THIS is the secret sauce!
So, you've found love. Congratulations!! Now, how do you make that love last?
In the beginning, love in a new relationship feels so grand. It's just you and your partner. You can't seem to get enough of each other. Then, you buy a house, have children, and get a promotion at work. Slowly over time, your relationship becomes less of a priority and you begin to drift away from each other.
It used to be so easy to go out on a date, but now you can't seem to find the time to fit each other in.
If this sounds like your relationship, you're not alone. Many couples go through this. Happy, fulfilling relationships take work. Love is a splendid thing and it does make the world go round, but if you want to stay together, then be prepared to work at it.
Here are 10 ways to help you keep the love alive in your relationship:
1. Kiss your partner for six seconds.
You read that right. In our busy world, most of the time we give our partner a quick, mindless peck. You need to stop and kiss on the lips for six seconds at least once per day. It's not really that long and the physiological effects are great.
2. Know one important thing about your partner's day.
This is also known as "departing." Before your partner leaves for the day, make it a point to know one important thing about their day. Don't be scared to ask if they don't say. This shows genuine interest, which helps build friendship and connection between you.
3. Greet your partner warmly at the end of the day.
This is the time to put down all electronics, step away from your computer and have a 20-minute conversation with your partner. Check in with each other, talk about their day without judging or giving feedback. This ritual will help reduce external stresses in the relationship.
4. Update your LoveMaps.
This is about knowing your partner inside and out. Human beings are complex and always changing. So, set aside some time once a week to update your LoveMaps. This will let your partner know that you have their back no matter what. Per Wikipedia: "A 'love map' is that part of one's brain where one stores all the relevant information about one's spouse's life, such as their worries, hopes, and goals in life; their history; and the facts and feelings of their world.
5. Touch, touch, and touch some more.
That's right kiss, hug, and play with one another. The more the better. We all like to touch and be touched. The next time your partner is cooking in the kitchen, rub up behind them. Be playful, often.
6. Have sex in a different place.
If you're feeling so-so about your bedroom romps, then maybe it's time to try something different. Your sex life needs to satisfy both of you. If you haven't been talking about it then you need to start. If you always have sex in the bedroom, then try the living room or the kitchen.
7. See each other with new eyes.
We can't realistically expect our long-term partner to be the exact same person we married. Although, this could be a positive thing, you now have a whole new person in front of you with the benefits of being married. It's not about going back, it's about moving forward and building a relationship that is better suited for the two of you here and now.
8. Complain without blame.
After you've been in a relationship for a while, it's easy to blame your partner for what's going wrong in the relationship. Start using "I" statements instead. This is where you state how you are feeling about what your partner did, and what you need from your partner in the future.
9. Laugh together often.
Bring up a funny moment from the past that makes you both laugh. Couples that have fun together are more likely to stay together. Maybe the last time you were out to dinner, the server said or did something funny. Bring it up to your partner. You can also watch a funny comedy together.
10. Stay connected throughout the day.
After being in a relationship for a while, it's easy to get caught up in your day. Send a playful or loving text to your partner during the day. Let your partner know how your day is going. This is a great way to let your partner feel apart of your world, even when you're apart. For example, if you're worried about an important presentation, let your partner know you aced it.
It's important that your partner feels first in your life.
Even if you start with a few of these tips, your partner will begin to feel that way. The more you do this the more natural it will feel. This will also help build a lasting friendship, which is the key to intimacy.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She is dedicated to helping couples and has completed Levels 1, 2, and 3 from The Gottman Institute. For more help, please visit LessonsforLove.com.
This article was originally published at www.LessonsforLove.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.