Routines In Relationships - Organize Your Love Life With Nick Viall
If you're in a relationship, chances are you've got a routine down with your partner.
Whether it's who does what household chores, when you go to bed, or how often you see each other, routines are a necessary part of any relationship. But being proactive about the routines you establish can be the key to unlocking increased success in the connections you build.
From better communication for improved trust and intimacy, to conflict resolution and how to break free from negative habits, this blog will explore the many ways you can use routines to improve your love life.
The Role Of Routines In Creating A Healthy Relationship
We all have them. Those things we do every day without really thinking about it. Brushing our teeth in the morning, making the bed, having a drink after a long day. We do them so often that they become second nature.
When most people think of a routine, they think of the mundane everyday tasks that must be done in order to keep life running smoothly. However, they can actually be a helpful tool in keeping your relationship strong and stable.
According to Chopra, couples who have consistent healthy rituals are more likely to report satisfaction with their relationship than couples who don't.
Positive rituals can be especially beneficial during times of stress or change, they can also help to increase communication and connection, which can in turn alleviate doubt and foster a sense of security.
These rituals can also play a role in our more intimate connections. They can be an important part of creating and maintaining a healthy bond with your partner.
While there are many benefits that come with having a routine in a relationship, it is important to keep in mind that some couples may find that they prefer a more spontaneous approach. For those couples, these habits may actually end up feeling restrictive or stifling.
Why Routines Are Important And How To Establish Them
A routine can be an important part of any aspect of your life, whether you're dealing with work and family, or simply making time for friends. Consistency in these practices can also help couples connect with each other on a deeper level, as they share daily activities and experiences.
Over the course of a relationship there are many different aspects that can become habitual, from the way you greet each other in the morning to how you spend your weekends together. Establishing healthy practices can take some time, but it is often worth it in the long run.
It is crucial to discuss your needs and preferences with your partner or family before implementing any sort of routine, in order to ensure that this course will lead to something that will work well for you going forward.
Here are some quick guidelines that may help you improve and maintain healthy habits with your significant other:
Talk to your partner about what kinds of routines you would like to establish
For example, you might want to create a routine to manage money, a fun date night for eating dinner together each week, or simply for sharing household chores together. Small changes can often lead to big results so remember, the size of the problem is not always relative to complexity of the new habit you wish to adopt.
Once you have an idea of what you would like to do, start slowly and build up gradually
It is often easier to stick to a new ritual if you don’t try to do too much all at once. It's wrong to expect a new reality to emerge in a single day so be patient, changing your long-term habits can take time. For instance, when adopting a new habit in regards to a fitness goal, one should obviously not expect their body to change over night. Putting unrealistic expectations on yourself is counter-productive.
Be flexible and willing to adjust as needed
If something isn’t working out the way you had hoped, talk to your partner about making a change. Being stubborn can also become routine if you struggle to be flexible and understanding with each other. Focus on what is working and be willing to discard what is not.
Make sure that both partners are committed to the routines that you establish
If one partner is constantly breaking or ignoring the "rules" of a routine or ritual, it will be very difficult to make it work in the long run. A person who is not fully on-board with a plan is likely to fail in it's implementation.
Routines Can Help You Communicate Better With Your Partner
Habits can be used to improve communication and strengthen your bond with your partner.
By simply setting aside time each day to talk, you can make sure that you are both aware of what’s going on in each other’s lives. This can help prevent misunderstandings and provide a space for you to discuss any concerns you may have.
It’s important to touch base with your partner regularly about expectations and needs. This might involve having periodic “state of the union” conversations or simply being honest with each other if when something starts to feel stale or uninteresting.
Moreover, these rituals can help you express your love for one another in small but significant ways.
Making a habit of asking open ended questions can have a positive effect. "Yes" or "no" questions point to a specific rigid outcome and can be very limiting. Whereas queries such as "What are some of the stresses you are facing?" or "How would you define a perfect day?" can be the small difference that allows your partner to express more of their true feelings.
Routines And Intimacy
When it comes to our love lives, routines can sometimes make things feel a bit too predictable. You imagine you know what your partner is going to say, what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to react.
But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can actually be helpful for most couples.
Rituals give couples a sense of stability, which can be comforting. They can also help you feel more connected to each other. When you develop a shared habit together, it can make you feel like you’re part of a team.
