In the beginning stages of a relationship, it is easy to have the mindset that things are going to end up with “happily ever after.”
After all, you and your partner are usually putting on an illusion of being the best version of yourselves. The excitement and butterflies that come when we are in the honeymoon phase can give us the false sense that things are always going to be…. perfect.
This fantasy is extremely dangerous as there are going to be ups and downs in any relationship.
There are going to be challenges that you couldn’t have predicted and neither one of you is going to be even close to perfect.
Recently I read about the term “Relationship Disenchantment” which refers to two partners who were completely enamored with each other but have lost the spark that was once between them.
Sadly, at some point, disillusionment, defeat, and dissatisfaction may overcome any dedicated partnership, and it can deteriorate into relationship burnout, the ultimate outcome of continuing disenchantment.” -Psychology Today
Can a relationship be salvaged if it gets to this point?
The answer is yes, but you and your partner will have to work hard if you want to get back to a good place once you have reached the point of feeling burnt out and exhausted.
Here are five steps you can take to prevent your relationship from reaching the point where you both lose interest and motivation to make things work.
#1. Address the small problems in the beginning
When I was in college I started dating a guy who wanted to spoon/cuddle all night.
It was absolute hell. I couldn’t sleep and my body was on fire but…I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
Fast forward a month later when I finally told him I wasn’t a big cuddler and he decided I must not like him anymore.
Even though it sounds sill most couples will have small problems that they should face in the beginning phase of the relationship but instead they push things to the side and focus on the good.
By doing this the small things are bottled up and end up being huge things. In fact, these often end up being dealbreakers or cause the relationship’s demise.
#2. Explore new ways to communicate
At the beginning stage of my current relationship, I realized that my partner and I were constantly getting angry when we texted each other.
My partner isn’t good at texting. He is brash and would just say whatever pops into his head and I quickly realized that it wasn’t a good way to communicate.
Although it may feel awkward, to be honest, and have serious conversations at the beginning of a relationship it is extremely important.
Imagine if my partner and I had continued our dysfunctional texting communication. I am willing to bet that we wouldn’t be together today.
Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and have heart to hearts even if it seems intense when you have only been dating a few months.
Doing so will prevent issues in communication that could be detrimental to your relationship later on.
#3. Be honest with your partner if they are slacking
Early on in my current relationship, I was not a good girlfriend. I say that with total honesty. I was tired, stressed, and I allowed myself to get lazy.
This went on for a time before my boyfriend sat me down and was transparent with me.
He told me that he loved me immensely, and wanted to continue being with me, but that he felt like he was pouring everything into our “relationship bucket” while I sat on the sidelines and watched.
My first reaction was to shut down and become defensive. Then, I heard a little voice in the back of my head saying that I needed to listen to his words or else I could lose him.
Looking back I am so glad that he was honest with me because otherwise resentment would have grown up and I wouldn’t have worked on being a better partner.
#4: Don’t try to escape when things get difficult
It is good to give each other space in a relationship.
However, there is a difference between space and beginning to disengage because things are getting difficult.
In previous relationships, I would go out with friends or go away for a weekend whenever things got hard. I would ignore my partner and tell them that we needed space when really we needed to work through our issues.
Escaping or leaving without your partner’s input is going to harm your relationship.
Perhaps the two of you need to escape together in order to have a break from the noise and get some alone time without any distractions.
#5. Don’t verbalize if you lose faith for a moment
I have often let my own insecurities rear their ugly head in my relationships.
It is something I have worked and improved on but in the past, I have self- sabotaged things in the beginning stages of getting to know someone.
I allowed doubt to creep into my head, verbalized those thoughts to my new partner, and they lost faith in our chances of a future together.
The reality is that even in the best relationship you are going to have moments of doubt. I still have them even in the happiest relationship of my life.
However, instead of verbalizing every single doubt, I let them sit. If it is still there a few days later I will address it. 99% of the time however, the doubt disappears within a few minutes.
Almost any relationship can be salvaged. However, why not do everything you can to prevent it from getting to the point where it needs to be salvaged?
Be honest with your partner, be present even in the tough moments, and create a strong structure of communication so that your relationship will be able to weather the storms.