Romantic Relationships

3 Signs Your Relationship Needs A Refresh

couple on couch that needs a relationship refresh

I think it’s safe to say we have all experienced difficulties in our relationships.  One of the reasons being, we are individuals with our own views, thoughts and feelings and are not going to always agree with the person we love.

When we find ourselves against a wall of discomfort and don’t know how to handle or communicate our feelings, we may want to walk away from the relationship. No. Running is not a loving option.

Since two people are in the relationship, problems can be discussed and rectified – even if the conversation is difficult. Remember – we are all unique with a variety of needs and desires.  Someone in the relationship may feel that their needs are not being met and unmet needs cause problems.

3 signs that indicate your relationship needs to be refreshed.

I have learned that there are three things that happen in a relationship that start to cause problems. When all of these are present at the same time, it is a sign that you need to address  the problems and begin to refresh your relationship.

Communication Breakdown

One of the reasons for communication breakdown is fear.  Many people do not feel safe when another knows personal things about them.  There are times in an intimate relationship when old cellular memories begin to surface, and insecurities show up.  These negative emotions cause us to withhold the very information that would help to strengthen our bond.

Keeping secrets or just not being totally honest is a problem within itself. If you fear you could lose your partner’s love if he or she really knows you, take the risk of transparency. You may be surprised.

Vulnerability is an indication of courage and trust. Your own personal courage and the trust you have in your partner. When you allow vulnerability in your relationship, sometimes love just doubles in size!


When you find yourselves bickering, that is a clear indication that someone is not feeling cared for, paid attention to or nurtured.  Blaming and the use of sarcasm begins because resentment is creeping into your relationship.

This usually happens because the person committing these offenses is not comfortable communicating their wants and needs.  There are many ways to convey a message, and they have chosen to take a passive-aggressive route. The best way to communicate a need or desire is to be clear and honest.

Do not lash out and take the negative behavior personally. How another person acts has nothing to do with you, although you may want to help your partner feel safe enough to express their feelings.

This is another time when authentic communication is required.  Many times we expect our partner to know how we feel, but that’s not fair.  Until they are told, they do not know, so always talk to your partner.

Less/No Sex

High on the list of importance in a relationship is sex.  We need sex to feel connected to our partner. The physical touch, the warmth and emotional closeness demonstrate Eros love, as explained in John Lee’s six types of love.

If sex begins to lessen considerably or becomes nonexistent, there are usually reasons for it. As stated previously, when someone’s needs are not being met, communication breaks down, bickering begins, and sex slows down.

If a couple of the reasons for the change in sexual activity includes work or children, that can be rectified immediately.  Make the time for sex as often as possible.

Communicating your needs and desires openly is the path to consistent, desired sex.  Your thoughts, feeling, and desires are important.  Let your partner know them.

Relationships are resilient and can stand up to the toughest challenges.  When these problems arise, remember that they are usually temporary.  Remember to communicate openly with your partner, as that is the key to true intimacy.  As soon as you see a problem has entered the relational space, address it immediately.  It will not go away on its own.

If these problems are persisting and one of you does not want to resolve it, seek professional help.

(This article was initially by Dr.Wielenga, for the Grunion Gazette online Relationship column.)

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