Romantic relationships can be hard work (it’s not all sunshine and roses my mum keeps telling me) – especially when you’ve been with your partner for a long time and weathered a few of life’s storms together. To help breathe life back into your relationship we’ve consulted our Balance life coaches to bring you 5 ways to revive your relationship through self-awareness.
5 ways to revive your relationship through self-awareness
Locate Yourself (again)
1 – Let Go
Letting go of resentment and anger is easier said than done, right? Especially if you have spent years (or even decades) using it as your emotional artillery.
New York Times #1 bestselling author, poet, philosopher and teacher Mark Nepo, supplies inspiration and practical exercises to help with self-awareness and letting go in The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have.
Named as one of 7 Books Oprah Couldn’t Live Without The Book of Awakening says:
“Forgiveness has deeper rewards than excusing someone for how they have hurt us. The deeper healing comes in the exchange of our resentments for inner freedom. At last, the wound, even if never acknowledged by the other person, can heal and our life can continue.”
Balance coach and internationally renowned author, speaker and facilitator of consciousness, Dr. Dain Heer states that even when we know we are ‘right’ and even if we have been done ‘wrong’ by our lover, mother, brother or friend – we need to remember that holding on to negative emotions is bad for our health and well-being.
“Is it in your best interest if you carry this into tomorrow?” said Dr. Heer. “The answer, of course, is no because it taints and colours every relationship you have,” he said.
2 – Locate yourself (again)
Life over 50 can have its fair share of “kick in the pants/what the heck/I didn’t sign up for this” life-altering events.
A few noteworthy mentions….
- empty nest
- career transition
- major illness
- death of a parent
These major life events can impact the core of who we are, how we react and how we relate to others.
If you’re in a marriage or long-term partnership it’s important to remember you don’t go through these times alone.
Getting to know yourself again after a major life event is an important step in self-awareness, reviving your relationship and being present to the life you share with those around you.
Margie Warrell is a bestselling author, speaker, commentator, master coach and women’s advocate and leadership advisor and suggests asking yourself the big questions to determine if you are living “by default” rather than “by design”?
- What is my purpose in life?
- Where do I want to be in 10 years?
- How can I be my best self?
- What’s stopping me from getting there?
While the answers may not come in a lighting bolt, Margie “profoundly believe(s) that we are all here to make our mark, in our way.”
“Too often we get caught up in thinking we have to do some grand, noble thing,” said Margie.
“But it’s actually not that, it’s about how you are showing up and being committed to something that is bigger than ourselves,” she said.
“I see a lot of women who find themselves in a place where they know they’re not living the biggest life they want to be living, they’re not even sure what it is,” said Margie.
Margie believes fear and self-doubt of “not being enough” get in the way of people identifying what they need to do and tells Deborah she wants to help people get a sense of clarity about where they want to be ten years from now.
If you’re not sure where to start this self-awareness journey, a life coach or counsellor may be able to help.
3 – Lighten Up
When the daily pressures and responsibilities of life build up, we can start to lose our sense of fun, our vibrancy and our passion for life.
But think back to when you first started the relationship with your partner…..
Was it fun? Did you feel alive, vibrant and passionate?
The answer is most likely YES!
It’s probably what attracted you to each other in the first place.
Balance life coach, speaker, writer, facilitator, and designer, Noni Boon is an expert in the field of self-awareness, manifestation, personal development and growth and believes that the change needs to start within.
“What I’ve learnt, is that if you change yourself, everything and everyone around you changes for the better.”
“Life is not supposed to be hard and unrewarding. Of course, there will always be challenges. Challenges are necessary to help you build resilience.”
Her Life Design’s Five Principle Program – SHARE focuses on Self Awareness, Holism, Ambition, Relationships and Enthusiasm and is designed to help you “create optimum holistic wellbeing and start to live a life you feel absolutely ecstatic about.”
According to Noni, well-being is a combination of feeling positive, being well, having meaning and purpose in your life, nurturing your relationships and achieving your goals.
4 – Love Yourself
Forget about going on a date with your partner in the hope of reviving your relationship – date yourself!
Dr. Dain Heer believes that very few people are taught how to function in this world while keeping a strong sense of self-awareness.
“We can easily get caught in the minutiae of our day to day life giving everything we have for our family, work, relationships and responsibilities – and forget to take time for ourselves and the things we love that make life worth living.”
“When you value yourself and take time for you, it nurtures and expands your overall capacity for giving to others. Taking one hour a day for you can actually change the people and world around you.”
Dr. Heer believes we should set regular dates with ourselves for at least an hour a day, one full day each week.
Here are his 4 Reasons to Date Yourself
1 – To acknowledge the value of you
2 – To reconnect with your body
3 – To rediscover your desires
4 – Just for you, just for fun
In addition, Dr. Heer believes that being intimate with yourself is the best way to an amazing relationship. Read: Be Intimate With Yourself
“There is this little thing called INTIMACY— Intimacy is something that you can have with everybody, if you’re willing to. It’s a way of being where nothing is excluded, everything is included, and nothing is judged.”
“True intimacy has five elements: Honouring, Trust, Allowance, Vulnerability and Gratitude.”
“Strangely enough, if you were willing to be intimate with YOU, it would give you the choice to have it with anyone else in your life.”
5 – Log Off
The house lights are off, the kids are asleep and you’ve crawled into bed after a hectic day to catch some “me time” by watching an episode of your latest Netflix obsession. Your partner lies beside you, smartphone in hand, engrossed in the late night talk shows and their social commentary.
While you and your partner are together at this moment…..think back over your day and ask yourself: Have I actually engaged with my partner today?
Yes, you’ve sent numerous texts to arrange the kid’s schedule and to make sure there is enough milk and cereal for breakfast but have you actually had a conversation and made a connection?
With so many responsibilities, our free time is limited and so the option to switch off our brains, log in and engage with technology instead of our partner can be seductive.
“The benefits of technology reside in an ability to elevate the human experience, but experts advise use of new devices and platforms should be grounded in perspective of how the new technology has the power to change communication and the way people relate to one another.”
To counteract the intrusion of technology in our lives, wellness coach Noni Boon suggests we use technology to schedule and prioritise quality time with our partner.
“People need to prioritise their relationships and value intimacy. Time needs to be spent actually ‘talking’ without the distraction of electronic devices.”
“When it comes to social media, there needs to be a limit on the amount of time you invest, similar to the way you monitor your consumption of alcohol and other addictive substances.”