You’ve spent so much time thinking about how to move forward in a relationship.
You simply feel like you’re stuck. There’s nothing much you can do anymore in order to make things exciting. Does that mean that it’s time to break up?
You see, breaking up isn’t about whether or not you’re bored in the relationship. It’s about whether you love the person. And to me, it seems like you love him very much, you’re just not sure where things are going.
When you don’t move forward in your relationship, you may want to find more dramatic things to enjoy. That leads couples to fight on a daily basis, simply because they crave something exciting in their life.
That’s sad and you know it. If you don’t want your relationship to come to a standstill, then you need to make an effort.
Here, I’m not just talking about you, I’m talking about your partner as well. Some things simply need to be done in order for the relationship to not stagnate. That way it won’t just slip through your fingers before you even know what’s actually happening.
So let’s see if your relationship is actually in a rut or are you just falling out of love with him. Then you’ll know how to move forward in your relationship.
Before learning how to move forward in the relationship, first ask yourself if it’s really stuck
Sometimes, we believe that we’re bored in a relationship when we’re actually falling out of love with the person. However, you’re not ready to admit that to yourself because you don’t want to be alone.
Other times, you feel like you’re falling out of love when, in actuality, you just need something to change so that you can refresh things.
This is the moment you realize which one of these scenarios you’re actually facing. Then we can discuss what you can do in order to move forward in your relationship.
1. You don’t get excited to see him anymore
One of the things that may confuse you is if you’re not excited to see him anymore. You do want to see him! You want to spend time with him, but you always get home exhausted from dates.
It’s like he drains the life out of you. That happens because you have to force conversations and you know that there won’t be anything new going on that may intrigue you.
You love seeing him, but you’re simply not looking forward to it anymore.
These negative feelings are making you wonder if you want to spend time with him at all.
2. The conversations aren’t engaging anymore
You always seem to talk about the same issues and things. You feel like there’s nothing else to talk about but the same topics over and over again.
This could be because you spend so much time with each other that you can’t even figure out what you did or didn’t tell each other.
I remember a time when I couldn’t manage a response when I tried to talk to my ex. It was just a series of nods after everything he said.
I probably looked like a crazy person, but I simply didn’t have a response even to things that were exciting at the time. The conversations were so plain and boring that it took too much energy to reply at all.
3. You feel like you have no room for personal growth
It’s an awful feeling when you look back and see that during your relationship you haven’t grown as a person at all. You’re wanting to move forward in your relationship, but instead, you’ve become stuck.
You feel like all the things you wanted to do are simply not in the picture anymore. Your boyfriend accepts you as you are, so you stopped growing.
This is actually a very common occurrence. We get so comfortable in our relationship that we stop trying. That’s when people start to gain “relationship weight” and they stop trying to improve themselves. Their only goal was to find a partner, now that they have it, they don’t need to try for anything else.
That, in itself, is a sign of a toxic relationship. You’re unable to focus on your own well-being because you’re trying to accommodate your partner. That’s when you start to fall into a routine that’s not healthy at all.
4. Your partner is stuck even though he doesn’t see it himself
Another thing that could be happening is that you’re trying to work on yourself, but your partner is completely stuck. He doesn’t even see how he’s not working on himself at all.
If your boyfriend is someone who likes to veg for hours in front of the screen every single day or spends all his free hours playing video games, take it as a red flag.
When he’s not working on himself, he also has nothing to talk about with you. It’s great that you’re trying to figure out how to move forward in the relationship, but if he’s the one who’s in a rut and refusing to make any effort, then your efforts will all be in vain.
But this is definitely a sign that your relationship is stagnant. You’re not falling out of love with him. You still love his kindness and the way you feel around him. You just need to take your relationship up a notch.
How to move forward in a relationship
In a healthy relationship, you will be able to move things forward and create a relationship in which you’ll both be able to enjoy yourselves. I know that we grew up believing a romantic relationship can fix itself without much effort, but that’s simply not true.
You have to constantly try new things and determine what works best for you. On that note, here are some tips to help you move forward in your relationship and make a difference.
1. Do something different together
Thank you, Captain Obvious! You must have thought of this one too many times. You know that you have to change some things in order to get out of this rut.
