Simple ways to reconnect with your partner
Try these fuss-free intimacy tips to get reacquainted with your romantic partner.
Long days at work, family commitments, kids, chores – it's a wonder you have time to sleep, let alone spend quality time with your significant other.
If this sounds like you, we're here to help. You may not be able to take a week-long vacation to get the time together you need, but there are other, simpler means of reconnecting.
We've pulled together some of the most effective ways to help you and your partner get back on track in spite of your hectic schedules to why finding time to regularly bond with your partner is so important.
Finding time to connect with your partner when your schedules are incredibly busy may seem like a lot of work and sometimes even too much effort – but it is well worth the time.
"Connecting and feeling romantic together keeps the relationship healthy and happy, and keeps both partners excited about their future together," when couples don't find time to reconnect, the relationship often feels soulless, flat, unromantic and mechanical. "Over a long period of time, this can feel unsatisfying and can even lead to a breakup or divorce,"
1. Make ordinary things romantic
You don't need to wait for date night or a special occasion to feel romantic – we all know those are few and far between. Instead, finding romance in the everyday. "Even if it's just lighting a few candles and dimming the lights while eating takeout food, taking the time to sit face to face and talk about your day can help you to feel cared about and connected,"
2. Touch each other
Don't discount simple acts of intimacy, such as holding hands, when it comes to feeling closer to your partner. This is especially important when you haven't had time for sex or other forms of more extended closeness.
"Touch is a very effective form of intimacy," Giving your partner hugs, kisses and even small shoulder-rubs once in a while helps you to feel that you're physically connected."
3. Remember your past together
One of the most effective ways to boost your bond is to reminisce about your shared past. Put on a song that you used to listen to and dance in the living room, and talk about the memories you had in the first year you were dating, back when the romance was fresh. Nostalgia is a powerful tool in recreating a connection.
4. Tap into shared interests
Having some common interests makes it much easier to stay connected. "Doing activities that are fun and flirty can add something special to your everyday and help you create new memories," The more you can do together as a couple, the more opportunities there will be to reconnect on a more regular basis.
5. Set goals together
Shared ambitions are another must for couples who want to reconnect. "Goal-setting is by far the most effective way to connect and feel excited about the future,". Talk about your financial goals together, your careers, your children (or future children), vacation plans and any other shared dreams you have. Once you've settled on something to work toward as a couple, create a five-, 10- or 15-year plan with your partner to accomplish your goal.
6. Show your support
If your partner has a special interest or accomplishes something significant, step up and show that you're proud of them. Watch them play a sport they love, cheer them on if they're running a race or help them celebrate a raise or promotion. "These are all great opportunities for you to celebrate life's milestones and for them to feel loved and supported," The more you support each other, the stronger your bond will become.
7. Look for a positive.
Anything positive -- even, "Sure is nice weather today, huh?" In fact, the more positively couples rated their communication, the more satisfied they were with their relationship. Satisfied married couples had five positive interactions to every one negative interaction . Decide to have a positive attitude and then positive words will flow from it.
8. Look for the humor.
This is not the cutting humor that can slice a heart. Instead, look for the inside joke. Couples who have long-term happy marriages, everyone mentioned the need for a good sense of humor! King Solomon, known as the wisest man in history, says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine . . ." .( Proverbs 17:2) and "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24)
9. Keep it in perspective.
Real problems are when someone has cancer or you've just lost a loved one. Everything else is just an obstacle to overcome. "Just adapt and overcome." or "Don't sweat the small stuff." Before you raise the roof over some issue, ask yourself, Will this matter 10 years from now? Most often in a few hours from now it doesn't matter! I often ask, "If I do it Bill's way, is it immoral or illegal?" (Of course the answer is "No!" so, as often as possible, just decide to defer to your spouse as a gift of love.)
10. "Plan B" it.
Offer alternative suggestions and solutions. If things are really tense, you might want to hold your spouse for awhile then ask, "Are you ready to brainstorm some alternatives yet?". So in a tight spot when you don't know what to do next one would ask, "What shall we do now?" The other might answer with a smile, tell a joke, It will give you the opportunity to regroup, put your thoughts together and come up with a new plan or solution to the real issue.
11. Walk it off!
If your mate has a severe emotional meltdown, offer to take the kids to the park (they probably want to escape too). Vacating the premises sometimes gives some space to quietly work on your spouse. Draw her a bath, light some candles, turn on some soft music and meditate for her. Give him a safe place to escape and cool down. The garage, the tennis court, the golf course or the park to shoot some hoops might work to give him time to mentally regroup. Or, find a way to relax and take five together. Take a walk, go on a bike ride, or water the lawn.
An interesting side note "We found out the silent treatment did not work, so we finally learned to communicate and share how we both felt. When we got our Jacuzzi, we would sit in it at night and share how our days went and talk about the things that bothered us before they became big issues."
8. Hey, Look Over There!
Offer up a distraction: The movies, a shopping trip, or lunch out. For many women, a trip to Starbucks for a cappuccino, a stop at Crate and Barrel, some lotion from Victoria's Secret and any kind of chocolate might do the trick. For a man who is upset or angry, a trip to the batting cages to let him get his aggression's out might help a bit.
I saw a healthy pattern in my grandparents who were married for over 60 years. The more angry they were at each other the harder they would work. When grandma was really ticked the house became spotless. When grandpa thought grandma was unreasonable, something got built! "If you have to choose dysfunctions, choose workaholic-ism over depression. At least you'll have something to show for it after the emotions are gone!"
12. The Errors. If the emotional meltdown was your fault, apologize. The bigger the faux pas, the bigger the apology should be. Guys learned long ago that candy, flowers, and diamonds are a good way out of the doghouse. Remember, no husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes! So, if you lost it emotionally on your spouse try to think of a very sincere, very creative way to make amends.
13. Keep Short Accounts.
It is not unusual for passionate couples to ride the emotional roller coaster of life together. Couples who choose to let the past reside in the past get a fresh start with each other regularly. Couples who let resentments build up to find that even the smallest infractions can create major conflicts.
It's never too late to reconnect with your partner, and the process doesn't have to be daunting. Small actions and efforts made on a daily or weekly basis can create big results when it comes to bringing you and your significant other closer – even in spite of that ever-growing pile of laundry.