Cliché’s by definition are highly overused phrases and in the world of relationships, being “stuck in a rut” stands out as a cliché with a tinge of truism that most couples can relate in one form or another.
One of the main reasons of creating Fun Fantasy Ritual was to have a mechanism to assist with avoiding the dreaded question with a question syndrome… “What do you want to do tonight? Ahhhh… I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
As a certified professional coach, I’m often complimented for providing insightful open-ended questions that allow a client to work through obstacles that are keeping them from even greater personal or professional success. I’m also astute enough to know that regardless of our training and personal development, once our proverbial buttons get pushed, the ease of heeding our own wisdom is not nearly so easy.
As partners in business and life, Dana and I have learned firsthand about the pitfalls of this syndrome and have identified 3 Tips to nip the “rut” in the butt!
- Knowing You and Your Partners Love Language. We can’t begin to express what a difference this has made in our relationship. If you are not familiar with The 5 Love Languages Test by Gary Chapman, we highly recommend you and your partner take this invaluable assessment to learn about your respective Love Language (Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts). If it’s been more than a few years since you last took it, we suggest taking it again as you’ll be surprised in how the degree of the 5 Languages change over time.
Case in point, Dana and I both re-took the test recently and found that a few noticeable shifts occurred. For Dana, Acts of Service that normally had been in last place had suddenly moved into third place and Words of Affirmation had jumped to first place for me knocking Quality Time into second place. As we discussed the results, it became clear that since it had been almost 4 years since we took the test for the first time as a couple, the manner in which we’ve shown up for each other has shifted the primary love language for both of us.
As a couple, knowing your respective love language and being able to show up for them from that perspective makes all the difference in the world. Since Acts of Service comes naturally for me, by showing up doing things for Dana made her appreciate and thus acknowledge me through Words of Affirmation. When a couple can find this natural ebb and flow of speaking into their partners love language, the results are nothing less than spectacular.
- Learning the Art of Conversation. Have you ever experienced the abrupt anxiousness of fright or flight from a one-sided “communication” that’s gone completely sideways with your partner? Like us, I’m sure you’ve had this type of communication that immediately places you in a defensive position and certainly not from a place of love.
A “conversation” on the other hand is free from unnecessary negative energy and places an emphasis on heart-centered listening and dialogue that allows a couple to naturally identify challenges and seek common ground solutions or compromise.
We’ve found that being able to hit the “pause” button when emotions are running high is a great way to table a current issue in order to provide time for amped up feelings to subside and where the break provides additional context and the ability to survey the conversation from various perspectives. When returning to the conversation, more times than not, we’ve been able to find a solution or compromise that brings us closer together and feeling even greater connection from the conversation.
- Planning a Surprise Date. We’ve been planning surprise dates monthly for each other since we met. In fact, it was Dana that saw after almost 3 years of these surprise dates that it was time to bring them to the world. After countless testimonials from couples that attest to this simple practice, we rolled out Fun Fantasy Ritual to the world.
The FFR Surprise Date Challenge is the foundation to Tip 3 and where you and your partner agree to plan just one surprise date for each other for 3 months. I know it sounds too simple to be true, but studies have shown again and again that adding the element of ‘novelty’ to your relationship by doing something new and unique adds significantly to the quality of your relationship and in beating the odds of getting stuck in a rut or worse yet, in divorce court.
When you add Tips 1, 2 and 3 together, you and your partner have powerful tools to deepen your connection, enhance the passion quotient, while adding the elements of mystery, surprise and adventure through date nights.
Our Couples Connection Online Playshop explores the 3 Tips further and provides additional tools and resources to propel you and your partner into being the Happiest Couple You Know. Best of all, you’ll have the winning combination to nip the rut in the butt once and for all.