Relationships can be tricky. While finding a suitable romantic partner can be complicated in and of itself, the struggle doesn’t stop the moment you meet your match. In fact, the longer you’re with the same partner, the more likely it is you’ll encounter new and unusual issues you hadn’t anticipated. One common problem for long-term couples is growing apart as the years go on. Though a common fear for many, there are many simple ways to focus your efforts and learn to grow together and strengthen your existing bond instead.
Spend Time Alone
When you first meet a potential romantic partner, it can compel you to want to spend each and every moment with this person. As the years go on and your relationship grows, you begin to take the other person for granted in subtle ways. Sitting around the house together and staring at your phones might seem like you are spending time together, but you’re technically just occupying the same space at the same time. To keep your relationship strong, there must be a concerted effort to spend meaningful time with each other.
Life is going to take you both in very different directions, and it is important to find activities you enjoy doing alone, or without your partner. However, if you don’t actively dedicate time in your schedule to each other, your relationship will start to fizzle away. Sit down together on a weekly basis and have a “check-in” about your week. This creates an excuse to talk to each other about work, school, or whatever activities you take part in separately. Having a vested interest in your partner’s life helps to reduce the odds of distance growing between you.
Fight When You Need To Fight
Many people have strong reactions about whether or not fights are healthy in a relationship. While newer couples tend to shy away from arguments, studies have shown that a bit of fighting can be incredibly helpful for relationships of all types. While you definitely don’t want to argue over every little thing, a fight is an opportunity to work through an issue that is bothering you. When you constantly avoid arguments because you fear they will upset the peace, you’re really shoving down your emotions until they explode out of you in less healthy ways.
One key to understanding arguments is learning how to admit your mistakes. Saying “I’m sorry” is definitely key, but an empty apology is about as useful as a toothbrush with no bristles. Don’t apologize just to end an argument. Instead, take a look at what your partner is pointing out and try to own whatever issues are being addressed. The more you both acknowledge each other’s frustrations, the easier it is to find meaningful solutions for the future to help lower the odds of the same issue repeating time and time again.
The healthiest relationships are typically made up of two people who know how to work together for a common goal. Sadly, there are plenty of circumstances in which you might feel your partner is not in your corner and vice versa. During these moments, it is crucial to remind yourself that your significant other is not your enemy. Though you might not see eye to eye, you need to think about what matters in the moment. At the end of the day, all successful relationships consist of two individuals who know how to work together.
No matter how long you have been with your significant other, growing apart can be a very real concern at any stage of your relationship. To avoid drifting from the person you love, you must take active steps to spend more meaningful time together. By making this effort to connect, you can reduce the odds of the passage of time pushing you farther away from each other.