Ruts happen to most long-term relationships. Though a rut isn’t anything fatal, it can be uncomfortable and even miserable for some couples. Falling into a routine that becomes more mind-numbing than comforting, dealing with mounting stressors, acclimating once the initial rush of love wears off just a bit: not a few of our favorite things, but they can be surmounted with some effort and love. The ways to get out of a relationship funk all start with commitment.
Commitment really kicks in (or sadly, doesn't) when things get rough. That's when you need to make a decision that you are going to put effort and time into your relationship, not expecting it to last as a sex-soaked and secret sharing endless sleepover.
A rough patch doesn't have to be a total downer. This can be a time when you can really cement your relationship. Looking back on hard times that you weathered together and came out even closer is one of the benefits of a long lasting partnership. That kind of intimacy is special because it was hard-won. There are surely more than nine ways to get out of a relationship funk, because each relationship has its particular issues, but the below suggestions are pretty universal.
1. Go Away Together For One Night
Sometimes getting away from the domestic responsibilities is exactly what you need to reconnect. The daily grind can dull a sense of fun in your relationship. Going on a romantic getaway where the only focus is each other allows you to bring your whole self, relaxed, present and loving. Even snagging a hotel room in a different part of town can be the perfect setting. It's about the two of you together somewhere new – not necessarily somewhere fancy.
2. Start A New Activity Together
Boredom is a factor in unhappy relationships, and it's not hard to spice up a good but saggy relationship with a new activity that brings out the best of you as a team. Partners tennis, ink drawing classes, underwater basket weaving – whatever, as long as you are in it together.
3. Have Sex
I totally get it if you resist planned sex – despite being married with kids for quite a while, I don't like it. But I like it better than having no sex. So plan, make sure you choose a time of day that isn't the worst time for either of you and let those endorphins fly.
4. Do Something Unexpected
Some of the most memorable moments of my relationship have been the most unexpected, like when my husband threw me an elaborately planned surprise birthday party. I felt loved and thrilled that he did something so outside of his comfort zone, for me. Do something unexpected for your partner and make a memory they won't forget.
5. Write Love Letters
Writing a love letter doesn't just speak to the romantic, it also adds a thrill that translates to the bedroom. If you aren't a natural writer, try making a list of the qualities you most love about your partner, or get creative and make a list of times your partner turned you on, times you were impressed by them – use your imagination.
6. Work Out Together
7. Work Toward A Goal
Setting a goal that makes both of you excited is an easy way to bond and create a sense of teamwork. A goal can be anything from traveling together, going on a run once a week, saving for a big party, or anything else you two cook up.
8. Laugh Together
Watching hilarious movies together or recalling shared moments that made you laugh. Laughing together can strengthen your relationship. Go out and do something slightly ridiculous (put-put golf, bumper cars, lazor tag) and make new funny memories.