Before heading off on a long road trip, taking some time to plan out the best route often results in a smoother, safer ride to your destination. Long term committed relationships, whether that is moving in together or getting married, can also benefit from some pre-planning. Even if you have driven along the same route before, it can be worthwhile reflecting on your past experiences to make your new journey even better. Here are a few tips to help you on your way….

Identifying Potential Hazards

Just as you would identify potential hazards on the road, it is important to spend some time looking at potential problems in your relationship. This doesn’t mean that things won’t work out – it just means that you may need to take extra care at times. For example, one of you may have children and the other doesn’t. So when you are entering a long term commitment you may need to take extra care and special attention to building a relationship with the children as well as your partner. Or perhaps when there is a disagreement, the way that you interact with your partner doesn’t seem to resolve the matter. You may need to look at some strategies to ensure that you resolve conflict in a constructive manner. If you take some time to identify the areas in your relationship that could cause a bumpy ride and spend some time working together on resolving them, your journey should be smoother and more enjoyable.

Planning Refueling Pit Stops

All relationships need some pit stops. This is true whether you are entering a relationship, or whether you have been together for 20 years. Pit stops aren’t breaks from the relationship – they are times that you set aside just for the two of you to spend time together,. It’s about refueling the relationship with the things that a relationships needs – communication, trust, intimacy, honesty, respect, and fun. Life can be very demanding and we can sometimes take our partners for granted, especially if we have a job that takes us away from them for long periods of time. If you just keep driving and don’t plan some pit stops you could suffer relationship fatigue. Some ideas are: plan a short break like a weekend away; head out for dinner; find a babysitter if there are children involved and head to the movies. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but it does need to be quality time with just the two of you. How many ideas can you come up with?

Traveling At a Safe Speed

On our roads there is a speed limit which is essential for safe travel. When we are in a relationship, sometimes one partner might want to move a little faster than the other. For example, one partner might want to move in together after a few months of dating whereas the other might think that it is too soon. It is important to recognise the speed at which you want to travel and that this might not be the same as your partner. It is important to communicate around this and perhaps work towards a compromise which respects both partners’ wishes. After all, it is important that the journey is enjoyable and everyone arrives at the same destination happy!

At Relationships Australia, we offer relationship counselling and support to assist you and your partner to enjoy a smoother journey. Call 1300 364 277 to find your nearest Relationships Australia branch.