When people hear the phrase “weekend makeover,” they automatically think that there must be some sort of problem being addressed. However, the real idea behind a weekend makeover should be to look at your relationship, discuss how things are going, decide on any changes, and then reacquaint yourselves with spending time, just the two of you.
When was the last time you sat down with your partner and talked seriously about how the relationship was going? If you’re like most couples, there’s probably no time for these conversations between work, cooking, cleaning, kids (if you got them) and Facebooking. This is why I have put together a simple weekend makeover to help you focus on each other.
Goal: Establish Connection, Assess the Relationship, Rebuild Intimacy
Set aside the day to spend together—this means no television, no radio, no chores, and limited kid interaction. Begin by finding a quiet place in the house to sit and talk. The rules of this exercise are to keep eye contact and focus on the positives of your relationship. This is an exercise on connecting with your partner and getting to know them all over again. While you may think you know your partner, need I remind you, we all change, so the things you knew a year ago may no longer apply.
Once you have established a connection, discuss how the relationship is going. The Marital Satisfaction Inventory, Marital Adjustment Test and Quality of Marriage Index are all great ways to assess the quality of a relationship. However, these tests can also be rather long and tedious, so I’ve broken down a few important questions to address during this time:
• Do you enjoy your partner’s company, and do you laugh together at least once a week?
• Do you know what your partner wants in life, and do they know what you want?
• Are you affectionate with your partner daily?
• Are you negative or angry over reasons you can’t communicate?
• Do you feel respected and understood? Does your partner listen to you?
• Do you feel supported and comfortable with sharing intimate details about your life?
• Are you satisfied with the amount of sex and intimacy currently in the relationship?
The key here is not to blame your partner for your unhappiness, but express ways you’d like to see the relationship improve. Relationship counselors point out that two of the biggest problems with unhappy marriages are when couples are unable to communicate their needs, or couples have forgotten how to have fun. Now get out there and spend the rest of the day doing something you both enjoy. It’s called a play date, and it’s something you should do a lot more of.
The end of the day will include a romantic interlude using the twelve steps of bonding, described by Dr. Donald Joy and Dr. Desmond Morris. Courtship is a progression of intimate contact, drawing couples deeper into commitment. Rather than jumping straight to the goodies, as many long-term couples do, take your time progressing up the ladder of physical intimacy one step at a time.
Begin with eye to body (what do you find attractive about your partner), then eye to eye (keep eye contact), and voice to voice (enjoy some pleasant conversation). Follow up with hand to hand (take your partner’s hand, remember how their touch used to give you goosebumps), hand to shoulder, hand to waist, face to face (kissing), and finally hand to face (caressing). If the mood strikes, proceed to the grand finale, which includes hand to body, mouth to breast, and you can figure out the last two steps with your own imaginations!
Goal: Do Whatever You Like, But Spend the Day Together
A survey by Woman’s Day and AOL Living reported that 72 percent of women have thought about leaving their partner. Interestingly, 71 percent of the women confirmed they would remain with their partner for the rest of their lives. This suggests that while we might be frustrated with our relationships, we clench to the hope things will somehow be okay. Instead of hoping, take it upon yourself to enjoy these weekend makeovers whenever possible. One thing all relationships have in common, is the ability to make things better, simply by taking action, rather than dealing out blame.