Laughter can help couples get through difficult times. Laughing together can also help you feel more intimately connected. Share with your partner things from your day that made you laugh; watch a TV show or movie that you can both laugh at together. Have a code word in an argument that breaks the tension and makes you laugh instead!
Have Daily Check-Ins
Set a regular check-in time during the day, in the morning or before bed or through messaging throughout the day. Regular check-ins build intimacy and let the other person know you are there. Some positive reminders including statements like:
“I love you.”
“I admire you.”
“I miss you.”
“I’m sorry things are going badly today. How can I help?”
“I can’t wait to see you.”
“Let’s talk more tonight about this”
Have Regular Dates
Get a sitter once a week or once a month for regular date nights. Try a new restaurant, get dressed up, or do a fun activity for quality time. Some ideas include:
Go out dancing.
Hit the beach.
Go ice skating.
Take a cooking class together.
Do Small Kind Gestures
Little things can include writing notes to show your affection, taking the trash out, or cooking dinner when your partner is exhausted. These small gestures show that you are attentive to your partner.
Have Genuine Conversations & Set Couples Goals
Discuss how you feel about current events, where you want to travel; do a long-term project together. Find something that will interest both of you and work toward it. Having a long-term goal assures that you will spend time together during your week and can lift you out of the work-family life rut. Some possible projects might be:
Train for a sporting event together such as a triathlon.
Learn a new language together, then visit a country where it’s spoken.
Work on a home improvement project
Build a garden.
Compliment your partner
Say the sweet things that you used to in the beginning of the relationship. Complimenting your partner will show that you care.
Be specific. Instead of saying “You look nice,” say something like, “I love the way that dress shows off your curves” or “I love the way you look in that shirt.”
Rather than saying, “You are so smart”, say, “I admire how intellectual you are and the way you discuss issues so genuinely.”
Make a list of all of the things that made you fall in love with your partner and ask your partner to do the same. Then, you can sit down and share lists and reconnect by reliving the beginning of your relationship.
Have Physical Contact Every Day
Skin-on-skin contact releases a hormone called oxytocin, which increases feelings of intimacy. Kiss each other goodbye in the morning, embrace when you meet again, and give each other massages as you unwind from a long or trying day. Try snuggling on the couch or engage in regular hand holding.
Manage Stress Together
With jobs, families, and other issues that require your time, relationships can get put on the back burner. Stress is a normal part of life, but chronic stress causes a spike in cortisol, a hormone that can reduce the desire for physical intimacy, further damaging your relationship in the long run. Eliminate stressful elements from your life by choosing healthy friends, not overbooking yourselves, and exercising regularly. Spend more time doing things that you enjoy. Life can’t be all work and no play, so make it a point to devote at least one day each week to spending time together and doing what you love!