5 tips for revitalising your relationship
Make time to do something together.
Over time, with a busy work and family life, couples often cease to do much together. Find a new interest that you can share such as:
- Dance classes - great for increasing body contact and intimacy, and romance- and you can get fit and meet other people too.
- Walking - get outdoors, ideally into the country. It can be a great de-stress and it has the added advantage that you can talk and walk, without always having to look at each other. This can help to reduce conflict and tension.
- Other ideas: cooking, DIY, gardening, evening classes.
Appreciate and acknowledge the good things in your partner.
Tell him or her what they do well or how you liked what they just did for you, even if a mundane or routine job . Focus less on the bad things. Cut down the criticising, fault-finding and blaming.
Be more affectionate. Remember in the early days of your relationship when you would cuddle, hug, kiss, hand hold and often just want to touch each other?. And that it didn't have to lead to sex- it was enjoyed purely for the intimate expression of your feelings for each other. Try to do all these things again, without it being a prelude to sex.
Eat a meal together at least once a week.
Turn the TV off, sit at a table opposite each other. Agree topics for conversation. Initially try to stay away from contentious subjects, especially about your relationship. Have equal share of the air-time. Ask about your partner's day. And that leads to the next point...
Listen to each other! Show you're interested:
- Use your non-verbal body language to show it through eye contact, nodding, leaning towards your partner a little, smiling.
- Ask questions.
- Summarise what you've heard from time to time. This helps to clarify what you think you've just heard and checks your understanding, thus reducing misunderstandings later.
- Try to empathise with what your partner is feeling. Seek to see your partner's point of view, even if very different from your own.
- Don't try to find a solution unless specifically asked. Then if that is the case, help your partner through prompting and questions to find their own solution.
- Hide your own judgements, frustrations and irritation you may find yourself feeling. If you do feel these things, wonder why that may be.