When looking for the perfect ways to spice up a bland relationship, couples often turn to grand gestures. They go out and splurge on a fancy date at a steakhouse, travel out of town, and buy expensive things for their partner. We tend to forget that it is the smallest, simplest things that keep a relationship moving.
Oftentimes, you don’t have to go outside. Genuine and heartwarming gestures of love and affection are displayed at home
It doesn’t take that much amount of time, effort, and money to make your partner feel valued every day. To build a strong connection and bond that lasts, here are some expert tricks to fit into your routine.
1. Turn off your smartphone
There’s nothing more annoying than having dinner, which is your only quality time after your long day at work, and talking to someone looking down at his/her crotch, unresponsive.
Smartphones, when not used with caution, can be a killer of romance. Even when you’re a few inches away, heavy phone use, whether it’s for social media, games, or work-related concerns, can create a massive distance between the both of you.
Limit phone use and try to be more direct with your partner. Talk face to face. Maintain eye contact. Focus on each other’s facial expressions and talking voices. Take a walk while holding hands. And if you don’t feel like talking about something interesting, at least practice having the phone faced down to prevent further distractions.
2. Go to bed at the same time
No, you don’t have to do something else besides sleeping on that comfy bed. Hitting the sack at the same time might be the only chance to be alone together all day.
As much as possible, don’t let your partner sleep alone. If you don’t feel like sleeping, you may stay in bed until your partner drifts off. Cuddle them. Sing for them. Touch their hair until they reach dreamland.
In addition, make sure you get adequate shut-eye. Having enough rest allows the both of you to wake up refreshed and energized and prevent getting cranky, which may lead to fights.
3. Brew a cup of coffee for your partner
No expensive cup of coffee from Starbucks can beat the cup of coffee made for you by your beloved. It may not be high-end but you’re sure every cup is sprinkled with love.
Something as basic as brewing a cup of coffee for your partner and preparing breakfast in the morning can help boost your relationship. It’s a simple way of making your partner feel noticed and you recognize his/her preferences. Having these small acts of kindness is a predictor that you’re happy in the relationship.
4. Make love in different places
New elements stimulate the dopamine. If your bedroom romps feel like a little dull, maybe it’s time for a change – a change of location, perhaps.
Sex is an activity made to be enjoyed, and not supposed to be a boring, required routine, so try to be as playful as possible. Make love in the living room couch, bathroom, and other places you’ve never been to – like the kitchen countertop. As long as your partner is up for the idea, why not?
5. Cuddle and get handsy
Nonsexual touching like embracing your partner and holding hands is just as crucial as sex itself in the game of romance. They are sweet, non-verbal ways of saying “I love you.”
You hug your partner to squeeze the stress out of him/her after the long day or them know how much you miss them. You touch your love’s curves and love handles to show you appreciate his/her body. You hold your partner’s hand to make him/her feel more secure. All these send a positive message to your beloved.
In the long run, the more you touch, the more you feel comfortable at “at home” with each other.
6. Explore different forms of communication
Always exchanging texts? You might want to call your partner instead and hear his/her soothing voice. Better if you can communicate face to face via video call.
Always sending long messages of appreciation and short flirty texts? Try going old-school and do these things with handwritten letters and notes. Plus cheap flowers and chocolates.
Always facing a screen? Send memes, GIFs, and selfies during your free time so your partner has something to smile and laugh at whenever he or she is stressed at work.
Find that happy medium of communication which allows you to connect better and grow closer.
7. Get lost in each other’s eyes
When was the last time you looked at each other’s eyes for more than a minute and got hooked in that quiet moment? It may sound corny for some but ancient Buddhists and Hindus believed that eyes are the doors to connect to the soul.
Take five minutes to sit down with your partner and gaze intently into each other’s eyes. I’m not kidding. Time stands still when you’re staring at each other, appreciating the details of each other’s faces and being grateful for having that someone in your life.
8. Laugh together
Talk about a funny moment from the past. Watch a comedy film or TV show. Exchange memes, GIFs, and funny YouTube videos. Play a fun game. Do something silly, like making a parody of Masterchef and impersonating Gordon Ramsay while cooking.
According to “It’s not that any style or a sense of humor is any better or worse. What matters is you both see the same type of humor as hysterical,” said author Jeffrey Hall, Ph.D. Aside from helping you grow closer, laughing is also beneficial for the health, from alleviating stress to improving your mood.
9. Compliment each other
In line with getting comfortable with each other is the tendency to form a conversation that is, well, comfortable. No sugar-coated things, no poetic compliments – just pure, natural exchange of ideas (or rants). But sometimes, it’s nice to hear once again those sweet and genuine compliments, especially from your significant other.
Don’t take each other for granted. Praise your partner for their little accomplishments. Acknowledge and compliment their hair, makeup, outfit, and the details of their face that you fell in love with. These remarks may be short but they’re enough to brighten someone else’s day and strengthen your bond.
10. Unburden your partner from chores and tasks
Spicing up your relationship isn’t all about the fun, interesting stuff. Sometimes, the not-so-romantic things you do for your partner are the things that demonstrate genuine selfless love – like unburdening your partner from daunting tasks.
Minimize his/her to-do list by offering to pick up the kids from school, doing the laundry, and cleaning the house. Help with the overwhelming tasks your partner has to do for his/her job. Be compassionate enough to do your partner’s chores when he/she is too exhausted or ill. These simple acts of caring and kindness show they you value their wellbeing and they have your unwavering support.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families.