1. Communicate regularly. There are three types of communication in relationships: informational, disruptive, and connective. Informational communication includes facts or requests like, “We need milk. Can you pick some up on your way home?” Disruptive communication happens when we are angry or upset, and leads to a feeling of being disconnected from your partner. It includes “you” language such as, “You never clean up after yourself.” Connective communication brings people together, so it’s important to spend time each day communicating in a connective way. Let your partner know when you appreciate something they’ve done, speak from the heart, and let them in on your hopes, fears and dreams. Connective communication includes not just words, but body language. A kiss goodbye, a hug for no reason, or looking lovingly into your partners eyes are all examples of connective communication.
2. Laugh together. Laughter is great medicine. It helps the endorphins kick in and remind you why you connected in the first place. Studies have shown that women who find their mates funny have happier and longer marriages. You can rent a funny movie, go to a comedy show, or even decide to look for funny things about your regular day. It’s easy to look for what’s wrong, try looking for what’s funny instead.
3. Turn off the TV. Unless it’s a funny movie and you’re laughing together, TV makes us catatonic. Focus on each other instead of the screen. Use the time you’d spend watching the news for the second time to practice connective communication. It might feel awkward at first, especially if you’ve developed the habit of watching TV all night, but it will get easier.
4. Go somewhere different. Whether it’s a new restaurant, or getting lost on a Sunday drive, do something different to stay out of a rut. This is especially important in bed. Get a toy, share a fantasy, or indulge in an afternoon delight. The hormones that got you going when you were first together are different than the ones that help you stay together, but you can amp things up again by infusing novelty into your sex life.
5. Spend Time Alone. I mean totally alone, by yourself, not even with your partner. Alone time is rejuvenating to the soul, and absence makes the heart grow fonder. I recommend you each take a separate vacation once a year. I try to go away a couple of times a year for a weekend, and then one full week by myself every year.