What to Do If Your Relationship Is Running Out of Gas

Relationships take work. Patience, perseverance, and compromise are mandatory. There are times when you have to stretch out of your immediate comfort zone and do what is important to your partner instead of what is comfortable for you.

 If it feels like all this effort is draining your emotional gas tank faster than it is being replenished, then you need to find ways to fill it back up. But how?

In so many ways, people, and relationships, are highly complex. But in some ways, they’re pretty simple. If you find a particular experience, place, or TV show to be unpleasant and unrewarding, you’re going to avoid it. If you like it and it makes you feel good, you’re going to keep coming back for more. Are you and your partner making it a rewarding experience to spend time together?

Research has shown that the single most important ingredient in a successful, long-lasting relationship is this: making five times more positive statements than negative ones to your partner. It’s inevitable that you’ll disagree or say things that your partner doesn’t want to hear. Your relationship can handle that - as long as the vast majority of what your partner hears from you is positive.

Appreciations, compliments, praise, and words of encouragement keep the gas tank full. Use them generously. Being stingy with these positive strokes will only work against you – especially if you’re not  being equally stingy with criticism and complaints.