Over time, most long-term relationships accommodate certain (often treasured) routines, but even the healthiest partnerships can fall victim to romantic ruts. To avoid complacency in your love life and continuously appreciate your special somebody, in no particular order, here are 5 ways to ensure you’re not taking your partner for granted.
- Listen – Sounds easy, right? Well it’s not, always. Sometimes it’s something as simple as being engrossed in a show on Netflix while your partner gets home and tries to tell you about something that happened at work. Despite every ounce of you not wanting to miss one second of Black Mirror, your partner deserves your full attention. That means you may have to mute the television, or mute some music, or stop what you’re doing and sit down beside them, or step out of a room to take their phone call, depending on circumstances. It’s about respect, and being an active listener can take some real work, but undistracted communication will make your relationship stronger!
- Kiss Hello/Goodbye – This one sounds even easier – but it shouldn’t be underestimated! Physical contact with the person you love, even with a quick kiss, is a great way to reinforce your bond. Life can be hectic, but a hello/goodbye kiss can almost act as a seconds-long team pow-pow, and lets your partner know that they are important to you. Make this your appreciation ritual!
- Help Them – But you already help your partner already! Of course you do. However, sometimes it’s about going the extra mile. This can range from tougher stuff like identifying when they are struggling in everyday life and making yourself available to support them, to simply taking on their chores for the night when they’ve had a crazy one at work. As a rule of thumb, treat your partner how you would want to be treated. When you’re truly partners, you pick up where the other person leaves off, and make an effort to be strong when they are feeling weak.
- Pay Sincere Compliments – Next time she does something new with her hair, or wears that dress you like, or even tidies up the kitchen, let her know you’ve noticed! Too often, we may be thinking something nice, or assume that our person inherently knows we think something already, that we don’t actually ever tell them what’s going on upstairs. The more unique the compliment, the better. Pro tip: Some of us aren’t great at vocalizing this stuff, so try penning a short note for your special someone, paying them a short but sweet compliment!
- Carve Out Time Together – This can be a tough one. Especially when you’re both working and trying to stick to commitments, social lives and hobbies outside of each other. Time apart, and in a big group of friends can be fantastic for a relationship, but to make sure you’re not taking your partner for granted, make time for just each other, too. This can be as simple as referring to tip #1 of this list, or going out for dinner to reconnect. Quickly research some fun, cheap date ideas in your city, or if time and money allow, indulge in a romantic week together!