But beyond the comfort and connection that can be created, there’s another reason why our habits are a good thing to focus on in relationships: they foster intimacy. Intimacy is about more than just physical closeness—it’s also about emotional closeness.
So what are some examples of habits that can improve intimacy?
Here are a few simple ideas:
- Start each morning with a kiss on the forehead or some simple act of affection
- Set an occasional reminder to text your partner something complimentary
- Build anticipation through intentional time away from each other
- Especially in long-term relationships, make the effort to respectfully "seduce" your partner, i.e. a weekly date night
- Introduce regular variety into where you perform your acts of intimacy together
- Schedule time together each week without distractions (no phones, no TV, etc.)
- Go to bed at the same time as your partner
How Routines Can Help You Resolve Conflict With Your Partner
If you find that you and your partner are constantly arguing or conflict is a regular occurrence in your relationship, it might be time to consider the habits that may be the cause.
Conflict will happen but it's often caused by miscommunication, misunderstandings or different expectations.
By instituting healthier habits, you can help to avoid some of these misunderstandings and create structure for you and your partner.
One ritual that can be particularly helpful in avoiding conflict is a weekly check-in. This is a ritual every week when you and your partner sit down and discuss how things are going. You can share any worries you have, and make sure that you understand each other's concerns.
This can also help to prevent arguments from spiraling out of control and allow you to resolve any issues before they become major problems.
Again, a daily routine of setting aside quality time for talking to each other, ideally with your regular communication devices switched off, is highly recommended.
This time allows you to connect with each other uninterrupted, which can in turn help to reduce conflict by the mere fact that you are more present in the moment. If a person has concerns that go unheard due to distraction, those concerns have little chance of being addressed.
The Importance Of Flexibility In Routines
What is not often talked about is the importance of flexibility in a routine. Just as in any other aspect of life, a routine in a relationship can become monotonous and boring.
In order to keep your love life exciting, it is important to mix things up from time to time and be willing to try new things.
If your partner suggests a new activity that you normally would not do, consider giving it a shot. It may turn out to be something that you both enjoy.
Remain flexible with the timing of your activities as well. If your usual date nights are on a Friday but something is getting in the way, don't be afraid to adjust your schedule together. Parents need to be particularly flexible as the needs of kids are often unpredictable.
It’s also important to be flexible when it comes to how much time you spend together. If you are used to seeing each other every day, it's ok to explore the idea of taking a day or two off, if your lifestyle allows. This will give you both some time to miss each other and likely make the time you spend together more fun.
The most important thing to remember is that relationships do require some work.
Ways To Break Out Of Bad Routines
Even the happiest couples can find themselves stuck in a rut after years of being together. All couples go through periods of boredom. The important thing is to recognize when you’re in a rut and to take steps to break out of it.
Here are some tips for breaking out of a bad routine:
Talk to your partner about your feelings
If you are beginning to feel bored or under appreciated, the first step is to talk to your partner about it. They may be feeling the same way. Having an open and honest conversation about your feelings will help you both identify what’s causing the problem and brainstorm solutions.
Do something new together
This could be anything from taking a dance class together or a weekend getaway to somewhere you’ve never been. Trying new things will help inject some excitement back into your relationship. "Doing something new" on a weekly/monthly basis can itself be a routine.
Start a journal to track your feelings
Frustration can often be the result of numerous factors. Which habit to change in your daily life can be confusing. With journaling you might be able to develop a better understanding of where the problem truly stems from.
Set A Schedule
One of the simplest ways to get into the habit of journaling is to set a schedule.
Choose a journaling time that you can stick to every day, whether it’s first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or right before you go to bed.
If you have trouble remembering to journal, set a reminder on your phone or computer, or keep your journal in a spot where you’ll see it often.
Once you’ve established a regular journaling habit, you can be more flexible with your timing. The most important part is to journal regularly.
Podcast With Nick Viall
This week's guest is Nick Viall (@nickviall), a familiar face from the Bachelor franchise, but someone who's spent the majority of his time since the show focusing on mental health, relationship therapy and getting his audience to learn a thing or 2 about taking ownership of their lives. Nick is joining Justin this week to chat all things relationship routines, organizing your love life and leaning into what you truly value in life.
Nick’s NEW BOOK is coming out very soon! ‘Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday’ is available to pre-order now right here!
Follow Nick on Instagram (here) and be sure to check out his podcast, The Viall Files (here) - new episodes launch each week!