in: Dating & Relationships

How to Renew a Relationship (Any Relationship at All)

Spring has arrived—and with it, the perfect time to renew your relationship. Kristen Hick helps us clear any heart-clutter we might have gathered over the long, cold winter.

As your year of living fearlessly continues, our focus turns towards this unique time of year.

There is an energy bouncing around us, within us and through us and, a renewed hope and rejuvenated spirit—it’s Spring!

Regardless of where you live, winter is a time for hunkering down, eating delicious holiday foods and spending more time indoors—even if you spend them at the ski lodge cozied up to a warm fire.

With all of your energy directed in these ways, it easy to surface from the season with some lackluster feelings about the state of your relationships—and perhaps, with others having some lackluster feelings about you.

Spring Cleaning

Just as your closet craves a good purge and reorganization (followed by sprucing up your wardrobe with a few Spring-inspired pieces of clothing), your relationships thirst for a new, fresh feel as well.

Spending time in the gym does little good without actually picking up some weights or getting on a treadmill.

In the same way, being in relationships without actually working on them will eventually lead to a lack of relational health and vitality.

Fear of Change

The word “renewal” seems pretty appealing, relatively free of fear.

But, if we replace renewal with the word change—Presto!—fear can appear. Still, it’s good to keep in mind that renewal is a type of change, a mindful way of taking a new look at and a new approach to the existing structures in our lives.

The thing is, many of us are so fearful of change that we will avoid it at all costs, despite the unfavorable consequences of doing so. Think of all the people (perhaps even you) who hold on to pieces of clothing, objects, friendships, jobs, or even intimate relationships far longer than is beneficial, without an update of sorts along the way.

Fear is usually at the bottom of this hoarding.

Before proceeding with Spring renewal of your relationships, ask yourself these questions:

1. “In what way does fear hold me back from exploring, assessing, renewing and/or awakening my relationships?”

2. “In what way can practicing fearlessness renew and awaken my relationships?”

These two questions are vital to explore before proceeding, because breaking through the fear—or at least facing the fact that it is there—will help you move through the next steps with greater results.

Fearless Relationship Renewal Guide:

1. Review the significant and/or developing relationships in your life.

Who are these individuals, what are the dynamics involved and what thoughts and feelings come up when thinking about them?

Some Relationships to review:

  • significant others (e.g., spouse, partner, boyfriend/girlfriend)
  • dates (e.g., someone you are beginning to date, but not yet committed to)
  • family (e.g., parents, siblings, extended family, children)
  • friends (e.g., old and new)
  • work relationships (e.g., coworkers, supervisors, clients)
  • anyone you live with (roommates, significant neighbors, etc.)

Name one or more relationship that is not thriving and spend some time considering what isn’t working about the relationship.

Do you find yourself in a pattern of interacting that drains your energy, pulls you into toxic dynamics, or keeps you from becoming your best self?

2. Reflect on your attitude, intentions and behavior that are preventing the relationship from blossoming.

  • “What am I holding onto?” — Are you holding on to resentment, guilt, or anger?
  • “Is there something I need to express or communicate in order to not feel this way?”
  • “What can I let go of?” — Can you let go of any emotions that are holding you down and keeping you from a healthier relationship with this person?
  • Are my feelings connected to an old wound?”
  • “What new feelings can I foster or attitude can I embody to enhance this relationship?”
  • “Is a relationship(s) preventing me from being my best self?” Consider whether this relationship needs some pruning.

3. Renew and awaken these relationships through creating a plan of what you can do now to renew the relationship.

Describe exactly what you plan to do…

  • Who does it involve?
  • What are you going to do or say?
  • When (give it time frame) will this action or conversation take place?
  • How will you carry this out? Is there something that will help make this possible?
  • Is there someone you can process this with (e.g., friend, partner, therapist) to enhance the outcome?
  • What do you expect will happen from taking this action?

With some reflection and thoughtful nurturing of your relationships, you will awaken to a new sense of yourself and your relationships, ready for Spring!

(Just as delicious and even more vital than your new pair of shoes.)


[image: via Pixabay]

About the Author:

Kristen Hick

Kristen Hick, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the area of awakened dating and healthy relationships. She is the founder of Center for Shared Insight, a private psychotherapy practice in Denver where she and her clients focus on Individual Relationship Therapy. Dr. Hick’s expertise lies in helping individuals create healthy, meaningful, and loving relationships with others through healing, strengthening and transforming their most essential relationship, with themselves. When not helping clients fulfill their personal relationship goals, she enjoys the Colorado outdoors, capturing life through photography, practicing yoga and hopes to one day manage her first unassisted headstand. You can connect with Dr. Hick on her site, Facebook or Google+