Reinvent Your Relationship

If you want love to last the test of time, you might want to rediscover who you are now as partners and take the steps to reinvent your relationship. Here are some insights for how to keep love thriving.

If you’ve made it this far in your relationship—to the empty nest or over the ten-year mark as a couple, please consider yourself fortunate that reinvention is a possibility. I still dream of what my life with Richard might be like at this stage of the game if he hadn’t passed suddenly fourteen years ago.

What would our lives be now?

Where would we be as grandparents with an empty nest and our kids grown?

I still grieve about this last piece of our stolen chapter and the loss of the dream of what our relationship might have been.

Maybe you also have been wondering about your relationship—how it could have been different, and if it can still be different. I’m here to remind you that you can always reinvent your relationship from where you are now.

Many people have been asking me to share more of my tools to help relationships stay connected and thriving. It’s finally not as painful for me to remember the truly remarkable marriage I had with Richard. And what made it that way.

Here’s what Richard and I talked about doing when our kids were grown as we had planned an inspiring reboot of our relationship connection.

Take a 30-day Relationship Sabbatical

When we start a new job, it’s always a nice idea to take some time off in between jobs if we can, right? We can then bring a renewed, fresh attitude back to our work. And, honestly, if we could all take a 30-90 day sabbatical from our work, or anything we’ve been doing for a number of years, we might avoid burnout altogether. Our feelings about life would likely look stunningly different with renewed perspective and gratitude.

Relationships are no different!

Richard and I had planned on taking a 30-day sabbatical where we would both do our own thing away from each other. We knew that we might need to have that time and space to consider, first, what our individual path might look like in a new chapter.

Then, we would be able to consider what the new dream would be—alongside each other for the next stage of life.

Now, one thing I would like to be clear with you on is that this did not mean a separation from our wedding vows or a departure from our marriage by less devotion. We simply knew that a little space would go a long way in determining next steps with clarity.

4 Tools For Reinventing Relationships

I understand all too well that maintaining a long-term loving sustainable connection is not always easy. That’s why Richard and I wrote Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love. We shouldn’t settle for the status quo in our personal lives in any capacity. And your core relationships are no different. Having tools for establishing a new connection and reinventing your relationship will invite positive change.

Here’s how to renew your loving connection:

  • First, you need to find a way to re-ignite the passion and begin again.

    This can be challenging for many couples but very exciting as you open the door to more intimate conversation. What is your deepest desire now at this stage of your relationship?

  • Sit down and map out what you both feel passionate about now.
  • Here’s where you ask your partner for a “Dream Update.” What does your partner dream of doing now? How do you each wish to spend your days?
  • You want to find your common ground without sacrificing your individual dreams. Identify where you are completely in sync with each other—name those ways and celebrate them.

Explore New Possibilities Either Alone or As A Couple:

Dream up fun things you can do alone to fulfill your dreams—or together as an adventurous couple!

  • Would you like to travel more by road or plane?
  • There could be hobbies like kayaking or hiking you’ve always wanted to explore.
  • Maybe you’d like to go see all of the national parks in the U.S. by motorhome or a mini-camper.
  • Or, perhaps you’d like to explore more sustainable living methods and grow a beautiful garden together.

There are so many possibilities for bringing more soul-igniting adventure into your life—either as individuals or as a couple. Encourage each other to dream bigger.

Rediscover Who YOU are NOW

When you find yourself in a new stage of life, you can see it as an incredible time to rediscover yourself—individually and as a couple.
Even if you don’t have the luxury of taking an extended leave on your own, you may consider a four to seven-day retreat.

In my What Now? Program, I encourage couples to go through the online portion of the program and the workbook together. What Now? is all about rediscovering who you are NOW and taking those next steps to live your most vibrant life and to reinvent your life while you discover a new dream.

I’ve had many women do this program and make their relationship the primary focus after discovering who they are on their own. It works magic on your connection to take time away—to time for yourself.
You can begin to explore making small shifts and breaking down the dynamics of your relationship. Meaning? Take another look at the habits that you’ve adopted in your daily communication and life. Ask yourselves what’s needed in order to clean the slate and start fresh—as more loving partners to each other. Take time to discuss how to reboot your feelings of appreciation.

It’s difficult to discover a new dream when you feel like your relationship is sitting in stagnant water.

If you take a pause or sabbatical, then when you get back together, you can ask each other for the “dream update” suggested above and share your reflections, including how you’d like your next chapter to be. It’s always good to take internal inventory on your values, alone and together, making sure your actions are in alignment with what you value most.

I hope you realize if you are partnered how truly blessed you are even to be considering a sabbatical that’s temporary and the time to rediscover each other.

Don’t sweat the small stuff—in love. Live the big stuff—in love.

Treasure the gifts of life and love,
Kristine Carlson

P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to peek at Richard’s and my popular video course on Happiness… go here. In my own way, I’ve found a way to continue the dream in this course where I teach alongside him.