If you've been together for a while, you may wonder how to stay close to your partner.
Life gets in the way, they say. And sadly, when that happens, many couples disengage from each other, and consequently fall out of love.
Staying in love means staying connected to your partner, and that involves being constantly engaged with them. Here are 7 ways to stay engaged and connected and to feel closer to your partner.
1. No Phones at Dinner or in Bed
It’s become a truism that we stroke our phones more than we stroke our partners. It’s the last thing we touch at night and the first thing we pick up in the morning. Often, couples may be lying side by side, but each is in his or her separate world of connecting with other people electronically. The same goes for dinner. How often do you see a couple paying good money for a lovely meal at a good restaurant who are sitting swiping their phones? Conversation is all but gone in these situations, and if you are not talking to each other, you are not engaged. So come on, put those phones away and talk to one another!
2. Do a Hobby Together
This is quite a difficult one, because people have very different interests. If you can possibly find a hobby that you can share, make an effort to do it. This can even include walking the dog together every evening. If there is really nothing you like to do in common, support each other’s hobbies. For example, if he loves to go clay pigeon shooting, go along for the day. It’s a nice outing and you get a chance to chat on the way. It’s a few hours of your time, sure, but it will mean so much to him. And if you support him with his hobby, he’ll surely come to the party with yours.
3. Just Say Yes
Kissing is probably not so important to you both these days, with you locking lips much less often than at the beginning of your relationship and the same goes for how often you have sex. I am not suggesting that you keep up the level of frequency you had in the beginning; that is a pretty tough ask for most couples. But I do suggest that when one of you is in the mood, the other should always (barring being sick) just say yes. As soon as you start touching and cuddling, you usually get in the mood. If you wait till you are both in the mood, there may be long dry periods in-between. These cause distance and maybe even the fear of rejection. It costs so little to be amenable to sex: just do it!
4. Make Time to Snuggle
Feeling the touch of the other and being touched are crucial connectors in a relationship. There is nothing nicer than when he puts his arm around your waist or you stroke his back. Making time to cuddle and snuggle encourages a gentle form of intimacy and safety.
5. Write to Each Other
Imagine you come home and on the kitchen table is a note from your loved one thanking you for being you, complimenting you, or just saying how much they love you. It lifts your heart and gives you a warm flush all over. Humans are the only animals that have words. Use them to engage with your partner. Let them know that you are thinking of them.
6. Do Kind Things for Each Other
If he struggles to get up in the morning while you bounce out of bed as you wake up, be kind to him and take him a cup of coffee in bed. He will appreciate this and make a reciprocal effort with you. Perhaps you hate washing up. Because you were considerate with him, he will consider it a pleasure, rather than a chore, to do the washing up for you as a similar gesture to bringing him coffee in bed.
7. Tell Each Other How You’re Feeling
Make it possible to tell each other how you’re really feeling about life, work, relationships, friendships or whatever without being judged. Being able to share our innermost secrets in a safe, non-judgmental environment brings us closer to the other. Make a time each day – perhaps when you wake up – when each of you shares a feeling. Make a rule that neither of you is allowed to comment on what you hear. Your job is just to allow the other to speak openly and honestly and to listen and acknowledge their feeling. If you both can do this, you will build a great deal of trust and intimacy in your relationship.
We all know that the honeymoon will end some time, but few of us realise how much work is involved in staying engaged. Use these tips above – or the ones that appeal to you – to stay in love with your partner.