As the months and years roll on, we tend to slink into our proverbial sweatpants and get lazy in our relationship. We lose our patience, gentleness, thoughtfulness, understanding and the general effort we once made toward our mate. Think back to the first year of your relationship and write down all the things you used to do for your partner. Now start doing them again.
2. Ask for what you want.
Over time, we assume that our partner knows us so well that we don’t need to ask for what we want. What happens when we make this assumption? Expectations are set and just as quickly, they get deflated. Those unmet expectations can leave us questioning the viability of our partnership and connection. Keep in mind that “asking for what you want” extends to everything from emotional to sexual wants.
3. Become an expert on your partner.
Think about who your mate really is and what excites him or her (both physically and emotionally). We can become consumed by what WE THINK he/she wants, as opposed to tuning in to what truly resonates with the other person. Remember that if it’s important to your partner, it doesn’t have to make sense to you. You just have to do it.
4. Don't ask "how was your day."
At the end of a long day, we tend to mentally check out of our lives and consequently, our relationship. We rely on the standard question, “How was your day?” Generally, that boring question will yield a boring answer such as, “Fine, how was yours?” This does nothing to improve your connection and instead, can actually damage it because you're losing the opportunity to regularly connect in a small way.
Instead, try asking things like, “What made you smile today?” or “What was the most challenging part of your day?” You’ll be amazed at the answers you’ll get, with the added benefit of gaining greater insight into your significant other.
5. Create a weekly ritual to check in with one another.
It can be short or long but it begins with asking each other what worked and didn’t work about the previous week and what can be done to improve things this coming week. Additionally, use this opportunity to get on the same page with your schedules, plan a date night and talk about what you would like to see happen in the coming days, weeks, and months in your relationship. Without an intentional appointment to do a temperature check, unmet needs and resentments can build.
6. Keep it sexy.
What might change in your relationship if both you and your partner committed to increasing the behaviors you each find sexy and limiting those that aren’t? Think about this in the broadest form. “Sexy” can certainly refer to bedroom preferences, but it also represents what excites us about our mate in our day-to-day lives. Do you find it sexy if he/she helps with the housework? Do you find it "unsexy" when he/she uses the restroom with the door wide open? Talk about what it specifically means to "keep it sexy" in your relationship. Be amazed, be humored, be inspired!
7. Get creative about the time you spend together.
Break out of the “dinner and a movie” routine and watch how a little novelty can truly rejuvenate your relationship. On a budget and can’t go big? Jump on the internet to look for “cheap date ideas” and be blown away at the plethora of options. Can’t afford a sitter? Try swapping babysitting time with friends that have kids. It’s free and they will likely be thrilled to take your kids because they will get to take advantage when they drop their kids at your place.
8. Get it on.
Unless you have committed to an asexual partnership, sex, sexual contact and touching (kissing, holding hands, cuddling etc.) are vital components of a romantic relationship. The frequency is of course, up to you and it's imperative that you discuss your ideas about it in order to prevent resentment. Rare are the moments when both partners are “in the mood” at the exact same second, but that doesn’t mean that you have to decline their advances. Remind yourself that you will almost always “get there” after the first few minutes and that an intimate interaction of any kind builds connection and elevates your mood and health. Bear in mind that you are never required to say “yes.” If you truly don’t feel it, the best thing you can do is to postpone. Just make sure that you initiate or accept within a reasonable amount of time thereafter.