It can be easy to let your relationship run on cruise control. Every now and then you and your partner can get out of sync. Here are some ideas to get things back on track (all of them I’ve done at one point or another).
1. Listen – Sometimes your partner just wants to talk. He/she wants to purge their mind of all thoughts. In many cases they may not want you to “solve” their problems they just want to share and know that you empathize with them.
2. Turn off your cell phone/computer for a little while. How many times are you at dinner with your partner or sitting around and your cell phone dings or beeps? This is connected to listening and if you have your cell/computer your partner may not feel like they have your full undivided attention. I know some households who turn cell phones off at a certain time – perhaps during dinner or an hour or two before bed. If that’s too strict for you perhaps you should just agree that during date night or during a certain time of day you will be totally tuned in to your partner.
3. Do something he/she likes to do. Recently on a trip to Archiver’s (the scrapbook store), rather than going to Best Buy or waiting for me in the car, Che asked if he could join me. Now I know that he has no interest in scrapbooking, but it was nice to walk him around the store, introduce him to the staff and show him a little piece of my world. Although I don’t rap, I enjoy going to the studio with my husband every now and then to see him “in his element.”
4. Compliment Him/her. If you notice something different about your boo – say it! There is nothing like the love of your life telling you how beautiful/handsome/sexy you are.
5. Offer some alone time. Every couple needs time to themselves. While family time (with the kids) is important – you need time to yourselves to talk, to laugh, to cry.
6. Laugh Together – Watch silly YouTubes (or go on World Star Hip Hop), listen to prank calls (Rickey Smiley is our favorite), go to a comedy show, watch South Park or Family Guy. Do something regularly that makes you both laugh.
7. Communicate in a non-traditional way. If you usually text, try writing each other letters or sending post-cards. If you usually talk – try texting or instant messaging (which is so fun if you’re in the same house).
8. Share your innermost thoughts. By sharing your innermost thoughts – for better or for worse – you let your partner know that you trust him/her.
9. Do something new together. Enroll in a dance or cooking class. Hire a personal trainer to train you both.
10. Become tourists in your own city. Grab a camera and go to the “tourist” parts of your city that you usually avoid. Che & I went to Chinatown recently and had an amazing time looking around in the different stores and eating a traditional Cantonese meal.
Marriages and relationships are like friendships. You have to invest in them and nurture them to ensure that they remain healthy!