I am not a relationship expert. In fact, the only thing I could be considered an expert in is the art of breastfeeding, getting myself dressed and taking a phone call simultaneously. There was this one time I even managed to get myself into pantyhose whilst breastfeeding a 9 week old baby.
So with those types of talents (which aren’t gonna achieve in my receiving any type of awards or ribbons) my expertise is limited.
I preface all of this because in the last few months, I’ve received comments and emails from readers regarding posts I’ve written about relationships and then asking for advice. And believe me, I’m all but willing to give you my two cents on just about anything…so if you ask, I’ll give you my honest opinion. I want to be clear though: I am not a professional in the field of relationships.
Any kind of relationships.
In fact, if you were to evaluate all of my relationships from the age of 3, you’d find that I’m actually below average in the skills of relationships. To be absolutely blunt: I SUCK AT RELATIONSHIPS.
In the spirit of open forum and discussion, I encourage comments and feedback. If you want to ask a question, I’ll gladly answer. Just know, that if you’re asking a question in the hopes I’m going to Oprah Winfrey your life, (which is ego fattening and head inflating for me, by the way) know that I’m just some 40 year old divorced mom who gets anxiety from driving to work.
The irony is not lost on me that my entire adult career has been dealing with the public and yet I am overwhelmed with big crowds and would much rather fly under the radar. See? I’m an enigma. I’m the last person you want to take advice from. My solution to almost anything is, “Which episode of ‘The Office’ will make me laugh hard enough to not think about this problem for a while?”
There’s your Disclaimer.
Now let’s delve into relationships…the non-expert, has no idea what she’s doing half the time, should take up underwater basket weaving instead of blogging version.
I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again and again: RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD. It takes the efforts of the two people to make a relationship work. If you have one who is trying and the other person is complacent, chances are the relationship is doomed. There may come a time in which the person who has been trying decides to give up. Usually (in my experience) the one who had been complacent sees this as a wake-up call. By the time they decide to get both feet wet and do the work that is required, the other person is done. It’s too late. They’ve moved on, if only just emotionally.
How does a couple avoid even getting to that place? Or…what if you already are in that place…what do you do?
Get Out and Do Something
If the only thing you can think of that you and your significant other do together is watch television together, then girlfriend, you’re in a relationship rut. I understand we all need down time and believe me, I am guilty of planting myself in front of the TV or bury my nose in a book to escape a hard day. I get it! However, if this is an all the time thing and the two of you do not have one thing you do together…then it’s time to change course.
You’re sitting in a rainy, muddy puddle together and the two of you have gotten so used to the yuck, you’re content in just puddle sitting. It’s going to be uncomfortable to actually step outside of the puddle and get cleaned up. However, think how fantastic you’re going to feel once that is done. And then you’ll be all, “Why the hell didn’t we do this sooner?”
LIVE. Get out of the house TOGETHER and have fun. This doesn’t mean extravagant and expensive outings…it’s about being adventurous and finding new environments to share TOGETHER. Make this mandatory. Get out together weekly on a mandatory date night, whether it be learning a new hobby, taking a walk, experiencing a new restaurant…just get off the couch and do something TOGETHER.
Rekindle the Intimacy
When things get complacent in your relationship, it’ll reflect in the bedroom. It’s not always easy to approach your love for a little something-something, especially if it’s been a while. I’ll admit this publicly: I’m not comfortable initiating. Having said that, sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone in order to “get some.”
When it has been awhile, it can feel all shades of weird to initiate some indoor sports action. Get your mind off THAT PART and pretend in your mind that it is in the beginning of the relationship.
Remember what attracted you to your honey to begin with. Flirt. Kiss. Hug. Hold his hand. Build that foundation of intimate excitement again.
Even if you don’t feel like the spark is there anymore, do it anyway…you’d be surprised at how often the feelings will return and then…chica chica bow bow. Fireworks.
Be Happy with Yourself
Your significant other isn’t going to be happy with you if you’re not happy with yourself! The happier you are, the more exciting your relationship will be. Work on YOU and your inner happiness FIRST. How can he possibly love or show you love if you can’t love yourself?
Pursue your own interests and passions. Be passionate with yourself and a passionate relationship will not be difficult to have.
Remember in the beginning of your relationship when you would get butterflies whenever your babe walked into a room? I still have those moments when I see The Boyfriend after a long day. I get a little excited and I hope those feelings never end.
What I am guilty of is holding back on that excitement. I should be flirting with him, because our mutual flirtation is a huge part in us becoming a couple.
The first time we kissed, he sent me a text later that night which read something like this: “You were so cute the way you hopped up to kiss me.” The fact that he used the word ‘hopped’ (we were sitting in his truck talking. I’m short, so in order to kiss him, I had to perch up a bit) endeared me. He was sharing with me his thoughts of our first kiss in an honest and flirtatious (albeit cute) way and I still smile when I think of it.
Flirt with your sweetheart. Send a flirty text during the day to make them smile. Gently touch the arch of her back in a loving way when standing in line. Wink at him across the room.
Flirt like you just met and want to get their attention.
Relationships. They’re a crazy thing…but they don’t have to be so hard that they can’t be fun.