By Ariel Minter
It feels as though it happens overnight. Life becomes overwhelming. You and you partner end up spending more time apart due to hectic schedules. Pretty soon, it seems like a challenge to get any quality time together, let alone some form of a date night.
It is far too easy to start treating your partner as a roommate. Here are three signs that you are, and how to change it.
1. A PECK ON THE CHEEK IS AS STEAMY AS IT GETS
Handholding, hugging, and kissing on the cheek are all signs of healthy (and recommended) physical touch. However, sex (or anything of the sort) is extremely important in a coupleship, and if pecks on the cheek are currently your main form of touching, it’s time to turn up the heat.
“Sex is a foundational ingredient for true intimacy. Of course, there has to be a balance. Typically, men and women follow an emotional-physical balance. In our culture, stress is a huge tension we are required to manage. One of the first things stress devours is your sex drive. So, it is natural for sex to be one of the first things to go from your relationship when stress is high. This can happen from something as basic as a busy schedule, and it can have the worst repercussions,” shares Co-founder of Passion Provokers Marla Keller.
Here is an easy fix: Schedule Sex! Sure, it might seem as though the flame of spontaneity is missing if you are scheduling sex, but if it is in your calendar than it is more likely to happen.
Keep in mind that most people over-estimate how often other couples are having sex. The national average is once to twice a month for couples over the age of 40. For those under the age of 40, the number almost doubles to about once a week (read more here). However, the benefits of having sex with your partner at least once a week are impressive.
2. YOUR LIFE REVOLVES AROUND YOUR (CHILDREN’S) SCHEDULE
It is important to keep a schedule. It is important to have yourself and your family involved in character building activities (i.e. soccer, dance classes, hot yoga, extended family events, etc). BUT when the schedule is the only thing you and you partner seem to be talking about, it’s probably time to lighten the load.
“The problem with busy-ness is one of priorities. It is too easy in our current culture to be busy instead of productive towards our goals. When we put the things that mean most to us first, they are taken care of first. We need to write down our goals and put relationships first if we ever want to be successful, in anything. This means cutting out good things that get in the way of the best things,” adds Co-founder Jami Keller.
The good news: this is all fixable. The easiest way to change the conversation from your to-do list to things of real value, all you need to do is listen
. Listen to what is really going on, not what needs to be done. In this way, you can move from a human-doing to a human-being.
3. YOU GET MORE SCREEN TIME THAN FACE TIME
Unfortunately, we’ve all been there. Your significant other is telling you a story, and all of a sudden someone likes your photo on Instagram, or you get a text from your best friend and all of sudden you look up with eyes glazed over and say “What?”. This completely takes away from the sharing your partner is trying to give you, and yet, for whatever reason, it is mostly acceptable.
An easy fix for this is to be intentional. Try this: three times a day, schedule a time to contact your partner (this can be via text, phone call, or e-mail) and practice asking your partner how they feel. The goal is to share with your partner three core feelings. Have trouble figuring out what those feelings might be? Try saving the Passion Provokers Feeling Wheel, or downloading The Feeling Wheel App
Simply by actively sharing your feelings, you can rebuild the emotional side of your coupleship and practice active listening. When you feel truly heard, you are more likely to feel intimacy with your partner. And when you truly hear, your partner will be more inclined to share with you.
Do any of the above hit home? Well, as I mentioned earlier, it is all fixable as long as you are willing to fix it. You deserve to be treated as a partner, not a roommate.