Being in a relationship is the ultimate test of balance in your life. Gone are the days of taking care of solely yourself and now you need to find a way to manage your work life, home life, social life, alone time and "together" time with your partner.
It's a huge challenge and oftentimes people neglect one area of their lives in order to make their relationship work. But what if you're neglecting your relationship? Take a look at these warning signs to see if you're at risk of growing apart from too much space in your relationship.
When you first start dating someone, you're usually inseparable. As you get used to each other, you tend to do more and more things on your own. That's OK — every now and then — but if you're constantly attending social events solo while your partner stays home or attends a different event, that's a huge red flag. Relationships are all about compromise, and if the two of you never make sacrifices for each other, the relationship may be doomed.
How to fix this: Talk with your partner about engaging in social activities together. It doesn't have to be all the time, but commit to attending one another's events on a monthly basis at the very least.
Do you spend your evenings glued to your phone and your partner spends his glued to the television? Do you no longer text or call each other during the day just to chat or check in? Do you spend your dates talking about finances, the kids or other household matters? If so, it's time to reevaluate the state of your relationship. Though this is an extremely common problem, connecting to your partner is important and should be high on your priority list.
How to fix this: Disconnect! Discuss with your partner appropriate boundaries for technology. A couple of ideas would be no technology after 8 p.m. or no technology in the bedroom. Or, even simpler, set aside 15 to 20 minutes of each evening to chat (technology not allowed!). One rule — try to keep the conversation about your relationship or your individual goals as opposed to housework and kids.
For those with kids, date nights tend to be a thing of the past. Finding and hiring a sitter, getting the kids ready, getting yourself ready and of course paying for the date and the sitter just doesn't seem worth the effort for some couples. Though this is understandable, date nights are a must for couples — with or without kids. Date nights allow the two of you to have fun again, laugh together, hold hands and sneak kisses. They help you view your partner as your lover, not just your roommate.
How to fix this: Schedule a date night out at least once a month, no matter what. If money is tight, find another couple with kids and suggest trading off. Date nights don't have to be fancy — think walking around a park and bringing a picnic for the two of you. Once a week, schedule an 'at-home date night.' My husband and I do this every Friday after we put the kids to bed and it's something we both look forward to each week.
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