By Corinne Farago
You’re driving down the freeway, starting out on a multi-hour road trip. At first there’s a lot to pay attention to. The details of where you’re headed, easy access to things like water or a snack. You set your preferred temperature. You tune into your favorite podcast or music.
You pay close attention to the road as you move through congested traffic, but once you’re on the straight and narrow, you move from the fast lane to the middle, where there’s less pressure to pass. You prefer a speed that’s within the limit and feels safe.
And finally, you’re able switch the car into cruise control. You can sit back, relax and take your mind off the details of driving.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we know when we’ve put our relationship into cruise control. In fact many couples I see feel like they’ve been in cruise control for the past 10 months.
We’re together with our partner day in and day out. Each week looks the same as the last. The passing scenery isn’t changing. We’re not even sure of our destination anymore. We’re just going along, without having much impact on how the trip is progressing. We’ve become passive passengers in our relationship, cruising in automatic.
Here and there we notice road signs, urging us to pay attention.
Warning: Loss of sex and intimacy for the next 5 miles (years)
Warning: Sharp words and impatience around every corner
Warning: Slippery silences and suppressed emotions ahead
What are the consequences of no longer trying our best, or just getting lazy behind the wheel? We start ignoring the warning signs that are passing us by.
Here are 18 warning signs that your relationship is in cruise control
- You rarely laugh together anymore
- You brace yourself for expecting conflict
- Disagreements are left unresolved and ignored
- You stop saying thank you
- You stop caring about what you look like to your partner
- You complain more than you praise
- You stop holding hands or cuddling
- You hide behind your phone
- You no longer look for little surprises that would put a smile on your partner’s face
- You stop initiating fun activities together
- You prioritize other family and friends over your partner
- You treat your partner like a roommate
- You prefer separate bedtimes to avoid intimacy
- You take your partner’s efforts for granted
- You retreat into another room to be alone, more often than not
- The lower desire partner says no to sex as an ongoing pattern
- The higher desire partner gives up trying to initiate
- You avoid conversations about deeper feelings
Are you nodding your head in recognition as you read this list?
It’s time to take your relationship out of cruise control and put it back into manual.
No one is going to do it for you.
Put your foot on the peddle and take control of your relationship again by following these 6 rules of the road:
1) Go off-roading
See some new landscapes, and inspiring vistas that take your breath away. Welcome the mystery of the roads less travelled. Get lost, and let go of knowing what’s coming around the corner.
2) Interrupt familiar routes
If you both watch TV every night, do something different. Read a chapter of a good book out loud, massage your partner’s shoulders, play a board game, Be the one to say, “Hey let’s go somewhere special and watch the sun set.”
3) Slow down
Make time for some deeper conversations, slow down, go for a walk, point out beautiful things around you, a sun streaked sky, a budding flower, a spider’s web. Even in the midst of madness, miracles are all around us.
4) Speed up
If your life has been moving at a turtle’s pace between the fridge and the couch, put your foot on the gas and pick up the energy. Sing karaoke, dance to your favorite music, listen to some comedy, bring some levity into your partner’s life, and pull them away from the news for a few hours.
5) Drive outside of your comfort zone
Set a goal together that challenges your skill or endurance. Climb that local cliff, walk that steep trail, extend yourselves beyond what’s familiar and easy. Meet challenges together and bond with a shared sense of accomplishment.
6) Enjoy the ride
Every night before you go to sleep, name 3 things you appreciated about your partner that day. Say them out loud. I appreciated how you dealt with the kids today. I noticed how patient you were when my meeting went late. Thank you for holding me when I felt overwhelmed.
It’s time to bring your full attention back to the road you’re traveling on.
Lovers, keep on loving.
If you’re fortunate enough to have someone in your life to love, make it your job to be the best partner you can be. Help to ease your partner’s burdened mind. Give them the emotional security to contend with what the world is bringing us right now, and help them find refuge where they need it most, in their lover’s arms.
And if there are parts of your relationship that are less than wonderful, there’s a way through, reach out for some 3rd party coaching.
I don’t know a lot of about cars, but I DO KNOW how to shift you out of cruise control and back into manual. Let’s talk about what that looks like in your relationship. No matter where you’re headed there’s a road that will get you where you want to go.
Schedule a Discovery Call with me, and let’s talk about your desired destination and how to get there.
Stay well and love deeply,
Be sure to download my list of 186 erotic activities that I outline in my new e-book, Your Erotic Menu.
It may be the single most impactful step you take toward your sexual evolution. (I can confidently say, your dates nights will never be the same!)
(Mail about sex will often get sent to promotions or junk. Move me to your inbox so we can continue to stay in touch regularly. ☺)