Every men’s magazine and women’s magazine addresses this issue time and time again. There is a pretty good reason for this. There is no single recipe for a perfect relationship. Science cannot answer this question completely or even partially. So we have to try time and time again to figure it out. Although like so many other things scientists have studied, seeing what makes successful relationships fruitful can help us come close to keeping the flame going. Even the most successful relationships have pitfalls. Typically if a relationship is in a rut, the first question we ask ourselves is if the relationship is worth saving? That is a question for another article. For this article, it is assumed that the answer is yes. Here is the most confusing part. Not all articles give the same advice. For example, some will say to keep some distance, while others will say to do more things together. The answer is a balancing act that combines everything that while good on paper, is harder to enact in real life.
Everything here is common sense. Of course we all need to be reminded of these things from time to time. The key to any strong relationship is trust. Without that, nothing indicated in the article below will get you out of your rut. Having said that, here are 12 things that can help you get your relationship back on track.
12. The Golden Rule
Let’s start off with a few of the boring and simple things that you actually need. Not to bring religion into the equation, but the golden rule is important. Do unto your lover as you would have done unto you. Don’t demand special treatment from your partner that you would be unwilling to offer in return. Strive for respect, especially in communication. Contempt is the opposite of respect and often manifests itself in constant criticism and sarcasm regarding the worth of an individual. This can is known as “Being tough on the person and soft on the issue”. Never get personal by attacking the person. Always attack the issue. Remember, always think about how you would like to be treated. A happy partner helps out in so many ways. If you are living together or are married, this also means trying your best to split the chores and contribute to the financial success of the couple. In both cases it is important to agree to specific items that each member must perform.
11. Positive Thoughts
This entails many things. First of all before you can get out of a relationship rut, you have to be happy with yourself. Negativity spreads. Respond with excitement to someone’s good news, no matter how mundane it may seem to you. You have to rework your communication to lift your partner up and not down. Always try to lift your partner’s spirits so that they may get out of the personal rut that they might be in. Try to compliment people on new changes they have made and say I love you at least once a day (that’s a little later in the relationship).
If you have reached the point where everything is done via text messaging, then stop. Resolve conflicts immediately, and verbally. Don’t let anything fester. If you are angry, communicate it. If you are on the receiving end, don’t be a push over and accept overly aggressive communication but try to calm your partner down. Keep something bottled up and it will lead to the end of a relationship. It has been actually proven that men have a more difficult time of expressing their issues than women. Being the strong silent type is good at first, but it actually builds up resentment inside that over time will just blow up in the wrong way. Give in to things that are unimportant. Find 20 minutes every night to talk to each other. Do not get annoyed at your partner, listen even if you don’t care.
9. Really Look At Each Other and Touch Each Other
Try staring into someone’s eyes and remain angry. It’s hard. As humans we love attention, and this is the simplest form of attention that works. Also touch each other. We are not talking about improving your sex life just yet. Little things like an arm around the waist, a hug, a massage, holding your partners hand, moving your hand over their back, placing your hand on their shoulder. This traditionally is harder for a guy than a girl, but it really gets the juices flowing. Hopefully this will lead to making out more and kissing someone like you don’t want to stop.
8. Do Things Together
Try the following activities together: Working out. This helps improve a couples communication. For that matter any physical activity is good. The reason is that endorphins from exercise provide an adrenaline rush that boosts arousal. Take a weekend trip. Try silly things that you haven’t done since you were a kid, like riding roller coasters, sledding, even play “hide and go seek”. These are items you can’t possibly do over and over again, so they automatically get you out of a rut. Try even goofier things like cooking dinner naked, heck clean the house together naked. Do a nostalgic memory exercise and reenact those acts from the past that made you both happy. Walk instead of driving. Walking provides a superior level of intimacy.
The key is to try something new. It doesn’t matter how long the activity is. Dinner is a perfect time to try something new. It is an activity that people perform together often. Dance together before dinner, or cook different items. If these things don’t help, sit down and create a couple’s “Bucket List” and actually do those items you would like to do together.
Earlier we told you not to text, but we don’t mean never. Just don’t send more than two or three texts a day and keep them different. Limit it to 2 or 3 times a week for saying something like, “I’m thinking about you”. Once a week send each other a curiosity message. The type of message that starts with “you won’t guess what happened to me today”. Try a funny message with a slight sexual undertone. It is good to send a sexy text message every once in a while to keep the spark alive.
