- Date each other regularly- A common belief is that when you’re in a long term relationship dating is no longer needed. This is not true. Dating is not just for new relationships, it's a great way to spend time together doing something enjoyable and strengthening your bond with your partner. In our busy world it’s difficult to make time to spend with just you and your partner, which is why dating is so important. Set aside time for each other on a routine basis to go on a date, preferably at least once per month. Hold this time as sacred and try your best not to reschedule because your relationship with your partner is very important. If time and/or finances are tight, think out of the box! A date does not have to cost a lot of money or take an entire evening. You and your partner can have a cook-off at home, or reminisce over coffee, or build a pillow fort in your living room. Ultimately, as long as you are spending quality time together the date activity doesn't matter.
- Make a new tradition or routine for just you two- Remember how I said that making time for the two of you is important, well this takes it one step further. Create a tradition or routine that is special for just the two of you. It can be something you do annually (like inventing a holiday other than your anniversary, example: our favorite place day) but ideally it is something you two can do together once a week or daily. It’s like having an inside joke that only you two get to be in on. This doesn't have to be something extravagant or time consuming, it can be small and simple. Examples of this are: making a meal together once a week, taking 5-10 minutes before bed to debrief about the day, making morning smoothies, taking an evening walk together, waking each other up in a special or unique way, or talking about a memory from your relationship once a week on throwback Thursday. Create your new tradition or routine together and get creative. Once you come up with your new weekly/daily routine, give it a name that you can call it like “Omelette Sunday” or “Pre bed talk time.”
- Be Silly together- The ability to cope with stressors using humor is a strong predictor of a healthy relationship. In a long term relationship we are sharing our journey through life with our partner through the hard times and the good times. Life provides plenty of hard times, so give yourself some much needed balance by creating good times by having fun and laughing with our partner. Don't be afraid to look a little silly in front of your partner, they may enjoy seeing a vulnerable/goofy side more often and if you can share a laugh together, even better! Laughing and being silly with strengthen your bond and bring you closer, especially in times of high stress when it's most needed.
Hopefully this give you a few ideas to help your relationship flourish. Remember your relationship is something that needs to be maintained through time, not just something you use as needed. Try your best to be consistent and present in your relationship so you and your partner can support each other in the good and the bad. The more consist you are in spending quality time with your partner, the healthier your relationship will become. Your relationship is important, show your partner you value them and your relationship with them.
If you and your partner would like more opportunities to strengthen your bond or need more support in doing so, feel free to contact me about the relationship enhancement group being offered.
-Aimee Robertson, M.A.
Phone: (818) 835-1562