Now that February is here and love is in the air, it might be the perfect moment to take a closer look at your own relationship. You can’t escape the hearts and Valentine’s cards, so you might as well join in, right? If you feel like lately you have been stuck in a rut, you are not alone. Chin up, though! That doesn’t mean you should just throw in the towel. Here are a few simple tips that will help you rekindle the old flame.
Do you ever ask how his day was, although you’re already thinking of something else and not listening to his answer at all? We’re all guilty of this. When you’re stuck in a routine, it’s hard to snap out of it. Make a conscious effort to have a real conversation. Ask meaningful questions and really listen to what he has to say. Take an interest in his work, social life, likes and dislikes. Tell him about yourself. Too often couples wake up next to each other after years and years together, only to find out they don’t know each other anymore. Don’t let this be you.
Put some thought into your gifts
Christmas presents, birthday presents, Valentine’s presents… When you don’t know what to get your partner, these occasions can seem like torture. However, few things say “I care” as well as a carefully selected gift. Put some thought into it and find the perfect gift for your man. Try to remember the products he mentions or lusts after during the year (or better yet, keep a list). That way, when the time comes, gift-buying will be a breeze. Oh, and don’t throw a hissy fit if his present completely misses the mark. He’ll catch on eventually.
Remember to kiss
When was the last time you held hands? Hugged him? Gave him a peck on the cheeks, or a passionate kiss on the lips? Most longterm couples only kiss or cuddle when they want to have sex. Physical touch is one of our most powerful and intuitive means of communication. If it only boils down to sex, you are effectively closing off that channel. Remember that intimacy is far from just getting it on, it’s about being comfortable and affectionate together.
Forget browsing on your phone, forget late night TV. Turn off the lights and fall asleep together. Going to bed at the same time might help you re-establish the lost habit of cuddling. And, to be honest, your chances of having sex are much higher this way.
Be more understanding
Just as you have your needs, wishes and problems, so does your partner. When an issue arises, try to view things from his perspective too. It’s always good to remember that you’re both on the same team. Of course, understanding should never be a one-way street. If you feel like you’re always giving, but getting nothing in return, tell him openly. He probably has no idea.
Reactivate date night
Do you feel like you are stuck in a never-ending cycle of work, chores and kids? One of the keys to rekindling a relationship is to make it feel special again. Even if you’re too tired, or too lazy, or feel silly, make the effort to celebrate your love. Get all dressed up, put on a sexy outfit, and go somewhere special. Create an opportunity to be alone together, away from the mundanity of everyday life.
This might sound like a completely preposterous idea. You’re probably thinking: “What? I’ve never heard of anything less likely to put me in the mood than scheduled sex!” The truth is, time gets away from us. If your libidoes are mismatched (and whose aren’t?) you might go for weeks without managing to get down to business. Evidence suggests that more frequent sex strengthens every aspect of marriage. Nothing like the big ‘O’ to boost your confidence, lift your mood, and bring you closer to your partner!
Get away from it all
The magic of vacations is that real life gets put on hold for a while. Go on an adventure together. Different circumstances and a fresh setting will help you see each other in a new light. A week or two at a romantic destination, away from the tedious grind of daily life might be just the spark to reignite your passion.
Refrain from low blows
How often do you say things in the heat of the moment, only to regret them later? Remember that there are things that you can never take back. If you feel like the main purpose of your words is to hurt your partner, consider biting your tongue – no matter how bloodthirsty you’re feeling. Whatever the issue is, there is a way to discuss it respectfully. An extra tip? His manhood and his mother are almost always off-limits.
Netflix and chill
And by this, we really do mean just that. Although he might love Marvel movies, while you’re all about romances, there are still definitely tons of movies and shows you could watch together. Just curl up in his arms on the sofa (or in bed), load up on your favorite snacks, and enjoy your TV binge. It’s an excellent opportunity to cuddle, plus you’ll have something to discuss for days.
It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true: you can’t really love anyone else, unless you love yourself. Maybe you’re exhausted, or have so much responsibilities on your plate that you’ve forgotten how to relax and be fun. Pamper yourself a little, get yourself a Valentine’s gift, and be kind. It’s okay to talk about your needs and put yourself first sometimes.