So, What Exactly Is a Relationship “Tune Up?” Any relationship can benefit from some maintenance. First, it is important to understand that people do not intentionally neglect their relationships. However, they frequently become so preoccupied with other responsibilities that they lose sight of their most important relationship – with each other.
Keep in mind that the daily demands of working, raising a family, and running a household frequently prevent a couple from doing what is best for their relationship. While we tune up our cars every 4,000 miles, go to the dentist for cleanings, we frequently fail to do the same for our long-term relationships or marriages. Big mistake. Whatever you decide after reading this article, do not ignore the warning signs of a troubled relationship!
If your relationship is in need of some TLC. It’s time to perform a Relationship Tune-Up! Read on to find out some new ways to keep your love life in check or sign-up for our next Relationship Tune-Up workshop.
What Exactly Is a Relationship “Tune Up?”
A Relationship Tune-Up is a type of preventive maintenance that ensures the health and well-being of your relationship. If you ignore the minor issues that arise, you may end up with a major breakdown.
Couples usually enter relationships with their engines revving, but they eventually find themselves ‘idling.’ The thrill has worn off, arguments are easily escalated, and the pressures of money, intimacy, family, friends, children, or even careers are on. What is causing this once-quiet machine to knock and sputter?
We put ourselves in cruise control far too often, and this, more than major problems, keeps us apart. We don’t actively seek to meet one another’s needs or communicate our own when we’re in cruise control. We gradually, and unknowingly, drift in different directions.
5 Essential Tools for Relationship Tune-ups
The primary goal of relationship maintenance is to master the art of accepting your current situation and letting go of what bothers you! While the Relationship Tune-Up is not therapy in and of itself, it is an opportunity to reassess and strengthen your relationship with your partner. The Relationship Tune-Up improves an already healthy relationship, elevating it to a higher level of love and connection.
You can’t keep driving your car without gas, oil, or a tune-up, and the same is true for your relationship. Tuning up your relationships teaches you to pay attention to your partner’s needs. A tune-up also gives you both the tools you need to keep your relationship running smoothly. Do not put off the repair because it could lead to a bigger problem later. The same principle applies to tending to our hurts sooner rather than later, just as it does to maintaining a car. Here are 5 essential tools for your relationship tune-up.
1- L.U.V. | Listening – Understanding – Validating
Listening to your partner without interrupting them is one of the best ways to demonstrate how much you value your relationship. This is, in fact, the blueprint for a healthy relationship. The actual maintenance is based on your efforts to interpret what they are saying and understand the situation from their point of view. Simply put, you must be considerate and mindful of your partner’s feelings, as well as respect their point of view as much as you value your own.
Second, while sharing passwords and putting heart emoticons next to your partner’s contact name may sound intimate in movies, most people prefer to keep their personal lives private in real life. It doesn’t matter what others say if you’re the type of couple who enjoys doing things together. Stretching a boundary and establishing some dos and don’ts, on the other hand, should not feel like a relationship violation if you want to feel comfortable in your personal space alone. Everyone has the right to set boundaries in at least some aspects of their lives, and happy couples understand this better than anyone else.
3- Good Communication
Communication affects so many aspects of our relationships, but it can also be tricky at times! Knowing how to approach the subject matter is the key to effective communication in relationships. You must accurately express how you feel and resolve any issues or concerns that may arise properly (and promptly).
If communication is the solution to all problems, why do most couples get into even bigger fights when they decide to communicate? The solution is simple. When a couple’s life is going well, they can draw strength from their “safe haven” love relationship. When communication breaks down and couples fail to effectively repair resentments and hurts, those feelings do not go away on their own. If the issues are not addressed, they tend to resurface, creating an icy wall of isolation between you and your partner.
While good communication skills are essential for resolving many conflicts, it is primarily poor communication skills that lead to massive blowouts between couples. For example, you’ll never see healthy-minded couples yelling at each other’s mistakes because they know when and how to communicate about their problems without inciting drama.
You must have complete faith in each other regardless of your partner’s past life or romantic history in order to develop healthy relationships. Unguarded trust, mutual understanding, and unwavering affection are the stepping stones that ensure couples do not allow negative thoughts to enter their minds. While it is not a one-day or even a one-week task, taking one step at a time is all that is required to earn each other’s trust in the long run.
Finally, in order for your relationship tune-up to be successful, you must support your partner’s goals and aspirations. Whether it’s standing up for your partner when someone undermines their motivation or letting them know you’ve got their back. A happy couple strives to be the rock on which they can rely in any relationship. Furthermore, supportive partners always want what is best for their partners and never prevent them from doing something that makes them feel accomplished. It’s you two versus the world, not your partner versus others.
Meet Your Relationship Where It Is
So, how can we prioritize our relationships and marriages, especially when the world appears to be in such disarray? Small changes can have a big impact. When it comes to making changes, we can be all or nothing, especially at this time of year when we are making New Year’s resolutions. It isn’t necessary to go from 0 to 60. Meet your relationship where it is and make that your starting point, while focusing on the key areas listed below. The approaches listed below are essential ways to improve your relationship that can all be used in small, manageable doses.
When it comes to long-term relationships, it’s impossible to avoid ups and downs. Learning to form habits that benefit both partners’ mutual interests, on the other hand, can reduce the likelihood of a broken marriage or relationship. Having said that, here are ten relationship maintenance tune-up tips you should implement:
1- The Need to Spend Every Moment Together
Believing in the romanticized perception that spending all of your free moments as a couple equals a happy relationship is a cliché that ends up causing more harm than good. In reality, while spending a healthy amount of quality time with your partner is important, it’s also important to grow individually, especially if you want your relationship to survive all of the challenges. Furthermore, the preceding concept only makes it difficult for couples to remain flexible in relationships, as if they can’t even breathe without sharing the same air.
