We can all agree that relationships are work. This isn’t an area of life that you can put on autopilot and just coast. Relationships are hard and messy but are 100% worth every effort that you put into them. You can use these suggestions to lay a great foundation with your significant other. Simply. Slowly. Day-by-day.
Communicate throughout the day
Send a sweet text message or chat for a few minutes over lunch. Put a note in their jacket pocket or email them some encouragement to help them through their day. If the day often gets away from you and this is a challenge, set a reminder to make this a priority.
Wake-up or go to bed at the same time
This seems simple but these few moments can be precious to a relationship. Put the phones down and turn the TV off. Use this time to create intimacy and closeness.
Keep the conversation alive
Find a way to have a conversation about things that don’t deal with your busy lives. Use conversation starters over dinner and if you have kids include them also. Trivia questions are also a fun way to start a conversation and connect. Collect Trivial Pursuit cards from thrift stores or garage sales and keep a few in your bag or car to pull out on date nights and car rides.
Discover your partners Love Language and use it…Everyday
If you are not familiar with The 5 Love Languages you can learn more about them here. This transformed our marriage and helped us understand how to show each other that they are appreciated and loved. By knowing your partners love language you can better serve them and your efforts will be more fruitful.
Find things to have in common and do them together
Maybe its DIY projects, cooking, exercising, coffee shops, board games, etc. Having hobbies or similar interests creates an opportunity to connect through your favorite activities and gives you both something to look forward to.
But also give them some space…
This is an important one especially if you have children. If he wants or needs a guy’s night don’t give him a guilt trip and ladies, spend time with your girlfriends. External friendships are vital to a healthy relationship.
Greet your sweetheart when they come home
Stop what you are doing and give them all of your attention and focus for those first few minutes. It will help them feel important, appreciated and loved. If you are shooting for brownie points have their favorite drink or snack on hand when they arrive.
Make date night a priority
Redefine your definition of date night. A “date” is intentionally carved out time for you and your significant other. To put it in simple terms, it is quality time. A time where you are alone with each other and you are interacting. We all fall into the normal day-to-day schedule and before you know it several months have passed since you have had a date night. It is easy to make excuses, it is hard to make it a priority when life is so busy. It doesn’t have to be a $100 dinner, $30 movie, and $50 babysitter. Whether it is at home after the kids go to bed, having a picnic in your backyard or exploring the city, date night doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. If you are looking to change things up and make time together a priority Datebox may be the perfect thing for you.
Talk less…Listen more
When you love and care for each other deeply it can be easy to want to fix every issue they encounter in life. Most of the time listening to your spouse is the most beneficial thing to them. By letting them come to you and lay out their struggles you are creating intimacy and trust in your relationship.
Find a community
Surround yourself with friends and family that model the healthy relationship you desire. Support each other, laugh together, and build each other up. In the beginning making friends with other couples can sometimes be…ummm…awkward, but once you have developed that community it will be priceless. On the flip side, if you are friends with a couple that is in a potentially toxic situation, encourage and support them but with healthy boundaries in place to guard your own relationship.