s so easy to slip back into the comfortable stage, life takes over and commitments pile up, leaving very little time to enjoy each other’s company.

Keeping the romance alive doesn’t mean you have to always give massive tokens of love or go through the motions with traditional gestures at birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. The little things all count and something simple can give you that little moment of intimacy, perfect to rekindle your romance, when life gets in the way.

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1. Behave like children

You might be responsible adults now, but why shouldn’t you have as much fun as you did when you were kids? Taking time out to have fun together is a great way to reconnect. Go to the zoo, laugh at the monkeys getting up to no-good, take photos of you with funny-looking creatures in the background and feed the animals in the petting area, it’s all good fun!

2. Go for lots of walks together

The best way to relax and enjoy each other’s company is to get out and about on foot. Whether that’s a hike in the mountains of Snowdonia or a gentle wander throughout the enchanting woodlands of the New Forest. You’ll find beautiful walks, views and scenery to enjoy and no-doubt you’ll find the perfect spot to watch the sunset, how romantic!

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3. Make each other laugh

It’s pretty easy really, but finding the time to relax and make each other laugh is a simple way to rekindle those warm fuzzies. Turn off your phone and don’t even think about work. Instead focus on making each other laugh, no one likes someone who is serious all the time and can’t let go of the real world.

4. Get on your bike

Whether that’s a tandem bike or your own bike, go out for the day and ride carefree through the countryside, stopping at pretty village pubs for a drink along the way. If you haven’t ridden a bike for a couple of years, this is the perfect opportunity to get back in the saddle – and provide each other with a couple of laughs.

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5. Go out for a romantic meal

Might sound cliché, but treat yourselves to a romantic dinner for two. Whether you’d enjoy a slap up meal in a fancy restaurant or fish and chips down your local chippy, do whatever you feel comfortable doing, but make sure you agree on the choice!

6. Cook a meal together

Buy a load of really tasty ingredients and cook something up together, if you don’t get in each other’s way then bonus! If you find one person is always cooking, why not switch it up in future and share the burden, you never know if you might actually enjoy doing it.

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7. Go on holiday

Might sound like an easy one, but really relaxing and spending time together on holiday sometimes still gets put on the back burner. Book somewhere secluded, peaceful and relaxing for some quality one to one time with no interruptions.

8. Do absolutely nothing

It’s important for couples to be able to sit and do nothing together without an awkward silence. Nothing meaning – no work or household chores. So spend a couple of evenings relaxing in front of the TV with a bottle of wine. Watch a film together, read a book or play a board game.

9. Give each other space

You don’t have to be with each other 24/7. Take some time just for you, whether that be reading a book in the sunshine or heading off separately at the shops to indulge your different interests. Don’t forget you’re an individual too.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Natasha Henson

Aspiring Author and Photographer

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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