By Leesa Sparrow
You know that feeling- the butterflies in your stomach, the “lost in thought” moments where you daydream about that special someone? Well, if you haven’t experienced that lately, or have completely forgotten what those things feel like, we have a few tips for you, and your partner.
Maybe, just maybe, you can bring that feeling back into your somewhat habitual, and comfortable relationship.
First, let us start with the element of “surprise”.
Do you remember how, in the beginning, you would think of something to impress your partner? Don’t stop! That favourite meal that they love, go on, cook it for them. Set the table, bring back that newness to your relationship. Not only will your partner be surprised, but you will be too when you see their reaction (they might even help with the dishes). Keep on with little surprises. Try a chocolate on their pillow, a little note in their toolbox. Doing something totally unexpected is a simple way to rebuild and maintain the excitement; spontaneity goes a long way in keeping the relationship strong and flourishing. Remember, although routine can serve its purpose, it often puts us into a rut and creates boredom. Don’t be afraid to break the cycle now and then.
Let your partner know that they are on your mind. A causal glance where you make eye contact, a gentle caress of their hand, or even an affectionate hug are simple reminders that you care about them, and they are more important than you might realize.
I’m sure you’ve had those days where you are exhausted from work and all you want to do is relax and slide on your fluffy Snoopy slippers. On these days, do you give in to this impulse or do you get ready for a date?
I bet at this point in time you are asking yourself, “Why would I be getting ready for a date? We have been together so long and my fluffy slippers are supportive and comfy.” Well, establishing a date night creates feelings of excitement. Excitement leads to a feeling of newness and newness leads to – oh well – I will leave that newness for you to create and discover.
Remember, when you first started dating, appearance was everything, you never forgot to shave, you always smelt good. Bring that back. Dates create a feeling of togetherness that cannot be achieved whilst slopping around in your Snoopy Slippers, no matter how comfortable they are.
“Your eyes are sparkling today, I love it when they do that”. An out of the blue comment that you just blurt out to your partner. If you have been with them for years, a typical response is “HUH?” or in my case – “Do you need to see an optician?” These verbalised, sappy, mushy and sometimes, sexy words more often than not make your partner smile. Open yourself to inspiration. Get up whilst watching a movie, rub your partners shoulders, massage their tired feet. This is relaxing and may just inspire a delightful , shared bubble bath and a romantic evening of pillow talk. Telling your partner you love them and giving them a kiss- it costs very little time and is not overly strenuous. The results are well worth it. Don’t be afraid to say what you want. Romance can only die if not given life. Words immortalise Romance.
Don’t let your relationship stop growing. There is always room for growth. Don’t give it time for the comfy, lazy routine to take route and for stagnation to set in. I am not saying that you shouldn’t lay around in your pajamas, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch a good movie together. There is plenty of time for that. But, growth is important too.
Try something new as a couple. A new hobby and the ability to achieve something together creates a growth pattern. Try planting a vegetable garden together. This in itself symbolises growth. It achieves a double purpose too. Think back to my mention of a favourite meal. No matter what you do, do it together. Spending time with other couples who are in a healthy, strong relationship can reinforce growth and the importance of commitment.
In essence, a relationship is akin to being in a team. Teams need goals. To set a goal together allows you to accomplish things you would never do on your own. So give yourselves a challenge. It could be that you desperately want to go on a safari or a cruise – or even something way out there. Reach for it – TOGETHER.
“Mmmm I wish…” and you trail off because it no longer seems important. What nonsense! Share your wishes and your dreams, these could well become your goals. Encourage your partner to share their dreams too, and help them to achieve them. There is no better feeling that watching those dreams become a reality.
“How was your day?” and “was work okay?” or “would you like help with dinner?” are such mundane questions, but the fact is, this is what we generally reduce our conversation to. We tend to think that we know everything about our partners life, but you need to remember that they once had a life devoid of your presence. I love listening to my partners stories about how he grew up and encourage him to talk about his life. This achieves a good conversation and oftentimes a belly pained from laughing so hard at each other. By opening up different topics, you may end up surprising yourselves by how your opinions differ when it comes to current events. This in itself will spark a lively conversation and will, in essence, create a deeper relationship.
Watching the way your partner walks into your home after a long day at work often impacts on the way you greet them. Try something different. Meet them at the door, throw your arms around them and greet them. I mean, really GREET them. You will see their tiredness slip away. By greeting them like this, you convey your own love, support and excitement at seeing them again after having been apart. It certainly aids in reconnecting your lives together.
Here is a strange question for you. Do you remember to be thankful? Do you just accept the little things that your partner does as routine? Say “Thank You” and watch your partner smile. Can you imagine being thanked for doing the laundry? Once a thank you is said, you will drop your stoic attitude and do this task with a smile, knowing that it is noticed and appreciated.
Often, I will just say “Thank You” and when I am questioned as to why I am thankful, I normally respond with something as arbitrary as, “well, you made me smile today when I really didn’t feel like it”. By thanking your partner, you, yourself become aware of how much they bring into your life.
Moving on to a touchy subject. Arguing. Do you know that arguing in a strong healthy relationship can create an even stronger connection to each other. If an argument starts because of a simple misunderstanding, you can quickly move on to the more romantic side of making up. An understanding that your partner has different beliefs and not trying to change them is paramount. However, being accepting of these beliefs does not in any way mean that you have to agree with each other. If you do partake in a full out argument , make a point of coming to a suitable resolution for the both of you. If the resolution only fits the one partner, remember this, you BOTH lose. By doing this, both of you will have to compromise.
In conclusion, all I can say, is give these tips a try and keep your relationships vital.
Article written by Leesa Sparrow