5 Signs Your Relationship Needs Some TLC

Warning Signs for a Troubled Relationship

Photo: Getty Images

Relationships are works-in-progress, and no one has a perfect one. But if you're worried that yours is heading into troubled waters, here are a few red flags to watch for.

1. You don't kiss as much. Remember when you first were getting to know each other? The kissing was off the charts! Yes, you're beyond the initial stage of infatuation with your husband, but if you're not kissing regularly and feeling the old spark, experts say that can be a bad sign. The happiest couples kiss daily, and often. So pucker up!

2. You rarely hold hands. Hand holding may just seem like a simple, sweet show of affection, but it's actually quite powerful. In fact, research shows that in relationships, the more that couples touch, the more connected they feel. If you've gotten out of the hand-holding habit, consider reaching for his hand in small moments: while he's cooking dinner, or under the table at a restaurant, or when the two of you are walking the dog together.

3. The laughter has diminished. Relationship experts know that not only is joy the secret to a happy life, but also the secret to a happy relationship. If you're not laughing together as much, fix that fast. When something funny happens in your day, instead of letting it slip away and become forgotten, make a mental note to go home and share it with your husband. Think of laughter and joy as something that must be constantly cultivated and refreshed, and you'll be surprised at how much happier the two of you feel as a couple.

4. Things are feeling stagnant.
Maybe you've gone to the same restaurant for date night three months in a row. Or perhaps the conversation in the evening just feels a little lifeless. Fix that, stat! The best antidote for stagnancy is change, and whether it's an exciting new date night plan (with a great massage at the end!), or just making over your bedroom, infuse fresh life into your routines and you'll be surprised at how it can improve your relationship.

5. One of you is growing/changing, the other is not. Perhaps you've had an incredible year at work, and his has been so-so. Or maybe he's spending all of his time getting fit and you're less interested in the gym. That's OK, of course, but it can be dangerous when one partner grows without the other. The more you can grow together, the better. So if his career is floundering, and yours is thriving, his active search for better career possibilities (even simple-goal making) can be a sign of growing with you; or if he's become a gym rat, consider tagging along once in a while or suggest trying a new sport together.

Sarah Jio

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