(note - skip to the end of this post to understand why I am cracking up).
I have been thinking recently about relationships and wondering - why do so many go stale?
I can get pretty downhearted when I see relationships drifting; it's where parallel lives start to go off in different directions. It happens very slowly. So slow, that it's hardly noticed. As time passes, the gap becomes wider until one day we wake up and find the gap is unbridgeable.
MIND THE GAP
This pattern is all too often repeated. At the start of a relationship we’re usually pretty good at making time for each other but when life gets in the way and we get too comfortable, that connection goes on autopilot and our quality time together is squeezed out.
CLOSING THE GAP
I greatly admire those who are in relationships where they both do stuff together. By which I mean, beyond the weekly shop or visiting family. The sort of thing that people do together that is mutually beneficial and gives them something to talk about, together and with friends. A shared experience.
I've got an elderly couple who come to my beginners yoga class each week. They appear happy and content doing an activity together and for me, it's very satisfying to witness this as they share the joy of improving their mobility together. He also comes with his adult son to my Yoga for Men classes - a great example of family bonding and sharing something positive, together as one!
My Dad and Step-Mum play golf, attend salsa dancing and play bridge. They have always done activities together; their effort to spend quality time together has clearly paid off in a relationship lasting over 40 years and still going strong. Don't get me wrong, there will always be a niggle and irritation between them - that goes with the turf, right?
Topping the list of 'relationship rot' is laziness and taking our partner for granted
Effort is needed from both parties, right?
Yes - of course - but I also believe that if it isn't happening both ways, then we mustn't give up. Keep making an effort. Keep communicating. Be non-confrontational and do things to create moments of positive interaction.
Recently, I had a middle aged couple in their '50's' starting my newly founded beginners yoga class at SouLand, Elstree. I cannot think of many more perfect ways to spend constructive, quality time together - learning something new whilst improving their wellbeing. This is a win-win as far as I am concerned.
If you find yourself with an ever widening gap, I've listed some of the things that Kajal and I do to keep our relationship together on track.
Finding ways to reconnect with your partner needn’t be costly or time-consuming, but helps sustain a happy, strong and healthy relationship.
BUILDING A STRONG RELATIONSHIP
For many reasons it’s important to build and maintain strong relationships that are mutually supportive, respectful and fun. Yet, when you’ve been at work all day, been chasing after little ones or just generally been busy throughout the day, finding the time and energy to work on your relationship can be tricky.
10 WAYS TO BOND WITH YOUR PARTNER
Here are some simple and intentional ways to reconnect with your partner that are realistic, practical and fit in with your every-day life.
Cook a meal and eat it together (it can be breakfast before the kids get up!).
Each make a list of five things you love about the other person.
Find an interest that you can share together and make time to do it.
Tell each other about your day and ask questions about what happened.
Explore ways you can weave more time for each other into your calendar.
Pick and agree your favourite 3 things to do together. And then do them, together.
Don’t forget the power of both your words and actions. When you love someone, the impact of what you say and what you do is magnified because we care more. Make a conscious effort to use the right words and actions even though it’s tempting to get lazy or take our partners for granted.
Go for a walk and enjoy just being with each other.
Do something spontaneous and unexpected for each other.
Find ways to laugh together because life isn’t all that fun sometimes and we forget to see the funny side.
FINDING TIME FOR YOURSELF AND EACH OTHER
Finding time to bond with your partner when you have daily responsibilities can be difficult but the ideas I’ve shared here will give you some practical, simple suggestions for you and your partner to work on together.
MESSING ABOUT WITH MY PARTNER - KAJAL
The main photo in this post is from moment in time in 2020 when Kajal and I were messing about - we were trying to do a back-to-back tree pose, but her bum kept throwing me off balance.
Luckily for me, I simply love that "Kenyan*" bum of hers! 🙂
*her name for it, not mine🤪
Yoga for Joint Mobility, Flexibility, Posture and Stress Relief
Yoga - Targeted Mobility Training Course - Hips, Hamstrings & Back
Yoga Lunch Club - 18 Aug
Breath Coaching Courses & Workshops
- Your Breath for Stress (private client)
- Your Breath at Work (business leaders & teams)
Transformation Retreat - Paros, Greece - Sept/Oct 2021 (coming soon)