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Published on July 25, 2019

How to Spice up Your Relationship and Keep It Fresh and Exciting

How to Spice up Your Relationship and Keep It Fresh and Exciting

Love and marriage take work. If you neglect your relationship, the connection you have with your partner will wither, and perhaps even get lost.

Needless to say, if you care about your relationship and want it to succeed, you need to work on it. You need to communicate well. You need to work on a solution to any problems that may arise. You need to face any threat to your relationship together with trust and compassion. And you need to try new things to keep it fresh and exciting.

This article is about how to spice up a relationship. I am going to give you 6 things you can do to keep things fresh and exciting for both you and your partner, and keep the connection you have with your partner strong.

1. Talk More Deeply and Openly

The first thing that I recommend most people is to learn to be more honest and open with your partner. If you and your partner already share a deep connection and you already share everything with each other, you probably don’t need to do this.

But if you are like most couples, who don’t talk about everything and don’t have a deep connection, then you will most likely find this extremely helpful and refreshing.

Here’s what you should do:

Imagine having a life where you can share everything with your partner. Your fears, your past, your weird thoughts, your aspirations, your life goals, your work goals, your fantasies and anything that comes to your mind.

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As you were reading the above sentence and imagining sharing these things with your partner, try to notice where exactly did you feel a resistance. In which part exactly your mind was like,

“I can’t share that with my partner.”

For example, maybe you were like, “I can’t share my fantasies with my partner. They are too weird.”

If you feel a resistance towards being a 100% open with your partner about everything, then that’s a weak link in your relationship with your partner. Moreover, it’s also a source of shame or fear for you. Not only are you afraid of your partner finding out about this, you are ashamed of a part of yourself.

If that’s you, I urge you to try to talk to your partner about this. Broach the subject to gauge where your partner stands and tell them how you feel about it. It may turn into a serious discussion or even a heated argument; but in the end, you will be glad you did it because if your partner truly thinks you are special, they will accept you for who you are.

Ultimately, sharing and being honest with your partner about everything is only going to bring you both closer.

2. Share Your Fantasies

This one is quite obvious and an advice you will find pretty much everywhere. This advice is so common because it works.

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When you share your fantasies, not only is it an act of vulnerability that brings you closer to each other, it also opens up the doors to a lot of adventures and sexual pleasures. Both of which brings you together.

The only thing that may go wrong here is if you share your fantasies with too much expectation. A lot of time, people share their fantasies with their partner with a presumption that their partner will want to fulfill their fantasy. And if they find out their partner is not willing to partake in the fantasy, they get upset and feel bitter about it.

When you are being vulnerable to someone, you should do it without any expectations and returns. Being vulnerable is not an act of trade. When you are being vulnerable, you should do it only with the intention of opening up to your partner.

If your partner is not comfortable with whatever your fantasies are, accept it and respect their boundaries. They might open up later, but that should not be something you should push them to do.

3. Travel Together

What better way to keep things fresh than to travel to a fresh new place, with fresh people, new food, new culture and new friendships?

When you travel with your partner, you will experience a new culture together and you will both get to share your experience with each other.

When you experience something new with someone, you associate that novelty with that person. By traveling, you will start associating novelty and excitement with your partner, and that will bring you both together and make you more attracted to each other.

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If you are traveling, make sure you define exactly what you want to do as a couple. If your goal is to reconnect and keep things fresh, then I highly recommend you go to a place that has a different culture from where you are living right now.

4. Games – All Types of Games

Games are one of the best ways to keep things fresh and entertaining for a couple. The best part is that you can choose any type of games that you find appealing. It could be video games, board games, sports, or something fun like paintball. As long as it’s a game, you can get better at and it’s competitive, you can do it together as a couple and enjoy every moment of it.

The reason why games are great at this is because they are relatively cheaper than most other options. You don’t have to spend a fortune traveling. You can just purchase an interesting board game and start playing it with friends and family.

Moreover, games give you something to talk about and do together. Before you know it, you will both be looking forward to the weekend when you can meet up with your friends for game night.

5. Charity/Volunteer Work

It may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about keeping things fresh. But volunteer work can make a huge difference in the way you see things and the world.

When you both dedicate some time to help the society and your fellow human beings, you will both learn more about each other and appreciate each other more. Not to mention you will have some of the most rewarding experience of your life. It will also give you an idea about what’s important for your partner.

The best way to go about doing volunteer work is to speak about it with your partner. Talk about it and discuss what is important for both of you and how to best make an impact in the world. Even if the impact you make is small, you will be glad you did because it will affect the life of another living being.

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6. Challenge Each Other

Couples who challenge each other to improve are the ones who love to play with each other and are involved in each other’s life. It doesn’t always have to be about something serious. You can help each other reach your life goals by challenging each other and keep each other accountable. Just make sure that you are being supportive and not talking them down.

For example, if your partner’s goal is to lose weight; you can encourage them by placing a bet with them to reach their goal weight by a certain time limit. If they win, you give them something that they really want (like that sexual position that they always wanted to try). If they lose, then they give you something that you really want. This way, you keep things fun and help each other at the same time.

But if you take it too seriously, you may get disappointed if they don’t reach their goal weight. And you may end up saying something that hurt them, causing them to feel insecure in the relationship.

So, it’s important to be careful when you are encouraging your partner to grow. Wrong expectations can lead to arguments and sometimes irreparable damage.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of things that you can do to keep things fresh and exciting in a relationship. But it’s always best to start with proper communication and understanding.

Make sure you are not just trying to keep things fresh because there is an underlying issue that’s causing you both to drift apart. If there are issues in your relationship, work on them first before trying new things.

And whatever you decide to do, don’t take it too seriously. Remember, the goal is to keep the relationship fresh and alive, and that should always be your top priority.

More About Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

Featured photo credit: Jared Sluyter via unsplash.com

More by this author

Kevin Thompson

A breakup and relationship expert who writes about reconciliation and becoming a better person

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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