HOW TO HAVE A COUNTERCULTURE RELATIONSHIP, STICK IT OUT, AND PUT IN THE EFFORT WHEN IT'S EASIER TO QUIT
Along with pool days, cookouts, and family vacations, summer brings with it a slightly slower pace. Everyone’s recalibrating after a busy spring and taking a moment to breathe. And when it comes to your relationship, it can feel easier to keep the status quo, or hang on by the memory of better times. But fighting for your connection is important in every season, because it’s all too easy to let the casual pace of summer affect your relationship as well. So, here are some simple ways you can put in the effort this season to strengthen your relationship through the summer, fall, and beyond.
It seems like a small, obvious thing, but appreciation acts as both a protector and nurturer of your marriage. When you focus on what you appreciate about your partner, you create a positive story of your relationship in your mind, and it’s this positive narrative that keeps you going when “sticking it out” feels anything but glamorous. Each day, write down one thing you appreciate about your partner, big or small, and share it with them. Your brain will form a habit of looking for the good in your partner, instead of the flaws.
In a survey of 225,000 couples, Lasting, the nation’s leading relationship counseling app, found that 79 percent of women and 75.9 percent of men are unsatisfied with how much intentional time they have together. Even more interesting is that 80.8 percent of couples with kids feel that their phones distract them from connecting with each other. That’s thousands of couples who feel disconnected from their most important person, and smart devices play a big role in that. This summer, even if it’s one hour a day, mark off some time to set down your phones and connect with each other distraction-free.
A new ritual
One of the best ways to create meaning and memories in your life is through rituals. They establish routine and are a reflection of your shared values and purpose. Maybe you already have some summer traditions in place, but together with your partner, strengthen your connection by implementing one new ritual this season. It might be something as small as making coffee together each morning, or perhaps it’s scheduling a date at the same time every week. This will add a sense of newness to your relationship and give you each something to look forward to. The key to this is making the new ritual a reflection of your values. Looking for more quality time together? Make your ritual about engaging in intentional connection. Wanting to add some fun into your relationship? Set aside time to laugh together doing something you both love. With one new ritual in place, you’ll shake off complacency and create summer memories for years to come.
While this season is a welcome rest from the craziness of the school year, our relationships were never meant for autopilot. Putting in the intentional time to keep your connection strong might feel countercultural, but it’s never a mistake. For more ways to strengthen your relationship, download Lasting from the app store.