Let’s face it, a good part of our leisure time is spent eating. What better place to spice things up a little. There are two parts to this topic. The first are the actual foods that one should eat and avoid. The second part are about behavioral changes related to food. Let’s start with the foods that boost your love life. There is no magic food that automatically increases libido. A libido will decrease if certain vitamins and minerals are deficient though (such as zinc). In order to keep your libido normal, you need to eat foods high in zinc, vitamin E and B Vitamins. When you start to feel food (i.e full belly), it affects your perception and willingness to take your partner to bed. Here is a list of foods to eat: Spinach, Basil, Watermelon, Cayenne Pepper, Garlic, Oysters, Cinnamon and Bananas. So, plan dinner accordingly. Don’t skip meals, because hunger adds anger which affects one’s sex life. Eating out is also good, but a home cooked meal is an act of love. So is breakfast in bed. Everyone should learn how to cook. Take a cooking class and impress your partner with something new. Remember what you did on your first home cooked date; the candles, lights, etc. Do this every now and then, but not every day. You still have to schedule times to eat out though. If you can’t do it once a week, then meet for lunch or for breakfast, or pack your spouse a lunch made with love. Food really is the way to someone’s heart. It can show someone that you care.
What do we mean? Isn’t that something you do for work and for chores? Think about it, everything in this article takes time. Considering 50 hours a week are spent working and commuting, and 56 hours are spent sleeping, whats left? Approximately 62 hours. So what do we schedule? Talk time (20 minutes a day as mentioned before). Alone time (Spend 2 evenings a week scheduling time to be alone with each other and not just for sex). Also schedule time everyday to spend a few minutes with your partner in silence. But earlier we said communication is the key, so why silence? If you can trust each other enough, then you should be comfortable being with each other and not be paranoid around silence. Finally it’s a good idea to schedule sex. But shouldn’t sex be spontaneous? So far in this article, many things were listed to keep a spark going, so if you schedule a time for sex what’s the problem? The spark should already be there. Believe it or not, married couples have more sex than single people by a long mile. So schedule it.
4. Family, Friends and Outsiders
Respecting your partner’s family and friends goes a long way toward showing that you respect your partner as well. Invite their friend over. Stay with them for a few minutes and then leave them some time alone. Schedule dinners and events with other couples. Allow your partner to spend some alone time with their friends. Next time a family member calls, spend a few minutes and talk to them. Talk through problems with other couples to get a fresh perspective. If you are really in trouble, then don’t be ashamed about seeking outside help.
3. Relieve Stress
Before making it to the bedroom, relieve any and all stress. That doesn’t mean you have to practice Yoga. It does mean that you should have tried everything in this article, especially conflict resolution, and the golden rule. But if that isn’t enough, try the following: the easiest and most effective way to eliminate stress quickly is to practice breathing techniques. There are some that take one minute. You can find them all over the internet. Some people like to read books, or take long baths. Everyone agrees that sex is a great stress reliever. The irony is that to get the most out of it, you have to get everything else out of your mind before hand as well. Angry sex only works so often.
2. The Bedroom
Once again this particular section can take up a whole article itself. Getting rid of all electronics (especially cell phones) can do more for intimacy than scented candles. Here are some other things to try: browse an online sex toy store together or visit one together. Bathe together periodically. Try watching adult films together, but try to make it acceptable to both parties. For women, romance novels are equally as good. Try anything that makes you feel naughty like role playing, wigs or sexy outfits. Even try a lubricant. Most importantly just do it. According to therapists, sex has four stages. These are desire, arousal, orgasm and return to normal. For some people things don’t always occur in this order. So even if you are not aroused, let your partner stimulate you and things will happen.
1. Shake Things Up
One of the best lines I’ve read is to think like a realtor (i.e: location, location, location). Get out of the house. It doesn’t have to be romantic like a B&B or a fine hotel. Moving to different rooms in the house is good too, but it gets distracting if you have too many unfinished chores lying around. Don’t have much money? Well you can try public places, just don’t get caught, or maybe you want to get caught (whatever suits your fancy). Try a new sex position, but for god’s sake don’t try everything in the Kama Sutra. The goal is not to hurt yourself. Create a “fantasy jar”. Have both partners write down their fantasies, pick one and try it. Even with all of this, never forget non-sexual touch.