5 Quick Tips to Boost Your Relationship This Summer

5 Quick Tips to Boost Your Relationship This Summer

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Michigan summers often boost people’s moods as they enjoy the sunshine that they have been deprived of for months. Many people are outside more often, smiling and laughing more, feeling more productive and active. But sometimes our relationships don’t get the same boost into summertime as we would like. That’s okay though! Want to strengthen your relationship, show appreciation, increase intimacy, improve communication, and get closer with your partner as you jump into summer? Here are some easy ideas to keep in mind! 

  • Walk together. Get some steps in while you have a conversation. If you’re worried about a conversation turning into conflict, save that conversation to have during a walk with your partner. Walking helps regulate our brains and moods. Being side by side offers a sense of equality in relationships, and it lowers nonverbal behaviors that can often be triggering. Walking can give you a great opportunity to chat it up with your partner and connect.

  • Challenge yourself to be the type of partner that you wish to be. It is very easy to focus on our partner’s behaviors that impact us. We often narrow our focus to just that, and we beg, plead, and bargain for our partner to change this behavior that we have fixated on so much that it drives us up the wall…. However, the reality is that no matter how much you would like to, you can’t change your partner’s behavior. But, you can increase your awareness and change your own behaviors to the type of partner you would like to be. For example, do you want to be the type of partner that rolls their eyes when your significant other is trying to connect with you, even though you feel overwhelmed in that moment? Instead, you could just say, “I notice you trying to connect, but I feel a little overwhelmed right now. Can we connect later today?”

  • Stop mind reading. No… But really. Stop! Mind reading is not a thing. Stop filling in the blanks to the reasons why your partner didn’t do this, or did this wrong, or didn’t remember this. It is not because they are intentionally trying to annoy you or hurt you. Instead, reframe your perception into your feelings. Such as, “I feel hurt” rather than “My partner did this to hurt me.” There are so many things that we just jump to conclusions with when it comes to our relationship. Instead, just ask and prepare yourself to listen.

  • Be curious. Ask questions. Explore your partner’s world and perceptions. This is not a time to judge if they are right or wrong in their perceptions. It is not the time to correct them. But, it is time to get to know them better – Whether it be why they believe something a certain way, why they do something a specific way, what dreams they have for themselves in life, or what dreams they have for your relationship.

  • Date each other. There are a huge variety of date options in the summertime. Some may come with spending money, like finding a nice patio to grab a meal on or going out for ice cream. Or you can even go the cost-effective route - like riding bikes, taking a walk, enjoying the sunset on the beach. Consider sharing turns of planning small dates or big dates. Be intentional with your time together.

Relationships can take some work, and it’s very normal to feel as if you and your partner could use a tune up every now and then. Strengthening relationships is one of my specialties! I see individuals, couples and families at Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids in Cascade and Ada, and can work with clients via telehealth throughout Michigan. If you are feeling like you need help creating positive change in your relationship, then please request an appointment with me or call (616) 929-0248 to get connected with any of our clinicians who specialize in marriage counseling and couples therapy. Live outside Michigan? Lifeologie Counseling still has you covered. Find a relationship therapist that’s the right fit for you today!

If you liked this blog, check out my Quick Tips for Communication!

About Rosann Raftery

Rosanne Raftery, LPC, LLMFT, holds a BA in Psychology from Central Michigan University and a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Michigan University. She is passionate about pre-engagement or premarital counseling, divorce recovery, open relationships, women’s issues, anxiety, depression, and working with the LGBTQ+ community. She specializes in working with individuals, couples, and families in building their communication skills, healing, and strengthening their relationships at Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids Ada and Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids Cascade.

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