My relationship was going great for a while but eventually fell into a slump that I was afraid might soon lead to a breakup. Instead of giving up on my boyfriend and what we’d built together, I decided we needed a reset. Here’s what we did and how it worked for us.
- I told him that I wasn’t happy and I needed a change. For weeks leading up to our reset, I struggled with telling my boyfriend about how I was feeling about our relationship. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings but I was really miserable. There’s something about telling someone that you love that he isn’t making you happy anymore that makes you feel really awful. However, I knew that if I didn’t speak up, we’d end up in an unsalvagable place and that scared me more. It was hard, but I’m glad I voiced my feelings.
- We got real about what we needed to feel happy and fulfilled. Our conversation was long and hard to work through at times, but we were totally honest about where we were in our relationship and what we saw for our future and I think that was profoundly important. We wanted to be together but some things needed to change. I loved the closeness we shared but hated the monotony of it. He also loved the closeness but craved more alone time because we spent so much time together.
- We made a point to express ourselves honestly but without accusation. During our conversation, I basically had to tell my boyfriend that he wasn’t living up to the expectations that I’d set for him and for us. Before we talked, I wrote down my feelings about everything and then rehearsed my delivery of those feelings over and over again until I felt comfortable. I even asked a friend if what I was saying came across in a direct and honest yet loving way. When I finally talked to him, I was grateful that I’d planned what I wanted to say before opening up because it helped me talk to him without being hurtful or saying something I’d regret.
- After our talk, we took some time away from each other to recalibrate. We agreed that we needed to make a change in our relationship if it was going to continue. That’s where the whole concept of a “reset” came in. We decided to take a week to ourselves to process all of the things we talked about and figure out a way forward. We limited communication but we were clear that this was not a break and it definitely wasn’t a breakup. It was a moment for us to find ourselves again independent of each other. To be honest, I loved the alone time even when I missed him. I spent time with my friends, I binged watched television and indulged in some shameless self-care. It was exactly what we needed.
- Giving up on us would’ve been the easy way out and we refused to take it. It’s a super knee-jerk reaction to just throw your hands up and quit when the going gets rough in any situation. Still, there were times when it was tempting. When we started working through our issues, there were a few times when I was ready to walk away (or so I thought), but now that we’ve come out on the other side, I’ve realized that working through our issues was totally worth it. It doesn’t mean that we’ll be together forever, but if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be able to say that I did everything I could to make it work. I won’t have any regrets.
- These days, we focus on relationship maintenance. We check in with each other about how we’re feeling about our relationship and we try to talk through issues as they arise. We don’t treat our relationship like it’s a straight line on a graph. Instead, we know that it’s more like a line that goes up and down and all over the place. That’s totally OK as long as we stay in tune with each other.
- Patience was the key to our relationship improving. Clearing out the old energy was so important for us to get back on track, but it was also difficult because I had to exercise some serious patience with the process. Even though I knew our relationship wasn’t going to improve immediately overnight, I really struggled with the notion that it would take a few weeks or even months, especially since I’m someone who looks for immediate gratification.
- When in doubt, I go back to the basics. Resetting for me was all about returning back to how I once felt and handled myself. It was about regrounding myself within the context of my relationship rather than overhauling the whole thing. What I learned from all of this is that sometimes when relationships change, you just need to hold onto a sense of your own self, be honest about your needs, and own your truth to make it through.