3 Warning Signs That Your Relationship Needs Attention
Enjoying a lasting relationship requires work!
Those who think that relationships can just blossom and bloom without active gardening are destined to see the fruit of their passion die on the vine.
Be assured your relationship needs timely watering….quality time, a warm hug, showing active interest in how the other party navigated a challenging day.
Then there is the need for fertilizer to be added…. a surprise gift, a special night out, taking a turn to do an unpleasant chore.
Pruning is also required at times….an apology, the clearing up of an unresolved issue, re-commitment to work on an annoying habit.
Failing to keep on top of any of these activities diminishes the quality of your relationship.
Is your relationship the equivalent of a withering yellow instead of lush green?
Do you have a sense that there is an increasing number of issues that is detracting from the relationship? This is the equivalent of weeds in a garden.
How can you tell if your relationship is in need of extra attention?
Here are three warning signs that your relationship needs an urgent gardening intervention:
Warning Sign #3 That Your Relationship Needs Attention: Sharing Quality Time
Activities independent of each other consume more and more of your time. Communication takes place in the form of brief exchanges while multi-tasking. Sharing quality time together in a relaxed environment is no longer in evidence.
Left unattended, this situation can progress into a state where you are really just sharing the same space. Still later, you become passing strangers.
Over the next 30 days, keep a log of how much quality time you spend together. This is time that is not shared with any activity that detracts from your need to be attentive to each other. Compare this to when you started dating and make the necessary adjustment.
One unerring sign that there is a breakdown in the relationship is that you are unable to converse comfortably without running out of things to say to each other.
Are there awkward silences when you converse without props and distractions?
What about the content? Is it more transactional… budgets, business, chores?
The bottom line is that low levels of quality time with each other is a call to do some relationship gardening.
Warning Sign #2 That Your Relationship is in trouble: Waning respect and being taken for granted
At the outset of relationships there is tendency to have a tinge of awe with respect to your partner. It might be the mystique or some other factor. But there is a certain level of respect that is present. There is a feeling that we need to hold something back in reserve.
One challenge to enjoying a lasting relationship is the tendency for the awe or the feeling of a need to hold back is removed as we become more comfortable with our partner.
In healthy relationships, the awe is replaced by earned respect and esteem. We now know why we hold you in high regard and why our behaviour matches how we see you.
You know that your relationship is heading for trouble when one or the other party is no longer able to command respect.
The withdrawal of respect is the start of a slippery slide to an unhealthy relationship.
Respect is one key to generating trust and trust is in turn the glue that holds relationships together.
Every healthy relationship needs open and caring communication where partners feel free to exchange their thoughts, needs and aspirations. When the climate is not conducive to that kind of dialogue trouble is brewing. Urgent decisive action is required.
It is important to convene an early meeting where the issue is aired fully and commitments made to take corrective action.
Start by focusing attention of what could be the root causes of the lack of respect.
Find out what is the basis for the breach of trust.
Warning Sign #1 Your Relationship is on the rocks: Intimacy is lost
In the early days, touching was a requirement. You could not keep your hands to yourself. It might just be holding hands, or resting a hand on a shoulder. The presence of a little pat during conversations.
There seemed to be some magnet that drew you together physically.
Intimacy is a major part of a healthy, loving relationship. It is not just about sex.
Intimacy is also manifested in warm communication and those spine tingling deep eye stares that say “I love you” louder than any voiced statement. A warm hug just for a hug’s sake is priceless.
When that physical energy is missing it is the clearest warning sign that your relationship is on the rocks and you need to take urgent corrective action.
Steps to bringing passion back into the relationship starts with open discussion of the issue. Take time to ensure that any underlying issues are identified and addressed.
Is there some hurt that has not been addressed?
Is there a trust issue?
Is there suspicion of the involvement of a third party?
Are there physical challenges?
Once the underlying issues are removed then move to re-live some of the early passionate times. Go back to the fun places. Play the songs that you shared during the courtship.
Add to that some creativity. Seek new adventures. Do things differently.
Take on the persona of a new lover.
When the love garden is full of withering yellow leaves and weeds, some urgent gardening is required.
You know your relationship is in trouble when there is very little sharing of quality time. It gets worse when respect is lost. And your relationship is definitely heading to the rocks when those two are accompanied by the absence of intimacy.