Never take your relationship for granted. You may love and care for each other, but what about that spark? And are you growing as a couple? In this article we look at ways to keep romance alive, and also some strategies to make you feel you’re really going somewhere together. As the New Year gets under way, you can refresh your relationship and feel excited about life
RE-LIGHT MY FIRE
No-one can go through life on an emotional high. Things go stale with every couple, and in any case that first flush of love is built on dreams and chemistry. But you can still experience that ‘in love’ feeling from time to time, and feel thrilled
• Make an effort to rekindle those initial feelings by remembering how you felt and letting yourself day-dream about how good it was to be together. Talk about this with each other. You may like to visit old haunts, and do the things you used to do, from time to time
• Listen to music you both like and even dance together
• What do you each want now? Take it in turns to really listen to each other. Set a timer – each talks for a ten minute slot before the other comments. Record what you’ve learnt from each other and make a few plans to change things – don’t slip back into old habits if one of you is dissatisfied
• Laugh together. Chances are when you met you smiled and giggled all the time – find your shared humour
• Have date nights where you don’t talk about the mortgage or the kids – you just chatter about the things people discuss on a first date. This will probably include what music you like, what films, where you like to go on holiday. You may have been together for years but what’s the bet you find out something new?
• Do little kind things for each other, like making a cup of tea or tidying the living room. If you’re tuned in to what your partner wants you can give them lovely surprises with very little effort
• Compliment your partner. What do you love and admire about them? Tell them, and make them feel appreciated.
• Surprise your partner. Cook a different meal, plan a new activity. Even if this isn’t a roaring success, you will still have shaken things up. Maybe your partner will have a better suggestion for next time
• Play together. Anything from a traditional board game to an energetic tennis match
• Buy thoughtful gifts. This doesn’t have to be expensive. A small posy of flowers given with a smile can be magical
GO FORWARD TOGETHER
Spending your lives staring at each other isn’t healthy. Couples with shared goals are the most vibrant. Refresh your relationship by working on something together
• Doing up your house can be a lovely project. Make sure you talk things through, agree what you want and share out the jobs
• Start a business together. This could be something you’re both interested in that requires minimal outlay, such as selling on-line. It will be gratifying to see your efforts bearing fruit and will make you feel powerful as a couple
• Improve yourselves together. A healthy eating regime is so much easier if you take it up together. Exercising as a couple is so much more fun than struggling on your own. This year you can get fit together
• Enjoy being creative as a couple – cooking and gardening are great if you have time
• Learn something together. Sign up for a course. Do art classes or learn to play an instrument. Having your own musical duo will be great fun, even if the neighbours need ear-defenders!
• Travel together. It’s great just planning a weekend away, but more fulfilling if you’re exploring and following interests such as history, geography or other cultures. A longer vacation is even better – trekking across the continent in a camper van will give you stories to dine out on for years
• Put extra effort into family time. If you have children, be pro-active. Discuss projects. Don’t just jog along
• Pets can be a shared joy and an absorbing hobby, as well as a good reason to exercise. Have a dog, keep chickens – any animal you both love will bond you and motivate you
IF THINGS AREN’T SO GOOD…
Ideas to refresh your relationship are likely to fall on stony ground if there is real trouble between you. If that’s the case, get help. Counselling can enable you to understand the issues, which can become obscured when there is resentment and anger. Our supportive Readers at TheCircle are also here to help. Reach out and take that next step towards a fulfilling partnership.
TAKING THE NEXT STEP
In this article we’ve looked at ways to make your relationship more exciting and also how to make it more meaningful, with shared schemes. You don’t have to try all the tips at once. Just have a go with one or two, and see what difference it makes.
PUBLISHED: 7 January 2016