It’s been a crazy year. The pandemic has put so much emotional and financial strain on us all, and it’s also affected our relationships

As we watch the Covid-19 infection rates drop slowly, and regulations are lifted, we can start the gradual return to ‘the new normal’ – whatever that will be. And now with spring around the corner, we have a chance to clear out the clutter from our relationships, and work on ending the year on a positive note.

For me, springtime is a chance to start over clean, a time of revival. I find that, as the days warm up, I have more energy and I start planning all the fun things I’m going to do in summer.

But how often do we think about spring cleaning our relationships? This season is also a time where we should be dusting the cobwebs and sweeping out all the junk; clearing out our ‘attics’ and making sure that our relationships are fit, healthy and ready for summer.

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How can you spring clean your relationship?

1.     Check in, reconnect

Take some time to think about when last you really checked in with your partner. When did you last have a really hearty, healthy and deep conversation? Do you know what your partner’s plans are for summer? Do they have a goal that they want to achieve before the end of the year?

2.     How much time have you put into your relationship lately?

Have you just been going through the same routine day after day, or have you put in some effort to add spontaneity to your relationship? Have you had some quality time together – date night or romantic getaway? If not, plan something fun to do with your partner.

Leave the kids with a baby-sitter, and do something that really blows the cobwebs away and gives you the motivation that you both need to get to the end of the year.

WATCH: This couple met on a virtual dating show & found love during lockdown

3.     Don’t let little white lies or ‘secrets’ destroy your bond

Intimacy is damaged by dishonesty. No matter how small…

  • You may think that lying to your partner about how much that dress cost is ‘good’ for your relationship, but it is just creating distance between you.
  • If you find yourself deleting WhatsApp messages from your phone in case your partner reads them and ‘gets the wrong idea’ then you need to re-evaluate the relationship you have with the person who is messaging you.
  • If you are not being honest with your partner about your financial situation, it’s time to come clean.
  • If you need more emotional support and are struggling to cope, be honest with your partner! We can’t all be super-human.
  • If you want your partner to offer more support for your dreams and career, tell them.

This is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings

Yes, being honest sometimes hurts. And if your partner shares something with you that ends up hurting, it is not the end of the world.

You can only work through issues if you know about them. Overcoming obstacles builds stronger relationships. Tell your partner “thank you for being honest”, in order to ensure that open, honest communication continues in the relationship.

(Obviously there is a difference between abusive comments that sound ‘honest’ and genuine, honest, heart-felt comments from someone who loves you. If you’re struggling to tell the difference, book an appointment with a therapist who can offer an external opinion from a balanced perspective.)