A fun little thing that you can do is to plan your date nights in advance. Tell him that you have to do this if he wants to let the relationship breathe again.
Take an empty jar and fun, colorful paper. Each one of you should write down things that you want to do together and put them in the jar. So every week, when the day of your date arrives, pick one activity out of the jar and do it.
This way, you’ll always be surprised to find out the things your partner actually wants to do. This will also help you liven things up when you’re all out of ideas of what to do.
Your significant other can become your best friend in a matter of days if you truly give each other the opportunity to show that you can have fun together.
2. Recognize each other’s effort
One thing that breaks apart relationships is when partners start taking each other for granted.
You don’t see the effort your partner puts into the relationship and that in itself creates a huge issue for both of you. You stop thanking each other and before you know it, you stop appreciating each other’s presence in your lives.
That’s the saddest thing that can happen.
You have to appreciate the little things. If you want to know how to truly move forward with your relationship, you don’t have to plan big trips that will put you in danger during this pandemic. You can do the smallest thing to show each other that you’re happy wherever you are, as long as you’re together.
When you see that he’s cleaned the house, thank him for it. Make sure to always compliment him when he puts extra effort into his appearance. Don’t make him believe that the dinner he made last night went unnoticed.
This way you’ll encourage each other to try even harder next time. You want to stay with someone who’s able to see how hard you’re trying to impress them.
3. Don’t be afraid to deal with problems
Silence is the number one killer of relationships. You can’t stay silent and expect issues to resolve themselves. If you don’t talk about them, then there’s no way you can make things work.
I understand why you fear conflict. You think that your partner will leave you if you get angry, and you try to deal with issues when he’s not in the right mind-frame for it.
But let me ask you this, why would you even want to be with someone who doesn’t care enough about you to resolve problems? If he’ll leave you just because you’re upset with him, then he might as well pack his things right away.
Anger is a normal human emotion. Why would you want to hide your emotions in the first place? You need to be able to be open about everything that you’re thinking and feeling, and deal with it.
If you feel like you can’t always talk about this, then set a specific time each week where you can sit down and check in with each other. Ask each other what you could do better, what you could do less or more. This way, you’re creating a safe space where you both feel safe and listened to.
You may tend to self-sabotage everything, simply because of low self-esteem issues. It’s easier to believe that every idea you have is stupid than to say it and let your partner be the judge of it.
Don’t just sit around with that colorful mind of yours if you can help your relationship just by sharing. You definitely have some interesting ideas and thoughts that your partner would love to hear about.
Your boyfriend’s with you because he loves you. He’s there to show you that you’re worthy of all the love in this world because he loves everything about you. Even that hectic brain of yours.
Just say it. What’s the worst thing that could happen? That he laughs? Isn’t that the whole point of everything – to laugh together?
If it’s something big, then tell him in advance that you need to talk about something serious with him. If he still laughs at you, then I’m sorry, but he’s nothing more than a jerk.
5. Take responsibility for your own happiness
You can’t expect your partner or relationship to make you happy. He’s responsible for his own happiness and you need to understand that. There’s no way you can always expect your partner to put a smile on your face.
Of course, when you love someone, it doesn’t take much effort to smile when you’re in their presence.
But you need to make yourself happy. You can’t get all the satisfaction of this world from one relationship and then expect it to heal you and always be exciting. It doesn’t work like that.
Use your free time in a healthy way. What do you need in order to be happy? You can easily lose yourself in a long-term relationship, so you always have to have a loving relationship with yourself before anything else.
Is there anything you’ve been wanting to do for a while now? To get your nails done? To go on that trip with your friends? Or making dinner and binge-watching series by yourself? How about taking yourself out on a date?
All of those things are small luxuries that you can give yourself. If anything, you need relationship advice on how to love yourself and spend more time with yourself.
6. Be flirty with each other
When you’re thinking about how to move forward in a relationship, think back to when you were the happiest with each other.
It was during the puppy love stage, wasn’t it? When you were so mesmerized with each other that you couldn’t stay away from each other.
You’ll see your relationship moving forward when you start to act more as you did back then.
Now, you don’t have to be a relationship expert to know that you can’t have that stage of your relationship again out of nowhere. But you can have little bits and pieces.
