The funny thing about your relationship being “just okay” is that I likely will not see you in my office. On the therapy spectrum, some couples are nearing divorce/separation. Some couples need a “tune up” for a part of their relationship. And then there is a period during therapy where couples are progressing from dissatisfied to satisfied. The problem with your “okay” relationship is that you likely feel that your relationship troubles do not need therapy. You may also comparatively say that there are many other couples in worse situations. If you’ve come to the point where you feel like your relationship is just okay but you want more out of your relationship, keep reading and make your relationship exciting again!
Since your relationship is “just okay” – you’ve settled. Over time, from the friendship/dating period until now, you’ve compromised and settled on several occasions. Maybe you wanted to do something interesting or fun but your partner wanted something else and you accepted. Sometimes you’re excited about something but you do not feel it’s worth mentioning. You go with the flow of what they want and sometimes it’s good but other times you’re dissatisfied.
Related: Help! Our Relationship Is Boring!
Instead of settling, I have a 7-day challenge for you. Every time that something pops into your head that you think may be enjoyable, mention it to your partner. This may take a while to get used to since you’ve gotten in the habit of just letting things happen. But now is the time to take your relationship back! Carve a new habit in your life and say what you want to do. After the 7 days, decide if it is worth it to keep speaking your mind or if life was better when you were staying quiet.
Your “okay” relationship is no coincidence. It is likely a lack of planning that has led you to nowhere.
Think about being in a sailboat with no plan of where to go. Your sail will catch the wind but you could end up in a place that you do not want to be. Instead, jump into the boat (your relationship) with a plan and adjust your sails! Decide where you want to go, what you want to do, who will be there, and when it will happen. A big complaint that I hear is that one partner does not come up with ideas of what to do. Don’t be that partner. Contribute your ideas in your plan – they are worth mentioning!
The last piece of the puzzle – appreciate what you have in your life and in your relationship. All of your effort towards change will not matter unless you appreciate what you have in your relationship. There are so many things to be grateful for. Even the simple things like having a spouse, owning a TV to watch Netflix, or driving together in a running car. Being grateful is an amazing everyday practice. Check out this article for more benefits of being grateful. You want more out of your relationship and the changes are worth chasing! Also, while you are chasing a better relationship, it is worth it to be grateful along the way (as well as when you get to your new and improved relationship). When you are appreciative of the positives in your relationship, very little is “just okay.”
About the Author
Chris Cummins is a couples specialist with The Marriage and Family Clinic. He focuses on working with substance abuse and couples in high conflict. Chris enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.