August 1, 2022

How to Take Your Relationship Off Autopilot

When you're in a long-term relationship, getting stuck in a rut is easy.

Relationship experts call this rut being on autopilot.

What is autopilot?

When you first start dating, your relationship is exciting and fresh. This is mainly because the newness of the relationship keeps you in the moment. 

Each of you is less present in the relationship the longer you've been together. After a few anniversaries, you realize that the only conversations you have with your partner are about doing the laundry and coordinating your work schedules, and you feel disconnected and complacent.

This is what it means to be on autopilot.

The good news is that you can take your relationship off autopilot, reignite the spark of new love you once felt, and enhance your fondness and admiration for each other.

What are the signs of autopilot?

You probably already suspect your relationship is on autopilot if you feel disconnected and unenthusiastic.

However, checking for signs of your relationship on autopilot is good to be sure you are tackling the right problem.

Some questions to ask yourself are as follows:

Do you feel that your relationship is one-sided?

Do you feel too busy to make quality time together?

Have you put physical intimacy on the back burner?

Do you feel you are simply coexisting, not connecting?

Do you feel that your relationship is stagnating, not growing?

Answering "yes" to even one question signifies your relationship is on autopilot.

What can we do to take our relationship off autopilot?

If the signs of being on autopilot sound familiar, you and your partner can take several steps to strengthen your bond and improve your relationship.

Start by getting specific about what each of you needs and wants from the relationship.

Next, spend quality time together. Going to new places and doing new things together can be beneficial.

Next, do small things that fit with what makes your partner feel loved. For example, if your partner likes words of affirmation, take a few minutes before you leave for work to write them a meaningful note.

Next, prioritize good communication. Take time to talk about how your lives are going and if there are any problems in the relationship.

Next, be curious about what your relationship needs. 

Explore your future, your dreams, your hopes, and your desires.

Finally, be intimate with each other more frequently. 

There's no magic number for how often you should be intimate, but it's a good idea to talk to your partner about how happy they are with your current love life and what you might be able to do to spice things up.

Final Thoughts

Your relationship can be an extraordinary experience that fulfills your hopes, dreams, and desires. 

By following the steps in this article to help you take your relationship off autopilot, you'll begin to see your relationship from a fresh perspective and spark renewed passion and appreciation for one another.

So, keep in mind that you may take a relationship off autopilot and into a deeper and more meaningful connection by getting specific about what each of you needs and wants from the relationship, spending quality time together, doing small things that fit with what makes your partner feel loved, prioritize good communication, be curious about what your relationship needs, and be intimate more frequently.

Want to learn more?

Are you interested in learning more about taking your relationship off autopilot? If so, we invite you to join our one-day journey, “How to Take Your Relationship Off Autopilot,” a therapist-led, step-by-step video course.

For a preview of the journey, click here.

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