Every now and then, it’s a good idea to do a ‘health check’ on your relationship. When we neglect our relationships, problems can arise and before long you may realize that you aren’t getting along as well as before. In order to nurture closeness and be sure that you are in the right relationship, rather than just going through the motions, ask yourselves the following questions to gauge whether or not you are still on the right track.
1) Do you and your partner fight or argue with increasing frequency?
If you are arguing more than usual, ask yourself what the source if the conflict is. Nip it in the bud and deal with it before it becomes a bigger problem. Letting problems stick around can lead to resentment and a loss of loving feelings towards one another.
2) Do you feel that your emotional needs are not being met?
This question is very important. If either of you feel your emotional needs are not being met, now is the time to change things. When emotional needs are not being met, it has a destructive effect on the relationship. We start assuming that the other person doesn’t care, and we begin to do less for our partners with an attitude of, “they don’t do it for me, so why should I do it for them?” This inevitably will lead to bigger problems. Sit down with your partner and make a list of three to five things that they can do to meet your emotional needs. Make an effort to incorporate those actions listed as often as possible to restore goodwill in the relationship.
3) Are you physically frustrated in your relationship?
Affection is part of the whole package. A complete lack of touch and affection leads to a disconnection whether you realize it or not. If all tactile behavior has ceased, make an effort to give one another a foot rub or shoulder rub. Tap them on the shoulder as you walk by–focus on touch to reconnect and feel closer. If sex is non-existent, talk about it and re-introduce touch slowly. Begin with baby steps–be sure not to pressure you partner.
4) Do you think that your partner places their job or other priorities ahead of you?
When we don’t feel important in a relationship, our thinking begins to change and we find ways to feel important in other ways. Often these ways can be non-productive and lead to more problems. Discuss your feelings with your partner–they may not even realize how you feel. Try to compromise and find ways to work around the circumstances so that you may feel important again. Everyone likes an attentive partner. Consider too, whether this situation is temporary and calls for a little patience in the short term.
5) Do you feel that you are being used?
If you feel used on some level, this suggests a trust issue. Trust your instincts. If your partner ignores your needs and always puts themselves first, it’s not a good sign. Every relationship requires give and take in order to survive.
6) Do you feel there is more to life than that which you are living in this relationship?
Are you feeling restless? Do you look around at other people and fantasize about being in another relationship? Sometimes we do this when we are angry with our partner, but if this is developing into a regular behavioral pattern, it suggests that there are underlying issues. Ask yourself whether there are things you could be doing together as a couple. Make the effort to do something fun at least once a month to keep the fire alive
7) Have you had to stop being yourself in order to keep the peace in the relationship?
When you stop being yourself, you start living a lie. When a partner tries to change you consistently, they are sending you a message that you are not good enough as you are. Trying to be someone you’re not is a losing game–you need to be loved for who you essentially are. That is what we all wish for. You can’t change your character, but you can compromise and change some behaviors–know the difference.
8) Is guilt a major factor in your relationship?
Do you stay in your relationship out of guilt? Do you feel a duty to stay for some reason? If you aren’t staying out of love and friendship it might be time to question your motives. Guilt is never a good reason to continue a relationship and the long term prospects of a relationship based on guilt are not good.
9) Do you feel that you give while your partner takes?
Who makes all the effort in the relationship? Every relationship, without exception needs to be nurtured. I like to think of relationships like gardens. If you don’t tend to them, ‘weeds’ start to grow. If you feel that you are the only one that legitimately works on the relationship, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart chat. Often, there could just be a miscommunication and once the topic has been discussed, you can both find ways to feel that equal effort is being rendered.
10) Are you in this relationship today simply because it feels safe and allows you to stay in your comfort zone?
I have come across many people who stay in relationships, not because they are happy, but because it is all they know. They stay out of fear of the unknown. Don’t allow self limiting beliefs to stop you from leading a full life. Be brave. Get out there and make sure that you are living the best possible life for you.
Relationships take work. Two unique individuals with their different personalities, backgrounds and preferences always makes for an interesting mix. Compromise, communication and consideration go a long way to keeping a relationship healthy. Develop your own interests and you’ll have more to bring to the relationship. Above all, have fun and communicate regularly. All too often we make assumptions about what our other half is thinking, and this is often wrong. We get annoyed, assume and then become angry. Speak openly, express your feelings and above all make time for lighthearted activities. Too many chores and too much monotony and routine are never good for a relationship. Go out and have some fun together!