I recently read a book called the Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal About Creating a New Normal in Your Relationship, which is based on a relationship survey that collected data from more than 70,000 men and women around the world. Researchers asked thousands of questions to discover what the most common attitudes and practices in relationships were. Fascinating stuff!
It’s fascinating to me because I’m passionate about learning and helping couples achieve epic relationships where both partners feel incredibly fulfilled. I don’t want the couples I work with to learn how to just get by, I want them to thrive.
This book cemented in my mind that change is always possible, even when it seems difficult. Life is a work in progress as are relationships. There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship and the people in them aren’t perfect. People evolve and not always at the same pace or in expected ways. These changes can sometimes create challenges for partners but what makes the difference is how partners dialogue about the changes (or the lack thereof). Unexpressed needs become unmet needs and can lead to resentment.
The Normal Bar study essentially concluded that for relationship happiness to be possible, couples need to make each other a priority, make love, give affection, listen to each other, talk, have fun, be romantic and be respectful. Sounds simple, right? Yet, we know that it isn’t always that simple.
I challenge you to think about your current relationship norms. Are you satisfied with them? If you feel like things seem to be in a lull, know that there is hope. This is an opportunity to create a new normal in your relationship. Small adjustments can do wonders for a relationship.
Start with having a conversation about what areas feel like they could use a tune up or need something different. What’s not working as well as you’d like? What’s a realistic new normal that you both want? I suggest that you both do this exercise separately and then discuss your answers to these questions together. It’s important that you explore your personal needs and desires on your own to ensure that decisions made about new norms aren’t being heavily influenced by your partner’s desires. Rather, you step into the discussion having your own voice and clarity on what you also need from the partnership.
After you’ve both discussed your list of desired new norms, commit to working together to make that reality possible and sustainable. Ultimately you have the power to choose and have the kind of relationship you want and deserve. The choice belongs to you.
If you have trouble or need some ideas for areas where new norms could be established, I’ve put together a brief list to help you get started:
• Quality time
• Having fun
• Shared time with family and friends
The fun part about this is you’re not limited by any means. You can establish new norms for anything you desire. It’s your relationship, your rules. You truly can have it your way. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support in establishing a new normal for your relationship.
(There is an affiliate link in this article so if any purchase is made via the link your price is the same and we receive revenue)