Spring is here. Well for the Southern Hemisphere at least.
The blossoms are bursting into colour, the bulbs are popping their heads up out of the soil and it seems like every day there is a new batch of baby lambs to ooo and ahhhh over (maybe that’s just me).
It’s that time of year when we’re all meant to dig into the Spring cleaning, throwing out the surplus, cleaning off all the Winter dust, and making everything fresh for Summer.
I’m not sure how many people actually do Spring Clean, in Spring, but whenever you do it, it’s always such a great feeling.
Seeing clear cupboards and surfaces and feeling a sense of space and freshness is so refreshing and uplifting. It just has a way of making everything seem clearer.
Imagine if you could do that in your relationships?
Too many relationships are cluttered up with rubbish, debris and broken down or outdated stuff, but if it could all be cleared out you could enjoy that fresh, light and free feeling in love, as well as in your home.
Sounds good, right?
Well, here’s 7 Spring cleaning tips that will help you to get started on refreshing your relationship and making room for more delicious love.
Clean up any unwanted niggles hanging around
If there are conversations you’ve been avoiding, or frustrations that keep coming up, set a day and time and get them sorted out.
Choose a time when you’ll be free from distractions, like once the kids are in bed, and when you’re likely to be more relaxed. Friday night after a big week at work might not be a good idea.
It doesn’t matter when, just schedule a time when you can openly and calmly speak your mind.
The important thing is not to go in with the intention of nailing your partner to the wall about EVERYTHING they have done over the past few years.
Make it your goal to express your feelings clearly, and with love. Before your agreed date, spend time thinking about what it is you want to resolve, and find a way to openly and calmly phrase what it is that you want from bringing the issue up.
Try to avoid blame or accusation, and instead communicate honestly how you feel, and what you would like to be different.
Throw out what’s not working
Another Spring cleaning task is to remove all the old, redundant junk that no longer works or serves you. That broken ironing board, those chipped plates and that pile of jars you said you would use one day. It all goes.
And the same can be done for your relationship.
It’s time to think about what’s not working, and how you can replace that behaviour, action or feeling with something that does work.
If nagging your partner to help around the house isn’t getting the response you want, try turning it around and let them know how grateful you would be if they could help you out, and then acknowledging them with thanks when they do help.
If you’ve been pressuring your partner into getting more exercise and looking after themselves, try another approach like offering to walk with them every night after dinner, or enrolling in healthy cooking classes together.
There’s a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice, and expecting a different result. So if something’s not working, try another way.
Get rid of personal negative behaviours
Are you always late coming home or breaking promises? Do you spend all your evenings distracted by the computer, TV or cellphone? Do you speak constantly about your day, but never ask how your partner’s day has been?
Even if none of this is intentional, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change it.
Complacency is common in relationships, and as time ticks by, it’s easy to slip into a pattern of taking each other for granted.
But doing so is a sure way to dissonance and possibly even destruction.
If you can do something to alter that course, why wouldn’t you?
Just changing your own behaviours can have a profound effect on the response of your partner and the quality of your relationship.
Freshen things up by doing something new
Life gets busy. We all get bogged down in the day to day and often find ourselves with a completely full schedule of the same stuff that we do over and over again.
It’s time to switch things up and introduce to some fun.
Your mission is to find something totally new that you and your partner can enjoy doing together.
Now this could take some thinking about because often, even couples who are extremely compatible will have quite different interests.
So sit down and talk about all the things you have each wanted to have a go at. Write them down in a list and then mutually decide on something that you both want to try, have never done before, and can do as a couple.
Trying new things, learning new skills, and having fun is a great way to bond, and create trust and intimacy. So get out there!
Recycle the old conversations and start some new ones
When you first meet your partner, a big part of the dating game was asking each other questions and learning about the other person so you could ascertain whether this was someone you liked, and wanted to spend more time with.
But, usually, once you feel like you know the person well enough, you stop asking all the soul searching questions and fall into those routine favourites, ‘Have you fed the dog?’