Most prominent is how much you would flirt with each other back then. You can definitely do that more often, even today.
When you’re flirting with someone, you’re showing them just how into them you are. You’re giving that person bucketloads of attention and affirmation.
Your boyfriend doesn’t do that for you anymore, so more often than not, you feel like a burden to him. That’s not really a great feeling to have while you’re in a relationship.
So if you’re trying to make things exciting again, show each other just how much you’re happy to have each other there. Show your boyfriend that you desire him and tell him that you need to feel that same way in return.
It’ll spark up the old flame in no time.
7. Go to couples therapy
You can look for advice on social media, but you could also try couples therapy. Go and see an actual therapist and let them help you out!
You can always ask your friends for advice, but no one’s advice holds the quality or weight of a relationship therapist. I’m sorry to tell you this, but the fact that your friend Rachel is playing shrink won’t help you save your relationship.
Stop asking yourself how to move forward in a relationship and find help that’s actually worth your while. Your relationship may fall apart before you figure out how to make things work by yourself.
Your partner could easily decide to completely ignore your efforts and continue the way it’s been these past few months. He could be comfortable where you are, so you have to create a safe space where you can motivate him to work through this.
Because of that, drag him to see a therapist with you! The therapist will hold you both accountable for your mistakes as well as show the good things in your relationship that you may not have even seen before.
8. Realize that relationships take work, but not too much
Letting go of the idea that relationships are just a lot of work is a huge step in the right direction. Yes, so you should try to fix certain things and see what works and doesn’t work for you.
But the issue is that we use that as an excuse to stay in loveless relationships. We use that to justify the behavior of our partners and the misery that we feel around them, just so we’re not alone and lonely.
But let’s be honest. You feel more lonely in that relationship than you ever did when you were single.
If that’s not the case, then there’s a good chance that you can work on your relationship. But you have to realize that sometimes, you don’t have to know how to move forward in a relationship. Sometimes, that relationship is simply doomed to fail.
You’ll keep breaking your own heart trying to fix things when there’s no way you can do it without causing yourself harm. If your relationship feels stuck, ask yourself how much you’ve already invested into it.
If it’s a lot and you’re at your wits’ end, then simply let go of it. You don’t have to fight this hard for a love that’s not meant to be forever anyway.
9. Realize that you can only change yourself, not him
Your relationship feels like it’s hit a wall and not going anywhere. Every single day looks the same. You’re both stuck in an inescapable cycle at this point. It’s making you miserable, yet you still keep trying to save it.
Take this as a reminder that you can only change yourself, not him.
Look at all the things you’ve done for the relationship to make it more exciting. You’re here, reading this advice and hoping to find a solution. Your relationship is stuck in a rut and you can feel yourself wilting away next to the man who’s supposed to love you forever.
You know, a relationship is there to bring value to your life and help you become a better human being. You can’t just spend your time hoping that he’ll understand what you’re telling him.
More often than not, you’ll find problems within yourself and change to fit his lifestyle, but how much does he do? Is he willing to change in order to make your relationship more exciting?
How are you going to move forward in your relationship if a crucial factor is missing? His effort! You can’t keep pulling the relationship solo, because one day you’ll be the one to break into tiny little pieces.
Because of that, make sure that you’re both giving your all to stay and grow together. Never once in your life settle for a one-sided relationship. You can do so much better than that, I promise you.
Don’t let this little setback discourage you from your relationship and the future you’re trying to build together.
I know the prognosis doesn’t seem that good right now. You’re wondering if you’ll be able to do anything about this any time soon, but you’re also wondering if this is the relationship for you.
But if you still love your boyfriend, then there’s nothing to fear. You just have to buckle up for a bit of a bumpy road. Show each other that you want to make things work!
One day you’ll look back and not have to rack your brain for an answer on how to move forward in a relationship. You’ll have all the answers you’ll need right there. You’ll know how to get things back on track again.
Until then, you just need to put a little bit more effort into it. It’ll be okay. You’ll both be okay.
Just take some time to figure everything out and get it done! You can do this, for sure.
I liked the part of recognizing each other’s efforts. Believing you can still have fun together is a terrific idea.