With the everyday stresses associated with work, kids, caring for aging parents, maintaining a home, volunteering, and shuttling to different activities, it’s not surprising that life can get in the way of our most important relationships.
Even if you have a rock solid relationship with your partner, life’s demands can wedge their way in and interrupt the sentimental and loving things you would typically do for each other. The kiss before leaving for work, the snuggling on the sofa while watching the evening news or remembering to grab their favorite snacks at the grocery store.
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Life’s demands aren’t going to stop, so it’s up to you to make time during your busy day to acknowledge your partner. An important thing to remember is it should not be viewed as just another task. To keep your relationship strong and meaningful, you need to put your partner ahead of the chaos even if it’s for a few minutes each day. Here are 10 ways to renew your long-time relationship starting today:
1. Unplug When You’re Together
You may have originally met online, but no great relationships are nurtured and maintained when you’re both separately on Facebook in the free time you have to spend together. If you’ve got your nose in your iPad, you’re not really listening to your partner or really paying attention to them. Prove to your partner they are deserving of your attention and step away from the technology.
2. A Simple Deed Goes a Long Way
Take a couple of minutes to make your partner a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, grab their favorite ice cream at the grocery store, leave a love note in their work bag telling them why you love them, send a text during the day that simply says “I love you,” let them pick the next movie or stop them in the hall for a hug. These little gestures remind them you care, you’re thinking of them and they are important.
3. Plan Date Nights
Between finding a good babysitter, the cost of going out and exhaustion from a long week, sometimes it’s hard to find a “good” time for date night. But dating your partner is just as important today as it was when you first met. Your relationship deserves the time to connect, have a laugh and relax without the worry or demands of the home. Actively find ways to make date night a possibility. Save for a once a month date night or organize a date night at home but treat it as importantly as if you went out.
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4. Say One Positive Thing Each Day
Each day give a compliment, a wish for a great day, a good luck on a presentation or a statement that lets them know you care. It’s quick, easy, doesn’t take any planning and can turn your partner’s mood around in a heartbeat. Who wouldn’t want to hear, “You look beautiful today”? Until it becomes second nature, set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget.
5. Write a Love Letter or Poem
You don’t need to be a good writer or know a thing about poetry to pen your partner a love letter. Just take the thoughts from your mind and put them on paper. You can make it serious or funny, that’s up to you. Just be sure to make it from the heart.
6. Apologize for Something You Did to Hurt Your Partner
It could have been yesterday or 10 years ago, but if there’s something you know you did to hurt your partner and you never really gave a sincere apology, it’s never too late. It could even be a small thing but it doesn’t matter. Your significant other most likely forgot about it or is over it by now, but they’ll appreciate the fact that you’re willing to own it now.
7. Make Meals Together
The simple act of cooking a meal together does wonders (even if neither of you can cook!). Select the recipe and get the ingredients together. Put on your favorite tunes and pour a glass of wine. Toast, chop, laugh and sauté together. You’ll find the oft times chore of cooking dinner can be a pleasant reprieve filled with fun memories.
8. Offer to Help with Mundane Daily Tasks
If your partner doesn’t love doing their daily tasks, you’re probably not going to love them either. However, the points you’ll get will be worth it. Offer to throw a load of laundry in, pick-up the dry cleaning, change the cat litter, take out the garbage or walk the dog. Honestly, you’ll be glad you did.
9. Agree on a Joint Bedtime
Many people will let out a deep sigh upon hearing this and begin busting out the excuses like one of you is a night owl, one has to work late on their laptop, one wants to watch the new episode of The Walking Dead and the list goes on. Keep in mind that sometimes this may be your only opportunity to spend some alone time together in your busy life. The plus side is you’ll get more sleep, you’ll have time to talk and reconnect at the end of each day, and you’ll get more snuggle time.
10. Put Your Partner’s Feelings and Wants Ahead of Yours
Ok, it might be hard to do this all the time, every single day, but do this at the very least once a day. Which takeout restaurant do you prefer? Where do you want to go on vacation? Do you want to take a bath while I play with the kids? This is a guaranteed win-win for both of you.
The unavoidable truth is relationships take work. Even wonderful relationships take work and stay wonderful because both partners are willing to put in the effort to make it good. Follow these tips to lay the foundation for a stronger connection and lasting bond over time.
Justin Lavelle is the Communications Director at BeenVerified, a source to check whether your new date is who they say they are. BeenVerified allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses, property records and criminal records in a way that’s fast, easy and affordable. (Photo by Paul Saad, CC)