At the end of the winter, your home may feel musty and dark. You feel stir crazy. That’s where the concept of spring cleaning comes in; you get rid of any sense of claustrophobia by freshening, opening, and tidying things up.
And much like you might spring clean your home, this time of year is also a great opportunity to think similarly when it comes to you and your partner. It’s time to shake off the dust, clear out the clutter, and bring some fresh air back into your relationship.
Here are five things you can do to get started:
Try Doing New Things Together
A great way to spring clean your relationship is to bring a new activity into it. It could be just the spark you and your partner need. Maybe there is something you both have wanted to try. Now is the time to take the leap.
Before you talk yourselves out of it, go ahead and sign up for that dance class. Join a hiking club or a tennis team. Set-up weekly gatherings with friends, rotating between each other’s houses. Or schedule a regular date night, and get out of the house altogether.
Try Doing New Things Apart
It may seem counterintuitive to spring clean and strengthen a relationship by spending time apart. But an important part of a strong relationship is respecting each other as an individual, with different interests and passions.
You may want to join a book club, while your partner is more interested in photography. Or you may feel like exploring artistic pursuits while your significant other just wants to relax and watch sports on TV.
You both should encourage the other’s interests and willingness to explore them. Celebrate each other’s individuality and independence. Making each other feel confident in independent pursuits can only help make you both feel more confident and supported in your shared partnership.
Another great side effect? Doing new things apart gives you new things to talk about when you are back together.
Restart the Conversation
Every now and again, it’s perfectly normal for your relationship to fall into something of a rut. This includes the things you talk about. Conversations may become stale and routine. How was your day? Fine. How are the kids? Fine.
The challenge comes in getting out of that rut. At a certain point, you may feel that you both know everything there is to know about each other. Maybe, maybe not. Even if you do know a lot about each other, that’s not where the conversation has to end. You can try to mix things up and stimulate the communication that is oh-so-important in relationships.
Try to spring clean your communication style, and re-engage with each other with unexpected conversation starters. You may know about each other’s past, but what about hopes for the future? What are they thinking about right now? If they could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be? And so on.
Make Time for Intimacy
Being tired, worries about work, and scheduling conflicts come up time and time again to put a damper on romantic interludes. By definition, intimacy is important for a couple’s overall sense of closeness. That’s why part of relationship spring cleaning should include making intimacy and romance a priority.
Spontaneity is exciting, and therefore the ideal when it comes to romance. But it may not be realistic with your current obligations. So, at least until you get back fully into the romantic swing of things, you might actually think about scheduling time to be intimate with your partner.
Before you turn up your nose at the idea, consider this. By arranging things ahead of time, you can anticipate and put a stop to any romantic interruptions. Knowing it’s coming can give you and your partner something to look forward to. And ultimately, shaking the dust off of your romantic life in this purposeful way could be just the kickstart it needs to renew a sense of spontaneity.
Renew Your Friendship
Next to getting your physical relationship back on track, now is also the time to reconnect with your partner as a friend. You like each other, remember?
Take the time to make a list of the things that you like about each other. And hopefully, the new activities and renewed communication you’ve started with your relationship spring clean will also help to remind yourselves that you really do like spending time together.
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