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Every relationship has its highs and lows, good days and bad. But what if you sense your relationship has gone cold? Saving a suffering relationship can be extremely difficult, especially when your relationship has been in trouble for a long time. If you’re trying to figure out whether you should be trying to fix your relationship or not, one of the first questions you need to ask yourself is: Do I want to save this relationship or do I want to leave it? If the answer is yes, you want to save it, then it’s important that you do the following seven things:

Communicate Your Concerns

If your relationship has gone cold, it’s important to confront the underlying issues that brought the relationship to the place it’s in. There could be a number of factors interfering with passion in your relationship: medication, stress and financial issues are just a few. If there is something that’s interfering in your relationship, it’s time to have a talk with your partner. Voice your concerns and listen to your partners concerns as well. Open communication is a huge step towards bringing your relationship out of the pit.

Go Out

If you’re caught in a daily routine with your romantic other, it’s easy for things to get stagnant even boring and when boredom ensues, it can manifest itself in every area of the relationship including intimacy. One way to bring passion back is by switching up your everyday routine and creating fresh experiences. Go out. Go to places you’ve never been before. Surprise your significant other with a night out somewhere special. Going the extra mile can go a long way and is just the newness you may need to get things back on track.

Drop the Defense Mechanisms

One reason some relationships go cold is because one or both partners don’t know exactly how to cope with their feelings. When we most need to connect, we’re apt to feel vulnerable and withdraw or put up a wall that goes where we go. Because of this, defense mechanisms will show up in the relationship. Defense mechanisms are manners in which we behave or think in certain ways to better protect or defend ourselves. They are one way of looking at how people distance themselves from a full awareness of unpleasant thoughts, feelings and behaviors. In short, these are ways of keeping ourselves protected from getting hurt. Unfortunately, while trying to protect our heart, we push away love.

When our emotions are on the line, it can be frightening, and our minds use defense mechanisms as a way to cope with the anxiety. If you want to save a relationship that has gone cold, figure out what your defense mechanisms are. Is it denial, projection, rationalization, humor or passive aggression? As you grow in your awareness of your own defenses, you’ll begin to lower them, even if it’s only bit by bit. As you expose your heart, you’ll see that your heart is good. As you get to know yourself, you’ll be getting to know others.

Reestablish Intimacy

If physical affection has declined in your relationship, it’s unrealistic to think you can automatically jump back to the way things were. However, it’s important to reestablish it. A lack of intimacy in a relationship, whether physical or emotional, is not only frustrating but also unhealthy. This requires you to let down your walls and let your partner in, in ways you may be afraid to. This is a gradual process which often starts by reestablishing trust. The more you build on it, the stronger the relationship will be.

Take a Break

If your relationship has gone cold, it may be time to take a break. This will give you both a chance to miss each other. This doesn’t mean that you have to break up altogether, but taking the time out to focus on yourself will help you figure out where both of you stand regarding the relationship. Often times, relationships become unbalanced. If you feel more strongly about your relationship than your partner does, you can become adhesive, a form of clinginess. The best relationships are ones that are cohesive, with both partners working together. Spend some time away from each other to focus on your individual interests and then decide what is best for you.

Remember the Good Times

This may sound like a cliché, but if your relationship has gone cold, remember the good times. Sometimes you need to go back to go forward. If your relationship has gone cold, do things that remind you of happier times. Revisit the place where you had your first date, take a class together, or simply look at old pictures and videos of the two of you together doing things that you loved doing. Unbury your relationship from your real-life concerns and focus on the things that brought you together in the first place. It’s easy to forget how hard you worked to build your relationship to where it is now. It may seem like it happened magically, but it didn’t. You both created the magic, detail by detail. You both formed this special bond by paying attention to each other with the focus that characterizes falling in love. Remembering the good times can help you rekindle the spark in your relationship.

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