Part Two: Things That You Must Do Together
Revive date-night. Going on dates, even if you’ve been in a relationship for years, is still important. In fact, it’s especially important for couples who have been together long enough to grow comfortable. Try to go on a date at least once every month. Some couples make it a priority to go on one date every week.
If you’re having trouble imagining date ideas, try recreating a date you had with your partner early on in your courtship. Do exactly the same thing(s), or put a spin on the date by reinventing it in a significant way.
Do somethingnewandexciting.Doing something that gets your blood flowing and your heart rate up enhances feelings of togetherness between partners. If you’re feeling brave, go on dates that makes you feel like a kid all over again: going to a comedy club, taking a cooking class, or test-driving a new car, to name only a few.
Practice forgiveness.Forgivenessis a decision ofletting go of the pastandfocusing on the present. It’s about taking control of your current situation, as you must offer it to your partner as much as you demand it from them.
Remember who forgiveness really benefits. Forgiving your partner absolves him or her, but it also frees you from carrying around anger and resentment. Don’t view it as an entirely altruistic act — it’s something you’re doing forbothof you.
Laugh together. Laugh at one another with the security of love. Laughter helps the world go ’round, and it may with your relationship, too. Laughter helps your body burn calories, increase blood flow, strengthen the immune system, and lowers blood sugar levels.Laughter can be comforting, infectious, or an aphrodisiac, and many things in between. Don’t forget to laugh.
Support each other. Being supportive means making your partner’s happiness and well-being a priority, in ways big and small. Keep in mind that part of why you’re together in the first place is that you’re each other’s biggest fans, so make sure you act like it. Try demonstrating your support in these ways:
Be a good listener. If your partner needs you to lend an ear, do it willingly. You don’t always need to come up with a solution, just support.
Offer encouragement. If your partner is trying to make a positive change, start a new hobby, or undertake a difficult challenge, be his or her biggest cheerleader.
Provide a safe place. Allow your partner to be vulnerable in front of you without fear of judgment.
Devote time to each other. Make spending time with your partner a priority, even if it’s a little inconvenient at first. Relationships need shared experiences to grow, and you’re demonstrating that nurturing yours is important to you.
Take up a hobby. Learning something new together can help you grow closer, as well as discovering a leisure activity you both enjoy. Try sports like tennis or basketball, learning a new language, cooking, crafting, or whatever else you’ve been wanting to try.
Find small ways to serve each other. Doing small acts of service for your partner shows that you’re aware of what he or she needs, and you’re willing to help out. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gesture: make dinner, take care of a small errand, or offer a foot rub at the end of the day. Don’t make it a big deal, and don’t automatically expect payback.
Develop better communication. Most people aren’t born great communicators — it’s something nearly everyone has to work at. The way you talk to your partner might seem small, but you do it several times a day and itdoeshave an effect. Consider these fixes:
Don’t use directive language. Try to keep phrases like “you should” or “you can’t” out of your relationship. You and your partner are equals, and neither one of you should have the authority to direct the other.
Relay your expectations. If you expect your partner to do something, say it. Don’t expect that he or she should read your mind, and don’t rely on hints. Being clear about what you want gives your partner a fair shot at succeeding. (And keep the above point in mind: instead of “You should take the garbage out every day,” say “I’d really like it if you took the garbage out every day.”)
Say “please” and “thank you.” You should be able to let loose around your partner, so there’s no need to worry about having impeccable manners all the time. The exception to this is asking nicely and expressing gratitude when your partner does something — don’t just assume he or she knows how you meant it.
Fight fair. Don’t just let all these good communication skills go out the window during an argument. Try to get your point across in a loving, respectful way that doesn’t seek to hurt your partner. If he or she insists on yelling or throwing insults, quietly request a calmer attitude. Sammyjay
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