Unless you’re still in the honeymoon phase, it’s not always easy to feel strongly connected to your partner. Life gets in the way, work keeps you really busy, and before you know it, you haven’t had a tender moment with them in a while. It happens to the best of us. It’s different for everyone, but there are definitely some little things you can do more on a daily basis proven to help keep your relationship strong & sustaining.
It’s the smallest gestures that close the distance between ourselves and the people we love. While the big signals, like surprising them with a trip to the spa or concert tickets, can bring some life and love back into a relationship, we could afford to pay attention to the everyday gestures. When those start to add up, you can quickly reach a new level of happiness. It doesn’t take much to remember how much you love your partner, and you only need to put in a little bit of effort.
Here are a few ways in which you can (re)connect with your partner and build a strong marriage.
1. Communicate Openly
Research shows that communication style is more important than commitment levels, personality traits or stress in predicting which couples will stay happy. Healthy couples don’t avoid conflict, but they do know how to keep the lines of communication open. Happy couples know that the best conversations happen without the distraction of phones, tablets and laptops.
2. Don’t Forget the Small Things
Saying please and thank you shouldn’t be reserved for only the workspace. Manners are important – even with the person you’ve been with for 25 years. Extend the same respect to your spouse as you would to a visiting guest. Say please and thank you, make polite conversations. A few manners and niceties will go a long way in maintaining a culture of mutual respect.
3. Exercise Together
Studies show that couples who exercise together are not only healthier, but more satisfied with their marriage. Several studies suggest that the symptoms of physiological arousal (the type of high you get from exercise) mimic the effects of sexual and romantic arousal. If you work out together, you are ought to feel loved!
4. Go On Vacation
A couple’s retreat can be energizing for a relationship, but so can traveling separately! Many happy, healthy couples take their own short vacations, or have regular trips away with a social group. Being alone, meeting new friends, or enjoying adventures without your partner can be very empowering. Ultimately, you will return to your partner energized, enthusiastic- and more in love than ever.
Laughter relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system and releases endorphins. Even if you and your loved one are both having a hard day, try smiling and laughing for no reason at all. The physical act of laughing will make you happier and healthier.
6. Eat together
Families that eat together, stay together. The supper table is a place for couples and their family members to connect and to receive nourishment – both physical and spiritual. Eating healthy food together at a table will not only encourage good family nutrition, but provides a regular, sacred space for conversation and laughter.
7. Switch roles once in a while
Boredom and routine can make a relationship stagnant. If the husband always drives, why not switch it up next week, so she can take the wheel? Or if she always cooks, why not suggest a few meals prepared by him? Switching roles will not only mix things up a little- it may make you appreciate things from your partner’s perspective.
8. Never Go to Bed Angry (But Do Sleep On An Argument)
There is an old saying, “never go to bed angry”. But is half-past midnight really the time to discuss a problem? If you have a disagreement in the evening, do not discuss things if you are both tired. Set a time to talk the following day, say goodnight, and sleep on it. Things will be much clearer in the morning.
9. Read the same book
One way to jolt the creative juices and help you feel more connected with your loved one is to have both of you pick up the same book and read it independently. You can come back together and have heaps of interesting stuff to talk about, and you could even find new intellectual facets of each other you had never seen before. This kind of intellectual stimulation often leads to a stronger physical bond as well.
10. Compliment Each Other Regularly
Tell them that shirt looks good on them. Remind them that they’ve got beautiful eyes. When compliments are regularly interjected, they can stimulate communication and spark, which is always obviously a good thing.
Seek a marriage counsellor who can guide you on how to improve any form of a relationship and resolve interpersonal conflicts.