Maybe it’s time for a reset.
You know that point in the movie when you get caught up in a conversation or the phone starts ringing, and you find yourself talking over the storyline only to discover you’ve missed an important plot line? You forgot to hit pause, and know you’ve jumped ahead and need to hit rewind. Or maybe even restart the whole thing over again.
That’s what life is like sometimes.
We all get caught up in our long list of “to do” items and things like social media or deadlines at home and work that constantly require our attention (simultaneously), that we start to neglect crucial parts of our lives until we suddenly realize we’ve missed something important. Or maybe we’ve unknowingly hurt someone we love.
In that case, it’s OK to ask for a reset. Love is one of those emotions that can lead to jealousy or resentment if not nurtured regularly. So if your loved one is feeling neglected, take the time to listen to their feelings. Then ask for forgiveness. Hit reset.
If they love you back, they’ll move forward with you.
I recently made one of the biggest, most stressful, and exciting decisions of my life. I bought my first house.
In my late 30s, I may be a late bloomer, but the goal of owning my own place had been lingering in my mind, until it became a 24/7 race to the finish line. That was my entire focus for the last four months.
Meanwhile, I left a trail of dust behind me where my partner was standing. I didn’t realize how much I had been neglecting him. While I was charging full-steam ahead to reset myself, grow as an individual, and reach that goal, I accidentally managed to steamroll over my boyfriend. The threat of a breakup was enough to make me pause and take notice.
While it is an amazing accomplishment to reach and complete a milestone like owning your own home, it’s another thing to allow yourself to become overly consumed by it. For me, my OCD took complete control of my life. I only had the best intentions, but I put everything else on auto-pilot – including my relationship. But that wasn’t fair in the least.
Me to him: I’m sorry. Can we please have a re-do?
Resetting Your Relationship
If your partner cares enough to forgive you and agrees to try again, where do you start?
- Open Communication. It’s vital to practice open communication with your partner. Hear and really listen to each other’s feelings. Don’t lash out. Don’t talk back. Recognize that each partner’s feelings are equally valid and meaningful. Be open to the words, and keep things civil and kind. Speak with love, not anger. And take turns talking. Never talk over each other.
- Wipe the Slate Clean. Now wash off the slate between you. Forgiveness must be true and without judgement. It’s the act of letting go of anger or resentment. This can be a difficult step, but it is probably the most important one.
- Reconnect. Now that all the grievances have been aired, it is essential to start fresh. Go on a “first date” with your partner all over again. Dress up and meet somewhere special. Make it a fun outing where you can really be yourselves, and reconnect on a deeper emotional level. Take a romantic nature walk, go bowling, or take an unexpected road trip. Share a happy experience together.
Keep the first two steps clearly in your mind and do not let any distractions, such as your cellphone or social media, get in the way. Turn off your phone, laptop, and TV, and spend real quality time together. Real. Quality. Time.
Then rinse and repeat over again during the next few months. Nurture your relationship as a couple. If you’re lucky, before you know it, you’ll have fallen in love with each other all over again.
Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash