Spring has sprung, and while cleaning the house is the normal protocol of the season, why not also take some inventory of your relationship with the one you love? If you feel that your relationship has become stale or you’ve been too busy to give it the time it deserves, try these five tips, and watch your relationship bloom.
1. Prune Away the Assumptions
Before a garden can bloom, one must prepare the soil, and make sure there is nothing that will choke the blossoms to come. According to Nathan Feiles, LCSW, couples often struggle with having false assumptions about the other person. Feiles tells us that assumptions are toxic to a relationship, and they can “cascade into a snowball of unrealities.” Now is the time to clear the air and remove the assumptions that are keeping you and your partner from truly understanding one another.
2. Plant Some Seeds of Bonding
If you want to see flowers, you have to plant the seeds. Intentionally plan to spend more time with the one you love with a standing weekly date that you never miss. Also, start praying together, even if it’s just a short prayer in the morning or evening. These moments of friendship and prayer are the most important part of tending your garden.
3. Get Out and Get Sun
Further cultivate your relationship by being active together. A great way to spend time together is during exercise. According to Theresa DiDonato, Ph.D., “a growing body of evidence suggests that couples who sweat together really do stay together.” Start running together, join a class at your gym, or find a dance class nearby.
4. Water the Garden with Fellowship
Shared social identity is integral to a relationship, so let your relationship bask in the company of a community. Make strides towards making friends with other couples, or if you live in an area that lacks community, one study suggests that watching movies together can actually help you create a shared social identity. At PureFlix.com there is always something good to watch. Get involved in a series such as “The Encounter” or “Ties that Bind.”
5. Have Patience
Flowers don’t bloom overnight. Have patience with your relationship and treasure the moments you spend with the one you love. Continue to listen and share. When you lose hope, let the words of Paul be your guide: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:67 ESV).