by Kay Carter,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder
The longer you spend as a couple, the more you may forget that everything was exciting in the beginning.
In a long-term relationship, you and your partner have to continue to work and communicate or you will feel more like roommates instead of partners. There’s no need to wait until your relationship has become one-sided to employ these tactics.
When you treat your partner with respect, you will get a lot more in return. Think of your bond as a plant, a living and evolving thing that needs care. Here are some tips to help you rekindle romance and appreciation in a struggling relationship.
Plan Date Nights
When you’re comfortable with someone, it’s easy to get into a routine of coming home from work and sitting on the couch with a device by your side.
Break out of these patterns by picking one night a week where you get out of the house and do something as a pair. Even if this means calling a babysitter or getting a hotel for the night, think of it as an investment in your future.
Use your date night to focus on the movie, concert, or meal in front of you, and look into your partner’s eyes. Keep your phones out of sight so you’re not tempted to look at them.
This is a great time to talk about where you want to go on your next vacation, plan for your future, and just catch up. In addition to these date nights, have a regular check-in (which could be once a month or once a year) to make sure you are both on the same page.
Try Something New
When you first met your companion, everything probably felt new and exciting. This is because your brain had a rush of feel-good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin. Couples with higher oxytocin levels stay together longer and enjoy things like laughing and finishing each other’s sentences.
You can recreate these same brain reactions by trying new experiences as a couple. Plan a mini road trip, take cooking classes, or work out together; all of these things will get your endorphins flowing.
Tackle Chores Together
Housework is one of the most common things couples fight over. You don’t have to be that couple that’s always making a “honey do” list or fighting about cleaning out the garage to make room for your car. The simple solution is to tackle housework as a couple.
According to House Method, spend one night every week doing something in the home together. You both are committed to your home (and your relationship) and what better way to celebrate both than by doing something you both love in the comfort of your space?
Do laundry together or take on a home improvement project. You can also mow the lawn and spread a picnic dinner out on your freshly cut grass.
Compliment Your Significant Other
Everyone appreciates praise. It can be something small like, “You made the best dinner.” If you think your partner is excelling at squats in the gym, or their story time delights the kids, tell them! When you assume your partner knows how you feel, you miss out on key opportunities to reaffirm your love.
Additionally, pay attention to your partner’s love language and compliment them in that way—you may be a person that appreciates and shows affection through acts of service, but your partner could prefer gifts or quality time.
Listen to Your Partner and Clarify What They Say
A common reason that couples fight is lack of communication or miscommunication. Try mirroring—this technique involves you taking what your partner tells you and repeating it back to them. This can quickly eliminate confusing conversations.
Learn to Say Sorry
Making an apology to your partner is one of the unavoidable parts of a long-term relationship. The good news is that making up with your mate is the end goal of the situation.
To move the conversation back toward romance, explain why you feel remorseful. Acknowledge that your partner’s feelings may be hurt, and that you are not intentionally trying to hurt them.
Whatever you do, don’t give obsessive apologies for all situations. Similar to not addressing the issue, constantly bringing it up again will not help you move on. Wrap up the conversation with a compliment to your partner and appealing to their love language style.
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