It is very normal for every couple to experience relationship highs and lows. Of course, we all want things to be wonderful all of the time. However, that simply isn’t the reality of human existence.
As author Madeline L’Engle said, “Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” In other words, the hard times help us to savor the good times.
Nevertheless, we don’t have to passively accept those challenging times in our relationships. We can work to improve satisfaction in our relationships, increasing the highs and reducing the lows.
Here are five tips to get started.
1. Accept the Reality of Relationship Highs and Lows
The number one thing that you can do is to accept that there will be relationship highs and lows. If every bad day makes you feel like running for the hills, then your relationship is going to be under constant stress. In contrast, if you can accept that there will be great times and ones that are not-so-great then you create a stable foundation.
This doesn’t mean that you just tolerate things that you don’t like in the relationship. However, it means that you take the long view.
You don’t have to nitpick about every single negative thing, because you know that there is something good right around the corner.
2. Practice Gratitude
Since there are relationship highs and lows, there is always something to be grateful for. You can always look to those “highs” to sustain you through the challenges.
If you turn your focus to what you appreciate about the relationship, then you magnify those good things. In doing so, you minimize the negative things.
This helps to improve your relationship satisfaction levels. In other words, you don’t necessarily need to change anything other than where you direct your focus.
3. Rekindle the Romance
Sometimes all that you need to do to get out of a low period is to refocus on romance. After all, relationships get dull sometimes.
You find yourself talking about the bills, the kids, the holiday plans, and so forth. You forget to just have fun together.
What would happen if you both agreed to take time away from the drudgery and incorporate a little bit more romance?
Ideas for rekindling romance include:
- Enjoy a weekend getaway for just the two of you.
- Start having weekly date nights.
- Schedule sex; sometimes that’s the only way to make it happen.
- Take a class or try a new activity together.
- Revisit some of the places you went on your first dates.
4. Work on Individual Personal Growth
Sometimes focusing on the relationship is exactly what you both need. On the other hand, relationships can also suffer from too much intense scrutiny. This can put a lot of pressure on a low time.
As a result, you might just need a little bit of space. Therefore, you might be able to improve your relationship satisfaction by each focusing on yourselves.
This can include:
- Engaging in new or favorite hobbies
- Spending time with friends and family
- Reading, meditating, journaling, reflecting
- Exercising or getting out into nature
- Practicing high-quality self-care
As you re-develop your own interests and passions, communicate those with your partner. Your excitement may become theirs and ultimately bring you two closer.
5. Try Couples Counseling
Many people think that couples therapy is only for people who are in crisis. While it can certainly help during a tough time, couples counseling is for relationship highs and lows.
Even in the best of times, there are things that couples can work on to increase joy and satisfaction in their relationship. In fact, coming into therapy with that strong foundation can be one of the best things you ever do for your relationship.
Of course, if you are having challenges, then relationship therapy can help you to work through those together.
Learn more about couples counseling here.