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As I’m sitting here writing, Sydney is experiencing torrential rain and flooding. Lives temporarily or forever changed. Autumn is definitely here this week reminding us that change is inevitable. Some people start to swap their wardrobe from summer to winter clothes. Some decline invitations, preferring to stay cosy at home. A small few will even ponder their relationship before dismissing it because that change is too hard.

But should you regularly evaluate your relationship?…YES and changing seasons are a great reminder it’s time to explore!

A relationship is a constant balancing act between growth and stability/comfort.

Dr David Schnarch, reveals how these cycles interact:

Now not everything you do in your relationship is about growth. There are periods where you will move around the comfort circle and periods where you will roll around the growth circle. This is completely normal. I mean you don’t want to be constantly growing. It’s exhausting!

An example of this cycle is: Deciding to have children in your relationship (growth), then settling into your family life (comfort). The danger zone is becoming so focused on the children that your relationship becomes banal.

At the commencement of each season it’s time to remember the importance of your relationship, check in and grow.

But…why?

  1. Role-modelling for children:

It’s research proven that poor relationship quality influences our children and family functioning. Children are more likely to have internalising problems at 2 years old if their parents experience low levels of relationship satisfaction and high levels of conflict.

  1. Family stability and security:

Relationship problems impact our perception of our partner’s parental responsiveness and capabilities. The greater the relationship problems the less they thought their partner was responsive to the children. It’s important to perceive your partner’s parenting positively to create connected, stable, and secure family environments.

  1. Partner connection:

When we get too comfortable in our relationship we can get bored, experience unresolved issues and become emotionally detached from our partner. Do you still even see them as a friend or ally?

  1. Intimate connection:

Similarly, we can lose the intimate connection with our partner which leads to sexual boredom, low libido and the potential to seek sexual satisfaction via alternate methods.

It’s time to ask yourself:

  1. When was the last time we grew as a couple?
  2. Is our relationship monotonous, boring or fatigued?
  3. Am I emotionally connected to my partner?
  4. Do we communicate as lovers or best friends or as roommates or acquaintances?

If any of your answers put you in the comfort cycle and you have been there for a while now, let the autumn winds blow the cobwebs off and let’s spice up your relationship and intimacy!

How?

  1. Revive what it was that first attracted you to your partner and what you loved about those initial courting days.

Talk to your partner and discuss how you can regularly ignite those feelings or scenarios?

  1. Plan a sexy night together once a month

Too little or too often? Desire grows with consistency and it’s important to find a balance within the relationship. Want to do it more often…go ahead, but once a month is the minimum. Take turns deciding what this night will look like. By doing that, you are both comfortable with growth pace. It’s not a race!

  1. Date day/night (separate to sexy night) once a month

This date won’t necessarily end with sexual activity. This is about building the relationship and bond between you. You can decide what you do together or you can alternate selecting what the date will be but DON’T do the same thing 2 months in a row. Spice it up and take a chance at something new.

Need help? The Adventure Challenge Couples Edition is great for unique date ideas you probably haven’t thought about! Click here to check it out OR use code AUTHENTIC to receive 10% off!

  1. Focus on connecting when you can feel yourself drifting away. Feelings ebb and flow, it’s inevitable in stressful modern living. The key is how you respond. Notice when you are starting to detach and focus on re-connecting. There are 2 quick and easy ways to do this:
    1. Hug It Out – Standing, put your arms around your partner and focus on yourself. Stay in your body and your own mind until you are fully relaxed. When you feel totally relaxed your partner can feel this energy and use your energy to help calm themselves. Let your partner know you fully relaxed by relaxing your shoulders down, or relaxing your hands a little as a non-verbal sign you are ready to end the hug.
    2. Sit and Stare – Closely sit facing your partner and set a time for 2 minutes. Stare into each other’s eyes without touching until the timer goes off. Remember to not only have your eyes open but, lift the wall that might be blocking access to your inner soul. After the timer goes off embrace and discuss any emotions that arose for you during the time.

Growth doesn’t need to be scary. Small steps lead to long-term success and remember the seasonal reminder!

For more ideas on relationship growth, the Mama’s Sensual Safari has detailed explorations to ignite relationship and sexual satisfaction.

Author: Vanessa Tarfon