Communication, Family Ties, Intimacy, Parenting, Relationships, Toolkit

Reboot Your Relationship (part I of the Reboot Your Life series)

I am starting off my series called Reboot Your Life with a blog post and video about Rebooting Your Relationship.

First, what is a REBOOT? Well, with a computer, you know how things can start to run slow and get bogged down? Shutting it down then allowing it to start fresh can help it run better. So applying the idea of a fresh start to your life, your work, and your relationships is designed to help you feel happier, energized, and more content with the life you are living.

This series will address how you can apply the Reboot philosophy to every part of your life – relationships, health, work, and brain. We’re not going to give you a list of what NOT to do. You probably know that. We’re going to focus on the positive things you CAN do to make each part of your life better.

So first, let’s talk about relationships.  This is assuming you have a significant other, but if you don’t, the concepts still apply. Friendships and family relationships need TLC, too, so no matter what your circumstances, you’ll find some helpful advice. So if I mention “partner” and you don’t have one, that’s okay. Think about what interpersonal relationship in your life these tips might improve!

First – COMMIT TO CHANGE

Your relationship is not going to run on automatic. Scratch that – it may run, but it won’t thrive. So first and foremost, decide – “This person is worth my best effort. I am going to give this a try for thirty days and see what happens.” Then go for it! If you want to reboot your relationship, you’ve got to be ready to commit to consistent, simple, small changes.

MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER

If you have the same kind of life most of us have, you work, have kids, take care of the pets and the laundry and the car, and on and on. You go until your head hits the pillow at night. Your relationship gets pushed aside again and again. A relationship is like a plant – you have to water it to see it grow and flower. That means making time for one another. At least once a week, I want you to plan…something. It can be fancy but sometimes the times that make the best connection are spent taking a walk, sharing a cup of coffee, or giving each other a backrub. All that matters is that it is the two of you, that talk of babysitters and work and bills goes out the window for an hour, and that you focus on one another.  Take turns planning what you will do together. If you have to literally schedule this time in your calendar, do it.

MIND YOUR MANNERS

I have noticed that it is sort of second nature to be polite to acquaintances and strangers, but we sometimes let common courtesy go when it comes to the people closest to us. I’m all for being comfortable with one another, but saying Please and Thank you, bringing your partner a snack when you make one for yourself, or just being thoughtful– these things make closeness and intimacy feel good. Don’t only save your best for others in your life – share the very best self you can be with your partner.

LISTEN

Listening is an art, and anyone can learn good listening skills. It feels good to be listened to! Try this. The next time you and your partner have a conversation, turn toward them. Make eye contact. Nod, and use your facial expression and body language to show that you are open and connected with what they are saying. Instead of offering advice, ask questions or paraphrase to make sure you get what they were telling you. This is all called active listening, and it not only increases intimacy and good will between people, it works with friends, co-workers, kids, and just about anyone you’d like to communicate with. Give it a consistent try, once a day, about any topic at all. It doesn’t have to be something heavy.

HAVE FUN

Finally, make time for fun in your lives together. Make each other laugh, put a silly note in her lunchbag, write I love you in the steam on the bathroom mirror after your shower.  Sometimes couples don’t have the same idea of what fun means. For example, sometimes I see couples where one loves to tease. And tease. And the other feels put off by that. So find out your mutual idea of fun – go searching for it if you need to. It will be worth it.

Rebooting your relationship means making room for new ideas and behaviors designed to make you closer, happier, and more intimate. Give it a try! Thank you for visiting my blog, and please add your own Relationship Reboot ideas below!

Link to the video on YouTube:  http://youtu.be/k_0uZudtT2g

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