You wake up one morning feeling kind of crummy. You’ve got a slight fever, and your throat feels like sandpaper. Didn’t someone at the office have strep last week?
You go to your doctor, fully expecting him to diagnose you with the strep throat. Because the throat-swab came back positive for Strep.
But he doesn’t. Instead, he tells you to take a cold shower for the fever, and he recommends mints to ease the pain in your throat.
Mints?! You need antibiotics for a bacterial infection like strep!
If that happened, your doctor would just be treating the symptoms without ever addressing the underlying cause. Crazy, right?
And yet, we do the same thing in relationships all the time.
When things are off in a relationship, it’s exhausting. You’ll feel drained and emotionally raw, like a romantic version of the strep. It sucks.
And it won’t get better if you just treat the symptoms.
Treating the symptoms of a “relationship bug” can take on many different forms. You might pamper yourself with a shopping splurge. Or respond to his frustrating behavior with some passive-aggressive jabs. Or even disconnect emotionally by avoiding real conversation and intimate moments.
The relationship will stay sick, and you’ll only feel marginally better. Rather than just treating the symptoms, why not deal with the disease?
I have three suggestions for getting over a relationship ailment.[i] If you’re feeling fatigued in your current romance, the cure is likely in one of these three places.
Better Time Management
It’s counter-intuitive, but an essential part of maintaining intimacy is taking periodic breaks from your partner.
If you don’t, other relationships will suffer and your schedule will start to feel burdensome.
It’s wise to have at least a couple of nights a week when you do something on your own or with other friends. In addition, avoid the pitfall of letting work projects slip so you can spend more time with your man.
Stay on top of your schedule. Strive for balance and quality. You want the time you spend with your guy to be a treat, not a task.
An Attitude Upgrade
Especially if your relationship has been through a rough patch recently, the solution might be as simple as changing your thinking.
Positive thinking impacts your life all the way down to the neurological level.[ii] If you can harness optimism, it’ll make a powerful difference in your whole life, including your connection with your guy.
Instead of focusing on the things you don’t like about your relationship, adjust your attention. Start dwelling on the things you do like.
And here’s the really cool part. Positive thinking tends to snowball. As you focus on good stuff, you’ll notice more and more things you like.
This attitude upgrade works well if the cause of your “relationship bug” was a negative relationship experience that flipped the switch for one or both of you. Flip that mental switch back to seeking pleasure from the relationship instead.
Admitting A Mismatch
There’s a final possible “cure” for relationship maladies, though I hesitate to share it. It doesn’t sound all that upbeat, even though ultimately it is about going all out in the direction of happiness.
If you’ve tried everything else to turn a cumbersome relationship around and nothing has worked, maybe it’s time to admit this guy isn’t the one.
That sounds bad, but in the end, it can be a very good thing. After all, you don’t want to waste your time, effort, energy and love on a relationship that’s not going anywhere. It would be so much better to find the right guy!
When nothing else cures a relationship, consider the possibility that it’s time to move on.
All relationships go through ups and downs. Just like people, sometimes relationships get “sick” for a short while. That’s nothing to freak out about, but it’s nothing to ignore, either.
When your relationship is under the weather, make sure you’re maintaining balance in your whole life, especially with your schedule, and double-down on your efforts to stay positive. If that doesn’t work, be willing to ask yourself if maybe this relationship isn’t the one for you.
Don’t settle for anything less than what your heart truly desires. You deserve a happy, healthy relationship! And you can have one by consistently taking action steps to move toward a beautiful romance.
[i] Nemko, Marty, Ph.D. “Exhausted After Work?” Psychology Today. HealthProfs.com, 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.
[ii] Clear, James. “The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health, and Improve Your Work.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 July 2013. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.