What is the number one relationship killer?
What a loaded question, isn’t it??
We all want to reach a point in our relationships where we feel so comfortable with our partner, to the point we can truly be ourselves. But the issue remains that couples sometimes confuse being comfortable with being complacent.
The number one relationship killer is one word: Complacency.
Being complacent in a relationship might not seem like such a big deal, compared to lying and cheating; but it leads to divorce so much more than expected and it can be the silent instigator that leads to infidelity and dissolution.
So what is complacency….. Complacency is what happens when the new car doesn’t have the new car smell anymore. All of a sudden, we might wash the car less frequently, do the oil changes less often…. We might get a little less disappointed when we get a ding on the door.
So how does this relate to a relationship?
Complacency happens in a relationship, when we start putting less effort to conquer our significant other, or to show him or her that they are a priority in our lives.
Here are some examples:
- Not caring about our looks. Do you wear the same clothes you wear for work on dates? How about personal hygiene, is it the same it used to be?
- When was the last time you did something new and fun with your spouse? Or planned a great date night?
- When is the last time you kissed for more than a second? Looked into your spouse’s eyes when you say “I love you.”
- Showed that you cared about something your spouse loves to do but you don’t so much like doing.
But do not worry. Here are a few tips to rekindle the flame:
- Dress up for your spouse. Wear clothes that make you feel sexy. This may include wearing perfume or cologne, jewelry, and make up. Ask yourself the question: Would I want to date myself with how I am dressed and smell right now?
- Change up your daily routine. Even though it is nice to have a comfortable routine in a relationship, there is such a thing as being too comfortable. To prevent that from happening, make small changes in your days. This could be something simple as getting coffee at a different place or meet up for lunch break.
- Go your separate ways (For a day). Being alone can be beneficial to your relationship. Sometimes a romantic relationship can become lifeless because the partners begin to lose their individual selves in an effort to serve the relationship. This can feel reasonable and selfless at the moment, but over time it leads to disconnection with yourself and resentment towards the partnership. Give your partner some space, have a day of solo time. When you get together again, you'll have something new to talk about.
- Surprise your partner with a fun and new activity. If you don’t want your partner to become smug, then make sure you are not becoming complacent either. Come up with a few nice things you can do today to surprise your partner to remind them that you care. Check out my article on 50 ideas for a date night.
- Make it a point to talk to your partner and get to know him/her. To keep your bond strong, you'll want to open up communication with your partner, and ask them about their day, dreams, wishes, and goals. When we start dating, we usually feel motivated to learn about one’s partner. This looks like asking questions and actively listening to our partners. With time, this decreases, but it's important to always ask questions about your partner, as goals, dreams and wishes change over time.
- Hold hands. Very simple but can make a big difference. Demonstrate to your partner that you are proud to be with them and you have no problems sharing it with the whole universe. As small as it is, holding hands keeps you connected to your partner and avoids complacency in your relationship.
- Volunteering Together for a Good Cause. Sharing the experience with your partner of serving others or helping an organization that brings positivity and assistance in a community, causes you to see each other in a new light.
- Try something new in the bedroom. It's not uncommon for couples who have been together a long time to lose the spark in the bedroom. One way to avoid complacency in the bedroom is to spice up your sex life and be bolder in the bedroom. And if you are not ready to take sex to another level yet, then maybe simply talking about your sexual fantasies with your partner might spark it up and bring you to a different level of intimacy.
- Learn something new together. Explore something that you both might want to learn together, that neither of you know how to do. This is a great way to connect and have fun together.
Relationships need attention to continue growing and evolving. As with everything in life, in order to maintain it, we have to put effort in it. Try some of these tips; a little effort can go a long way!
To your relationship’s success!
Your therapy friend,
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SOFIA M. ROBIROSA
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining.