You once had a great relationship, but now it’s flittering on the edge and you want to know how to save a relationship that’s about to fall apart.

Gone are the days when he would call and you’d talk into the wee hours of the morning. Also gone are the moments when you see him and you get that fluttery feeling in your stomach.

He feels distant now and you’re afraid you’re losing him. What can you do? Before we dive into that, let’s first determine if your relationship is worth saving.

Is This Relationship Worth Saving?

Not every relationship has what it takes to succeed. Some are just too unhealthy to be rescued. How do you know which you have?

When Not to Save a Relationship | There is Abuse

I don’t care what someone tells you, you never deserve to be physically, sexually, or emotionally abused. Not ever. Period.

If you’re in a relationship where you’re being hurt in one of those ways, you need to find a safe and sure way to extract yourself.

One or Both of You Are Addicts

If one or both of you are battling an addiction, that should be your focus, not rescuing your relationship. Right now, you’re not good for each other. You might be again someday, but recovery is a long and difficult road, often taking a year or more.

All your time and attention should go toward being well. Even if you aren’t the one battling an addiction, you’re being negatively impacted and you should seek professional assistance to work on being whole again.

You Probably Can’t Save a Relationship if It’s too Young

A young relationship that feels like it’s in trouble probably can’t be rescued. Since you’re the one researching the topic, I’ll assume he’s the one pulling away.

Why do Men Pull Away?

The reason a young relationship can’t often be rescued is that you probably don’t have enough history and wonderful moments together to bond you. You haven’t had time to build enough intimacy to make the glue you need.

He’s Not There for You

In the times when you needed him most, was he there for you? And by there I mean emotionally there. Your childhood dog died and he went off to play soccer with his friends instead of staying with you.

The company you’ve worked at for ten years is shutting its doors and you’re suddenly unemployed. Is he there with encouraging words or does he ignore your texts and calls?

Sometimes there is a bigger load to carry and you want your partner to help shoulder that load. At times, he may need the support, but when it’s you, is he there?

Don’t Save a Relationship Where He’s the King of Poor Hygiene

I’m sorry but if someone doesn’t value themselves enough to do basic things like brush their teeth and take a shower, they aren’t going to value you much either.

You’re in their life for a different reason and it has nothing to do with love or mutual respect. It’s more likely that you’re cooking for him and cleaning up his Cheeto crumbs while he plays video games.

Is Your Relationship Over?

Do you think your relationship is teetering on the edge of disaster? Has he aleady left? This is a great article for sure, but there are others! Just click the button to read them.

He’s High Maintenance

We all hear about high-maintenance women, but men can be high-maintenance too.

Kim and Reggie had a good relationship until Reggie’s dad came to visit. His dad was a sweet man whose wife of forty years had just passed away after a long battle with cancer. Joe needed a distraction and Kim was happy to play hostess.

Instead, what she got was a clear view of what her future resembled. Joe’s wife had done everything for him. And I mean everything. While he was as sweet as he could be, he was also very high-maintenance. Reggie had exhibited behaviors that got on her nerves but she couldn’t put a label on them until Joe came to visit.

Reggie was every bit as high-maintenance as his dad, perhaps more so and Kim didn’t do high maintenance.

Unfortunately, after that, it was all downhill and Kim got out of the relationship.

The problem with some high-maintenance people is that they put a high value on things that often don’t matter. In that instance, you’re providing him with something that makes him feel better about himself. You’re beautiful or you make a lot of money are usually the two biggies.

For others who are high maintenance, they’re looking for a mommy. Not a mother, a mommy. Someone who will do everything for them. Cook, clean, do laundry, and so on. This guy didn’t learn how to take care of himself for one reason or another and now he’s on a quest to find that woman.

Neither relationship is based on love but on need.

A Relationship Isn’t Worth Saving if You Want or Believe in Different Things

When you first get into a relationship, you don’t discuss things like whether you want children or if you want to travel the world, live on a boat, or become the video game champion of the world.

Then, you get closer, and the relationship continues. Now, you discover that he never wants to have kids or he wants a Housefull while your desires are the opposite.

Sometimes, people change their minds, but it’s not a good idea to gamble on that happening.

If you want different things, you probably need different partners who want those things.

Values present a similar problem. You might not share all the same values, but you need to agree on the big ones, like finances, lifestyles, and family.

You’re Financially Incompatible

When one of you is a spendthrift and the other is financially responsible, things can become frustrating for both of you in a hurry.

Of course, it pays to be financially responsible, but not everyone was brought up that way. Some folks just don’t know how to do it.

You might be able to come together on this one, but it will take patience and a willingness to make big changes.

Never Save a Relationship When You’re a Secret

When a guy is in love, he wants his friends and family to meet you. Not right away, but eventually. He’s sometimes willing to share your relationship on social media.

When he keeps you a secret from those people after you’ve been together for a while, he’s most likely hiding a bigger secret, like he’s married or embarrassed by you in some way.

It’s also possible he has commitment issues, but the first is most often the case.

Your Gut Says So

You didn’t search for how to save a relationship today for no reason. Your gut is telling you something’s up.

What you’re hoping for is what you’ll find in the latter half of this article – how to save a relationship.

Meanwhile, you’ve read some of the dealbreakers above and you almost feel nauseated. That’s your sign, your gut telling you what your heart doesn’t want to hear.

Your intuition is very nearly always right, so don’t ignore it.

Do Not Save a Relationship Like This

If you experience any of these feelings, do not save a relationship:

  • You’re not being the best person you can be in the relationship
  • You don’t do things together, but instead of owning it to friends and family, you make excuses for why he’s not there
  • One or both of you don’t feel good enough or worthy of the other
  • You don’t like who you are when you’re together
  • You feel as if you’ve lost who you are in the relationship
  • The two of you no longer do things that you once enjoyed
  • You’d rather stick a needle in your eye than spend time with him
  • You give up who you are to keep him happy and avoid conflict
  • One or both of you no longer spend time with friends – they might see what’s wrong and ask questions
save a relationship

Save a Relationship by Pulling Back a Little

Yes, sometimes to get something, you must give something up. Your guy might be feeling a little smothered. Men tend to get a little spooked if the relationship is too constricting or if they feel like it’s moving too fast.

Instead, busy yourself by spending time with your friends or pursuing a hobby. I feel like a broken record when I say that because I feel like I say it all the time. Maybe I do, but it’s a true gem in the save a relationship toolbox.

Too often, people overcommit to a relationship. Attraction is exciting and you both feel this pull to one another that seems inescapable.

He’s having fun learning about you and you’re head-over-heels for him too.

The problem is that it can become smothering, especially for a guy. Guys fear losing their friendships when they’re in a relationship. It’s a cliché I suppose, but men are always afraid that once they commit to a woman, she’ll want to spend all her time with him.

This isn’t a healthy relationship. Healthy is when you both spend time with your outside interests as well as with one another. Even when you’re married, you should maintain outside friendships and hobbies that pull you away from one another. It helps you appreciate your time together that much more.

Focus on the Positive

It’s easy to get bogged down in the negatives of any situation, and negativity breeds, so once you find one negative thing, others seem to stand out. The next thing you know, your whole life is full of negativity, and you can’t see the positive.

Instead, try focusing on the positive things. Appreciate one another. If he does something nice, instead of finding the one tiny thing wrong with what he did, find something nice to say, “Wow, Bob! The lawn looks great and I appreciate how you trimmed up to the flower gardens without ruining the flowers.” Don’t mention the 1” wide, 6” strip of the lawn he missed. It won’t be noticeable in a couple of days.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Both positivity and negativity breed themselves, so if you switch from negative to positive, it will help shift the general mood of your relationship.

If you struggle to find the positive, try keeping a gratitude journal. Find things to be grateful for. During COVID, maybe it was toilet paper. Now, I’m grateful if I find gasoline that’s under $3.50 a gallon!

Save a Relationship by Working on Yourselves Individually

To be great partners, you must maintain your individuality and be strong as individuals. To do so, spend some time getting back in touch with who you are. We’re constantly changing as individuals, but sometimes, we don’t take the time to note those changes and how they might impact our lives.

You don’t need to separate to do this, but you do need to be honest with one another. When you’re both happy, or at least not arguing and throwing things at one another, sit down and talk about your relationship and your need to reconnect with yourself.

Let him know you want to spend some time on yourself and ask him if he’d like to do so as well. Things to do during this time might include:

  • Evaluating your core values and evaluating whether you’re living by them
  • Reviewing your boundaries and establishing new ones where necessary
  • Examining how much time you spend on self-care and perhaps adding more
  • Looking at how your friendships outside your relationship are faring and where you might find new friends
  • Excavating old hobbies or finding new ones to keep you busy; perhaps finding a hobby you can blend in with one of his
save a relationship

Save a Relationship by Learning How to Disagree

There’s fighting and there’s bickering. The difference is in how dirty you play.

When you fight, you play dirty. You’re name-calling and pulling out the most hurtful criticisms you can find. You’re intentionally trying to hurt the other person.

Bickering is different. Bickering means you don’t agree with something and you go back and forth on it, but you don’t allow the disagreement to dissolve into petty old hurts.

The challenge with a disagreement isn’t in the disagreement itself but in whether you resolve it. Leaving issues unresolved means they’ll come up again, and each time they rear their ugly heads, it’s a little worse because it’s like a festering wound. It just sits there and goes from bad to worse without any attention.

A little bickering is healthy. You aren’t always going to agree on everything, and if you are, someone isn’t being genuine.

Once you realize you have a disagreement brewing, stop. It might be helpful to create a funny sound or establish a funny word you use when you find yourself bickering.

This helps to quickly diffuse the situation. From there, sit down and listen to one another. Allow him to speak without forming your own statement until he’s done. Once he’s done, you state your position. Speak without malice or meanness. Your goal is to resolve the issue, not make things worse.

Most of the time, people just want to be heard. You want him to know where you’re coming from and he wants the same. It’s in the calm of the discussion that you find a resolution, and that’s the important thing.

Plan a Regular Date Night

This is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. Life gets crazy and you may find yourselves being pulled in different directions. If you have a weekly date night already penciled in on your calendar, you automatically have time for one another.

Many people put this on their calendar and it’s an immovable object. Nothing can supersede date night, except possibly a medical emergency.

When you’re enjoying date night, you have a few goals:

  • Avoid technology as much as possible unless one of you is on call or there are babysitters involved
  • No discussion of hot-point topics is allowed
  • Try to stay away from heavy-duty work stuff as much as possible
  • You each choose where you go or what you do on alternating weeks
  • Your focus is on your relationship and one another

Date night is a chance to check in and make sure things are bumping along as smoothly as possible. If you have something serious or heavy to discuss, maybe save it for when your “date” is over. This can be a time to address potential problems and deal with them before they get worse.

Save a Relationship by Celebrating the Wins

Your guy got a promotion. That’s worth at least his favorite cookies, if not his favorite meal or dinner out at his favorite place. There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate one another and any accomplishments you might enjoy.

If it’s been a dull week, celebrate not turning anything pink while doing the laundry or the fact that the dog did all her business outside.

Make this something fun you do together. It’s not a daily thing, or it becomes routine or boring, but maybe once a week or at the least, once every couple of weeks.

This goes along with focusing on the positives. Sometimes, there are just crappy weeks, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something you can celebrate.

This helps both partners feel heard and validated instead of ignored and dismissed. Stay tuned in to what’s going on in his life so you can plan for these little celebratory moments. Not every celebration needs a special meal, but they all require acknowledgment and a tiny celebration dance if nothing else.

save a relationship

Learn One Another’s Love Languages

Gary Chapman did the world of love a big favor when he wrote The Five Love Languages. Essentially, what he defined are five ways in which we all best receive love.

If you each take a few moments to take the quiz on his website, you can discover your love languages.

This enables you to speak to your partner and show love to one another in the way you best receive it. For example, if your partner’s love language is touch, you can show your love for him by holding his hand or providing a gentle touch on his arm. They’re small things that mean so much.

Knowing how you each best receive love helps you show one another in meaningful ways just how much you care.

Save a Relationship by Keeping the Attraction Alive

When was the last time you just gave your guy a peck on the cheek for no reason? When did you last hold hands?

Affection is something that’s all hot and heavy in the early stages of a relationship but tends to fall off as the relationship ages.

But it doesn’t need to. Let him know you’re still attracted to him. Sometimes I hear from women who think they have the market cornered on not feeling as if their partner is still attracted to them.

Men feel this too. Smack him gently on the behind from time to time. Whisper something sexy in his ear when you’re out with his friends. Wear that sexy black number that he loves so much.

He needs to feel that you’re as attracted to him as he is to you.

Dig Up Something Fun You Did Together Previously

Dating is all about finding out more about one another. The more you date, the more you discover. There are some activities you did together that were tons of fun and you still remember them months or years later.

Dig up one of those activities. Go hiking in the woods or rock climbing. Rent a canoe and spend an afternoon on the water. Go watch a cheesy horror flick or revisit that milkshake shop you both loved.

These activities help you focus on one another and your relationship, if only for a little while. They also conjure up fond memories of something you shared previously. Those memories are valuable. I like to call them pennies in the jar. The more of them you have, the better your relationship.

Those types of moments build intimacy. Many believe, and even say someone was intimate as another word for sex but think about it. Hookups aren’t intimate. Moments you share with your guy where you both end up laughing hard, or tender moments shared doing something together are intimacy.

Save a Relationship by Trying Something New Together

While resurrecting an old activity is a great way to build intimacy, so is trying something new. Exploring something new or trying something one or both of you are fearful of is another way to bring you closer.

These activities put you in a similar place of feeling adventurous and sometimes a little nervous. You share those feelings and you overcome them together.

You can extend this into trying a new hobby together or combining one of your hobbies with one of his. One of you cooks and the other likes to blog and voila, you have a cooking blog. He might love old cars and you love photography so now you can go to antique car shows and museums and take photos.

These activities also put pennies in that jar for you and are great for relationship-building.

Take Mini-Vacations – Separately

You know what they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. In this instance, absence gives you both time to move past whatever is bothering you. One or both of you are harboring negative feelings about your relationship right now and the distance will help you in a few ways.

First, it gives you time to assess the situation without living through it 24/7. With distance, you often gain clarity. You can see how your own actions and his are negatively impacting the situation.

Next, it allows you both to cool off. Don’t leave out of anger or leave abruptly. Agree to take a short break from one another with the understanding that you want to work on yourselves. During that time, whatever anger was lingering is likely to fade and a clearer head can prevail.

Additionally, once you cool off, your rational mind can kick in, which is an impossibility if you’re both angry, or otherwise emotional. Your mind can’t function rationally when you’re feeling overly emotional, so this gives you a chance to gain that clarity.

And finally, once you’ve both cooled off, assessed the situation, and done some thinking about one another, you’ll likely miss each other again. That’s when you know you’re ready to rediscover one another.

Save a Relationship by Seeing a Counselor or Therapist

Not everyone is open to seeing someone, but if you’ve tried the steps above and nothing good has come of it, and you both are invested in saving the relationship, then your next bet is professional help.

Professionals are objective. They’re not friends and family who have an emotional investment in one or both of you. Counselors also have experience and a whole lot of college under their belts. They’ve seen this before and they know just how to help.

If your guy refuses to seek professional help, you can go by yourself. We can always benefit from the advice of someone in the know. They can help point out things that we don’t see in ourselves and that our friends are too afraid to point out.

How Can You Save a Relationship?

Just like it takes two of you to make a great relationship, it will take both of you to save a relationship.

Never try to discuss something while one or both of you are angry. No good will come from that. Ever. Instead, give one another distance to cool down. Go for a run or head out for a window-shopping excursion with a friend. When you come back together, calmly discuss the problem.

I never suggest sitting down to discuss something when emotions are high. As I just said above, your mind can’t work with rational thought processes if you’re too emotional. The emotions overrun those logical thoughts.

You both must want to save the relationship and if one of you doesn’t, it’s time to consider splitting up, at least for a while.

You can’t force him to want to be with you. All you can do is show him how much you care. If he leaves, it’s time to change gears and work through the Five Step Process to Get Him Back, assuming you want him back that is.

*Note* There are a couple of books linked below. Pennies in the Jar is the first and is for couples who want to stay together. It provides strategies to strengthen your relationship and make it withstand the test of time.

He’s Gone Now What is the book for you if you’ve decided to end it and you want to move forward in a healthy way.

If you're ready to move on from this relationship, you're ready for He's Gone, Now What? This book walks you through the many aspects of dealing with a breakup, even if you're the one who initiated the breakup. Regardless of who started it, as they say, your body becomes addicted to the chemicals associated with being in love. The withdrawal process is as daunting as the withdrawal from cocaine.

You'll also learn about the stages of grieving a relationship and how to begin moving forward. You'll walk through the steps of preparing yourself for dating again and gain an understanding of how you can do so in a healthy, happy relationship.

You can learn more about the book here or you can purchase it by clicking one of the buttons below.

Once you find true love, the key is keeping it! In my best-seller, Pennies in the Jar: How to Keep a Man for Life, you'll learn many things you and your guy can do to maintain a healthy, happy relationship. The pennies you put in the jar are shared memories. You add pennies when you do things together like exploring a quaint little town nearby or relaxing in a coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon. They're added when you make a game out of grocery shopping or have a cooking contest for dinner.

Learn how to put pennies in the jar, how to communicate effectively and how to fight fair, all inside this great book!

To learn more about it, click here. To purchase the book, click one of the buttons below.

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