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How to Get Your Relationship Out of a Rut

by Parker Janney

All relationships have their ups and downs; it is the natural ebb and flow of human intimacy. When your relationship truly gets into a rut, you don't have to panic. Restore your partnership to a healthy dynamic by being honest about your feelings, shifting old habits and bringing in outside support if you need it.

Admit that you're in a rut. The first step in getting your relationship back on track is to admit that something is wrong. Not talking about it in the hopes that it will go away is a sure recipe for relationship failure. Schedule a time when you can both sit down and talk about what's going on and how you both feel about it. Get all feelings and perceptions out on the table. Make sure that you each get to share how you feel the relationship could change for the better, and that you are both on the same page. This will provide you with a road map for how to move forward.

Go towards, not away from, each other. When a relationship is in a rut, there is often an impulse to seek emotional comfort outside of the relationship. Be aware that both men and women may see this as an opportunity to move in on a vulnerable partner, and a "friend" offering a shoulder to cry on may actually have other motives. The distraction of a potential exciting new relationship or fling is not what you need to heal your rut with your partner. Turn your focus to your relationship, not away from it.

Break the pattern. If you have identified patterns of behavior that contribute to a feeling of separation from your partner, break those old behaviors and instill some new ones. If you are always eating at the same restaurant, visiting the same friends, or watching the same weekly TV shows, change things up. Keeping things fresh and new can inject new life into a relationship that has grown stale.

Seek resources. There are thousands of self-help books published on the topic of relationships. In addition, retreat centers regularly offer workshops and seminars for couples who are hoping to improve their connection. Couples therapists can help to counsel committed partners through rough patches and uncomfortable transitions. Couples counselors are especially trained to help partners to weather shifts and to return to a healthy, functional dynamic.

About the Author

Parker Janney is a web developer and writer based in Philadelphia. With a Master of Arts in international politics, she has been ghostwriting for several underground publications since the late 2000s, with works featured in "Virtuoso," the "Philadelphia Anthropology Journal" and "Clutter" magazine.

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