When jealousy enters the picture, it doesn’t take long for a thriving relationship to devolve into a barely functional one. You may have one point of view on a given subject, while your partner holds a different one. While giving them the benefit of the doubt may work in your favor at times, the green monster eventually triumphs when it is ignored from either side. That is why, if you want to build a mature relationship with your partner, you must let go of jealousy. Trust is essential, so even if you have serious doubts about something, it’s better to talk about it rationally rather than concocting an entirely different story in your head and trying to connect the dots.
3- Those Little Annoying Things
It may be difficult to ignore your pet peeves, but it’s also important to recognize that you don’t always have control over, and you don’t have the right to dictate how others behave. While it’s fine to express your displeasure to your partner, you shouldn’t expect them to comply with a slew of restrictions simply because you said so. Furthermore, there must have been several reasons why you fell in love with your partner in the first place. If you can’t prioritize those positive qualities over the minor annoyances that they exhibit, it’s time to reconsider your relationship.
4- The Toxic-Slash-Romantic Games
While it has become common for most couples to spice up their relationships by playing games, happy couples tend to avoid this toxic behavior as much as possible. What others may consider romantic is simply toxicity for them, because they do not regard their relationship as a child’s toy. Playing hard to get and saying things you don’t mean just to get a specific reaction from your partner for fun’s sake aren’t worth it when you’ve found the one you want to spend the rest of your life with.
5- Mindreading | Assuming
Tune-up the mindreading and assuming. No matter how many months or years you’ve spent with your partner, you won’t always be able to read their mind. While some couples understand what their partners require without having to divulge all of the details, this is only true if they have spent a significant portion of their lives with them. Even so, it’s impossible for them to know what’s going on in their partner’s head. This applies both ways, even if you’re certain you know your partner better than anyone else. As a result, it’s a good idea to abandon the assumption that your partner always knows what you’re thinking and instead share your thoughts with them.
6- Maintaining Control
Marinating control is critical during the relationship-tune-up process. The desire to yell at your partner fades when you shift your focus from who wins the fight or who has the final say to calmly communicating your disagreements. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that unnecessary shouting and yelling never ends well, no matter how enraged you are in a given situation. It is better to let go rather than start a fight that will only lead to resentment between you and your partner. Self-control is so named for a reason: you must have it for yourself because no one else can control you.
7- Sharing Household Responsibilities
Sharing chores with your partner is a given, as it helps to balance a relationship without putting anyone under undue stress. However, measuring the task list and obsessing over who is doing more work inside and outside the house is not a viable solution.
Some people believe that it is only fair to distribute chores equally in order to have a long-lasting relationship, but this is not the case. Rather than encouraging a clinical environment in the house, the priority should be to work as a team. While you may work more than your partner on some days, they must do the same. Finally, it’s about finding a balance that works for your lifestyle while working together toward a common goal.
8- The ‘My-Way-or-Highway’ Approach
Another thing couples must tune-up in their relationship is the my-way-or-the-highway attitude when making major decisions. Making a mountain out of a molehill and forcing your partner to dismiss their opinions all the time is a surefire way to cause problems in your relationship. Instead, when making major decisions with your partner, keep an open mind to compromise and keep the big picture in mind. It also keeps unruly resentments from infiltrating your relationship in the long run. Bottom line…stop shutting down!
9- Extreme Secrecy
Extreme secrecy in a relationship can frequently lead to your other half assuming somewhat valid reasons to doubt your loyalty. While most healthy couples prefer to keep some aspects of their lives private, there’s nothing wrong with being open and honest with your partner. Nobody can or should force you to keep your social circle private, for example. However, refusing to share anything about your life outside of your marriage will undoubtedly make them feel as if they do not have the type of relationship in which secrets can be shared or trusted with each other.
10- The Need to Resolve ALL Issues
It is critical to understand and accept that you will not be able to resolve all of your conflicts during the relationship tune-up. There will always be issues on which you and your partner do not agree, and that is perfectly fine. You must learn to agree to disagree in such situations and let go of the issue right away. Despite what some people believe, it’s a better option than nagging each other about something you’ll never agree on. Concerning the issues that must be addressed immediately in order to move forward, the best strategy is to compromise so that the final decision makes the situation bearable for both parties.
11- Major Conflicts Are Often Ignored
Finally, while it is acceptable to not resolve all of your issues with your partner and instead focus on the positive, you should not avoid major conflicts that may affect your lives in the long run during relationship maintenance.
Simply put, some battles are not worth fighting, while others must be confronted head-on in order to prevent a happy and healthy relationship from being held back.
Implementing Your Relationship Tune-Up | Maintenance
Try to implement two to three of the suggestions. See how your new efforts affect your relationship with your partner after a few weeks of trial and error. Check in with your partner to identify which behaviors are beneficial and which you still need to work on. Allow time for your new efforts to bear fruit. It’s all a matter of trial and error. These tips should assist you in fine-tuning your relationship with your significant other.
Relationship Tune-Up Workshops at Marriage Means Moore
Is your relationship in need of some TLC? Maybe it’s time to perform a Relationship Tune-Up!
You cannot keep driving your car without gas, oil, or a tune-up, and the same is true for your relationship. Tuning up your relationships teaches you to pay attention to and identify the hidden issues causing conflict. A tune-up also gives you both the tools you need to keep your relationship running smoothly. Do not put off the repairs because they will simply lead to bigger problems later during the year.
Sign-up for our next Relationship Tune-Up workshop. Or, Schedule an Appointment! Be sure to follow us on social media for relationship resources, tips and “Moore“.
You might also want to read our book How Communication Saved Our Marriage to help you and your partner communicate more effectively. Also, be sure to check out our new couple’s shop, Inspired By Us Shop.