From The Straits Times    |

Jacelyn* loved Tim*, her boyfriend of three years, but when the 28-year-old marketing manager felt that their relationship was going nowhere and was no longer exciting or inspiring, she began to worry that she would have to end it.

Real life Singapore women relationship problems advice DECOR

“Tim and I always had a great time together, but one day, it hit me that things between us weren’t fun anymore,” Jacelyn shares. “We always looked forward to spending time with each other, and suddenly the vibe between us just wasn’t the same. We no longer holidayed together as often, we stopped going on romantic dates, and we stopped bothering to look good or stay in shape for each other. The connection between us faded. Our relationship had become boring and routine. When I started to wonder what our future together would be like, I actually panicked and considered ending things with Tim, even though I still loved him a great deal. I just thought that our feelings for each other had hit a wall.”

Thankfully, a long chat between the couple revealed that their relationship was not, in fact, dying a slow death. Jacelyn and Tim still wanted to be with each other, but they both felt “stuck” where they were. Things had become so predictable that they no longer felt challenged or mentally stimulated by each other. The intimacy between them was also not as deep as it once was. Together, they decided to inject some life into their relationship and look for ways to feel close to each other again.

Just because you and your guy aren’t connecting with each other like you used to, it doesn’t mean that you should call it quits. As long as you both still love and want to be with each other, you can save what you have and make it even better.

While you’re at it, it’s important to remember that a great relationship doesn’t happen on its own. After being with someone for a while, many people think that they no longer have to make the effort to keep their romance alive, but a strong relationship takes consistent hard work and you’ve got to compromise with each other along the way. Complacency is one of the worst things that can happen to two people in love because this allows boredom to set in. And boredom tends to pave the way for feelings like dissatisfaction and frustration, which can destroy an intimate connection.

Don’t worry if your relationship used to be amazing, because it’s not too late to make it even better. Of course, you shouldn’t wait until those initial sparks have fizzled out before putting in the work. Here are seven ways to eradicate those relationship blahs to revive your love and feel even closer to your man.

1. Communicate what it means to feel close to each other. Perhaps your partner’s idea of maintaining a connection is just sitting next to you on the couch and holding your hand while you both watch TV. You, on the other hand, want more romantic gestures or more cuddling after sex to feel close to him. Unless you discuss this openly, you’ll each have no clue what the other needs or wants. So have this talk – and be honest about what you feel will help strengthen your relationship and deepen your love for each other.
2. Break out of your usual routine. If weekends are always the same for you guys – movie, shopping, dinner – it’s easy to feel like there’s nothing exciting to look forward to. But who says you have to do the same thing over and over again? Try changing your routine. Instead of a movie, get dressed up and watch a musical instead; instead of dinner at the same old restaurant, offer to cook for each other or sign up for a couples’ cooking class. Make a list of fun, inspiring and adventurous things you can do together and keeping adding to it.

3. Give each other space. It might seem odd to spend time apart when you’re trying to get close, but if all you do is hang out with each other, boredom can take over pretty easily. So make it a point to do a few things separately from each other. Don’t always meet for lunch on weekdays, for instance, or, instead of going to the gym together five nights a week, go alone or with a friend for a couple of those nights. Having your own lives gives you more to talk about when you do spend time together, and allows you to look at each other and your relationship with different eyes.

4. Look great for each other. When was the last time you and your man bothered to look good for each other? No one’s saying that you suddenly need to get all high-maintenance, but if you’ve stopped paying attention to your personal hygiene or taking pride in your appearance just because you’re already in a relationship and not trying to attract anyone new, then it’s a sign that complacency has taken hold. Sure, appearance isn’t everything, but when you make the effort to look your best, you’ll feel even better, and that confidence may be just what you need to take your relationship to the next level.

5. Do nice things for each other. Have you and your man stopped doing sweet things for each other? Just because you’ve been together for a while, it doesn’t mean that the romantic gestures should cease. Think back to when you first met and all the wonderful ways you expressed your fondness and affection for each other (and how those gestures made you both feel). Now, make it a point to do all those things – and more – again. This will remind you not take even the smallest joys for granted.

6. Focus on each other. Limit distractions when you are out with your man or having an important conversation with him. Instead of checking your phone or allowing yourself to be distracted by thoughts about work, put all your focus on him and really pay attention to what he’s saying. The more you get into the habit of doing this, the easier it will be. He should do the same for you, too. When you’re focused on each other you become more attuned to each other’s feelings and needs, and this will go a long way to help strengthen your bond.

7. Make plans for the future together. Another way to get really excited about your relationship is to make plans for the future together. It doesn’t have to involve marriage and kids if you’re not ready for that just yet. You can discuss where to holiday in 2017 or make a list of things you’d love to achieve as a couple. Every now and again, check back to see how your plans are coming along.

Want some more relationship advice? Read our stories #SGConfessions: I spotted something I shouldn’t have on my man’s computer; 6 warning signs that your partner is the wrong man for you and Sex SOS: What to do when you and your partner’s sex drives are out of sync?

Image copyright: warrengoldswain / 123RF Stock Photo