Last week I suggested that revitalizing your relationship involves looking at what you're doing, and how you're doing it. Today's list addresses both dimensions of your relationship, with two essential communication tips (#10) and a practice of connecting with yourself that I recommend everyone try at least once (#9). But this should top the list: create loving connection by being the first to reach out with affectionate touch, a compliment or expressions of endearment. Over time this will increase your positive feelings toward your partner, and they'll feel better as well.
6. Explore New Environments or Activities
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You've probably heard this one before, but exposing yourselves to new situations and people can have an energizing effect for your relationship, as well as for yourself individually. The variety of things you could do are endless, from classes--cooking, dancing, painting, to name a few--to volunteer work (for a day or ongoing), attending a talk at the Common Wealth Club or elsewhere, or trying some new activity, like kayaking or a meditation class. Our brains like novelty, and novelty is good for relationships too. Not only do you have a new experience to share, but in different contexts you get to see different parts of your partner, which lends itself to a different conversation between you.
7. Plan a Weekend Getaway
Sometimes all a relationship needs is more time together. Along the continuum between date nights and a longer vacation, a weekend away can be a great way to reconnect. Besides, even going somewhere overnight will make the weekend seem longer. Camping and being in nature are great ways to rejuvenate, but even if you're not into roughing it, at least try unplugging from your digital world and tuning into yourselves. Getting away is an opportunity to slow down and be with each other, in addition to taking in something new.
8. Wheel of Life Assessment
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Most life coaching models begin with a self-assessment of how satisfied you're feeling in different areas of your life. The areas commonly addressed (often drawn as a circle with eight quadrants) are: Relationship, Family & Friends, Fun & Recreation, Career or Job, Personal Space, Spirituality or Contribution, Health, Money. Using a numerical scale of 0-10, assign a value to each area indicating your degree of satisfaction or fulfillment. Share your assessment with your partner, and discuss ways you can support each other in strengthening the areas in which you feel deficient. Odds are, if you're experiencing significant challenges in some of these areas, it's affecting your relationship as well.
9. "I am . . . " Exercise