Are you overlooking subtle ways to maintain the spark in your relationship?
Intimate relationships are an essential part of our humanity. To keep yours vibrant and long-lasting, you’re likely already aware of how you excite and attract each other and also how you show compassion. But there are subtler ways that you may be missing which can be vital to the longevity of your loving bond.
1. SPOON IN BED
You accept that sex is a significant part of a lasting relationship, but you may not know that sleeping physically close to one another results in increased happiness. A study conducted at the University of Hertfordshire revealed that partners who slept within an inch of one another were far more content with their relationship than those who slept more than 30 inches apart. Physical contact ups the ante even more as shown by the 94 percent of couples who touched throughout the night who were happy with their relationship compared to 68 percent of those who did not touch. To increase contentment and togetherness, get close at night … spoon, cuddle, touch.
2. DO RANDOM ACTS OF GENEROSITY
Giving one another little surprises reinforces an inner knowingness that your partner was thinking about you and considering your needs. Spontaneously offer each other a back massage or suggest doing something that you know your mate would love, or put a heart-felt greeting card on your love’s pillow, or buy something special. Studies conducted at various universities reveal that giving—even small acts of generosity—helps us live more meaningful lives. Plus those benevolent gestures generate good chemical changes in the brain as more oxytocin is released enhancing your bond.
3. LET GO OF ATTACHMENT
We often get caught up in trying to manage and control our partner’s behavior. We set up expectations and when they’re not met, we become angry or distant. So what if he tells that silly joke for the 100th time! So what if she loses track of time and misses picking up the dry cleaning! We can get so attached to an outcome that we lose sight of what’s really important. The same applies to arguments and conflicts. Try to step back and remind yourself of the bigger picture and what’s truly valuable in being together. Mindfulness will allow you to stay focused on the positive things which helps the relationship become more effortless.
4. BE PRESENT AND IN THE NOW
When you’re together, be engaged and focused on the moment. Turn off distractions (TVs, computers, cellphones) and spend time with each other being present. Consciously select a period to talk and listen, perhaps over dinner. Or choose to do an activity together that you both enjoy and be totally absorbed in the experience without thinking about work, chores, etc. The key is to revel in the now and recognize what is right in front of you. Instead of worrying about something that might not happen, enjoy something that IS happening.
5. LAUGH OFTEN
Besides being fun, laughter releases feel-good endorphins that improve mood, reduce stress and heighten energy. Share jokes, watch funny movies together or browse the Internet for sidesplitting sayings. Notice the humorous moments throughout the day and share them. Sometimes daily challenges—traffic, lines at the grocery store, etc.—can become amusing anecdotes. Even major trials can be dealt with more easily when viewed together from a less serious perspective. So just laugh, laugh, laugh!
6. APPRECIATE THE SMALL STUFF
Showing gratitude is a biggie. Take the time to acknowledge that he fixed the broken lamp or made the bed or refueled your car. For guys, notice the every day acts she does to make your life together smoother and better. Appreciate the dinner she cooked or the text she sent in the middle of the day just to tell you she was thinking about you. Expressing gratitude is a positive reminder of how you view each other and that you never take your partner for granted. You can never overuse the words "Thank you."
Peggy Sealfon is a Personal Development Coach who spends her time helping people overcome life’s big and small frustrations and challenges. Talk to Peggy for a FREE 15-minute “laser” session. Email her at Peggy@PeggySealfon.com to arrange a time. Or try her FREE AUDIO to reduce stress and anxiety in under 10 minutes.