MNA Lifestyle Desk: As the weather changes and we enter a new season, it may be the right time to evaluate our goals and the things we hold nearest and dearest in our lives.
That can include romance, as Australian relationship expert Melissa Ferrari reveals that sometimes even the strongest couples could use a little ‘spring cleaning’.
Checking-in with each other’s feelings, throwing out gifts from old lovers, and potentially even couples’ therapy could help to fortify relationships.
Ferrari suggests that couples begin by doing a ‘check-in’ to see where their relationship stands and what they need to work on.
‘Ask your partner questions like “Are you happy with how I treat you on a daily basis? Is there anything I can do that would help you feel more safe and secure in our relationship?”, she writes in Body + Soul.
Ferrari then recommends evaluating what baggage you individually bring into your relationship, as well as what baggage you have accumulated as a couple.
This means figuring out which arguments you keep having and if there are any long-standing issues between you and your partner that have not been resolved.
And while you’re getting rid of emotional baggage, it may be time to get rid of old gifts from past lovers as well.
Ferrari recommends that whether it’s an old photo, love letter, or even a Facebook friend who you still like to flirt with, cut out anything in your life that is ‘weighing down’ the relationship you’re focusing on in the present.
She also suggests working to see the best in your partner, and that means cutting out some banter that may skew toward the hurtful.
‘Try to eliminate sarcasm and negativity, and focus on the good things,’ she writes. ‘As a bonus this will make you feel happier too, and hopefully, lead to an upward spiral of positivity and gratitude.’
If things are starting to feel stale with your partner, Ferrari suggests changing things up.
This could be getting a new dress and having a romantic date night out, signing up for a class together, or trying something neither of you have done before.
‘Doing new things together is the best way to maintain, or revive, that spark,’ Ferrari writes.
If these tips don’t help, or if you’re simply looking to make your bond even stronger, Ferrari said it may be worth getting some professional help.
Couples therapy is more effective when it’s not used as a ‘last-minute resort’.
‘Couples wait an average of six years of being unhappy before getting counselling,’ Ferrari writes.
‘Many time the built-up resentment has by then become too over-powering and one person may have already given up.’
So if there’s a few cracks in your bond, don’t feel ashamed to take the plunge and get help to make it strong.