Relationship renewal? What does this mean? Can bad relationships be renewed?

Life can get a little routine and ‘ho hum’. You do certain things on certain nights of the week, together or apart. The love is still there, but the accelerated heart rate, weak-at-knees sensation, and feeling that your heart might explode with passion, have noticeably decreased. The good news is that love is a renewable resource.

All relationships go through phases. In the beginning the relationship is full of gloss and infatuation – newly in love, excited and passionate about each other. The first period of a relationship is commonly known as the ‘in love’ period where you naturally feel love and passion. This is the phase where you are more willing to do things for each other naturally because it’s exciting and new for you. It is after this period that you really have to start working on your relationship. Many people feel that a good relationship should not require work. It should simply be. This is not true. Relationships require attention.

So, how do we freshen up your relationship…improve, repair, and make it more successful?

Renewing your relationship is a matter of focusing positive attention on it, keeping the love alive, giving your partner your full attention and listening.

Focus positive attention. Take every opportunity to affirm what you like about your partner, both with actions and words. Start saying thanks for all that your partner does for you. Think about the things you’ve let slip. Did you use to make dinner? Tell your partner how much you cared? Give compliments? Everyone wants to feel loved and appreciated. Be generous, even when you least feel like it. The reality is that loving feelings follow loving thoughts and actions. Love is a verb, not a feeling. If we want to stay in love, we need to keep acting in love.

Take responsibility for what you can do to improve the relationship instead of pointing the finger at all the things your partner should do. You get what you want by giving it away … then it is returned – the good and the bad. If you don’t have an idea of what you need to do to get your relationship to where you want it to be, simply ask. You can say something like, “I know things haven’t been the best, but I’d like to make them better. What can I do to improve our relationship?”

Talk with your partner in a positive way, sharing your desires. Listen when they talk. Get to know each other all over again. Communication will, nonetheless, foster renewal because through it we get to share needs, wants, disappointments, desires, goals and the like. Knowing where our partner is at physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually, will only serve to strengthen our sense of connection.

Be careful not to place blame or use generalisations like always or never, e.g. we never go out any more. Instead, discuss the things you both love, and have loved in the past, that you can do together. Then work out how you could re-incorporate some of those things into your life. You might even write each idea on a slip of paper, put them in a jar, pulling one out on free days and do whatever the slip of paper suggests.

A happy, fulfilled relationship is possible; but it does not happen by chance. Programme it into your life, if you desire it. Take responsibility for the renewing of your relationship, because whatever you make or fail to make of it, is what it becomes.