5 Creative Solutions for Romantic Relationship Problems
Is your romantic relationship in jeopardy? Check out these 5 creative solutions for romantic relationship problems in midlife.
One of the best parts of a romantic relationship is sharing your life with another person, but it can also be one of the hardest. Merging two lives always requires some negotiation (Who handles the bills? What time do we eat dinner? Where do we keep our shoes?), and it only gets harder with age. You both have established habits that can be difficult to break, after all.
It can be even worse if you’ve been hurt before, and you’re on the lookout for red flags while dating. Any disagreement might look like a deal-breaker. But before you jump ship, consider how you might be able to work together to creatively solve your romantic relationship problems.
While there are some issues no amount of talking will fix, there are plenty of problems that can be addressed and improved to make your love life stronger than ever. Here are five of them.
5 Creative Solutions for Romantic Relationship Problems
1. Split the Chores—Or Hire Them Out
There’s no doubt that the division of household labor matters. Satisfactory sharing of chores is a top indicator of a marriage’s overall success, even though couples admit they struggle to split the work. It’s no surprise that women report spending more time on household labor than men. Even in cases where the situation is reversed, the inequality can lead to hard feelings.
Fortunately, unequal division of chores can be easily solved by a willing couple. Begin by talking things over with your partner, but avoid simply asking for more help. You need to have a productive conversation about cleaning habits. Discuss things like which chores are priorities, what standards of cleanliness will be, when things need to get done, and other pertinent details. If you and your partner are willing to be honest and willing to work, you can find compromises that work for both of you.
As you move forward, be willing to consider alternative solutions. For example, if you have the means, hire someone to take care of cleaning your home. You can even hire someone to take care of just a few chores that you both really hate. This can ease the pressure on both of you, letting you devote more energy to what really matters: your relationship.
2. Respect Each Other’s Hobbies & Find Shared Ones Together
The majority of married Americans believe that shared interests are vital to a healthy marriage. In fact, “shared interests” is rated higher than sex, religion, or income by a majority of people. There’s a perception that a happy couple is one that does everything together. If you don’t have enough in common, should you even bother trying?
Well, yes. It’s less important to share interests than it is to show interest in each other’s pastimes. Marriage therapists suggest that sharing hobbies isn’t terribly important, but mutual respect of each other’s hobbies is. You can enjoy writing, they can enjoy gaming, and there’s no need to convert each other. Just ask about your partner’s interests sometimes, and listen respectfully when they talk about them.
If you’re still concerned about spending more time doing things together, try cultivating a new hobby together. There are plenty of great activities couples can do together. Work with your partner to find one that sounds interesting to both of you. You’ll develop new skills, spend more time together, and share more interests.
3. Open Up About Your Finances
Money undoubtedly plays a role in many divorces. Of course, there’s a lot you can argue about: how to spend, how to save, how to deal with debt, how to combine your incomes. And because money is involved in so many parts of our lives, there are plenty of opportunities for it to be an issue.
Rather than argue about money, talk openly with your partner to decide upon the best approach for the two of you. Finances can be a touchy subject, so prepare to have a productive conversation about money. Be honest with your partner about your financial history, your financial goals, and your current habits.
Keep in mind that there is no one right way to manage your money together. There are many options for handling your finances—you simply have to decide which approach works best for the two of you.
4. Sex is Important. Talk About it—Or Seek Support
There’s no way around it. According to a 2013 survey, sex is important in relationships, with over 90% of married respondents believing a good sex life is vital in marriage. In that same survey, only 60% of women said they were happy with their sex life. That means that plenty of women want a good sex life but don’t have one.
As with most things on this list, this issue can be helped by talking about it with your partner. It’s entirely possible to build a positive sex life by communicating with your partner and working together. Talk honestly and openly about your likes and dislikes. Remember also that good sex doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and work to make each other feel loved and valued outside of the bedroom, too.
If you need help getting the conversation started, use outside resources. Try reading a book about improving your sex life with your partner, or even consider seeking professional help if necessary.
5. Solve Sleep Problems Together
Sleep is important for individual health, but it also plays a role in the health of a relationship. Couples that go to bed at the same time are happier, as are couples that sleep closer together. Of course, problems like schedules or sleep habits can make sleeping together harder. In fact, having the same side preference as a partner is considered more of a deal-breaker than rooting for different sports teams.
Some sleep-related problems have relatively easy fixes. Does your partner roll around in bed? Get a roomier mattress. Does your partner hog the blankets at night? Get another comforter—you can get a larger size for you to share more easily or get separate blankets so you don’t have to worry about hogging. Finding creative solutions will pay off when you get to enjoy being with your partner all night.
Even if you can’t always go to sleep at the same time, you can work with your partner to make sure you both sleep well. Be respectful of each other’s sleep habits. You’ll both wake up to a happier relationship.
The issues you encounter in your romantic relationship don’t have to be deal-breakers. But that doesn’t mean you should simply ignore problems and hope they go away on their own, either. Instead, look at these issues as an opportunity to communicate and compromise with your partner. When you work together, what you initially thought of as a roadblock might just be the start of a better, stronger relationship.
This post was written by guest blogger, Kelsey Down. The four most important things in Kelsey’s life are her coffee, her cat, her dog and her kid—sometimes in that order. She’s a Nashville transplant living in Salt Lake City who writes about everything from innovative tech to personal and family wellness. Follow her on Twitter @kladown23.