Let’s admit it; it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind. Wrapped up in things like work, outside obligations, keeping up with the demands of running a house, Mom and Dad duties, etc., we can easily lose our way in our relationship. In my practice, I see too many couples who have let their relationship take a backseat to everything else. These relationships are headed in a downward relationship spiral, and sometimes seem almost too late to repair. If you can relate, you may be wondering: How can I get control of this runaway train?
The key to getting your relationship back on track? Become intentional about where your relationship is headed—take the controls! Remember, your relationship is meant to be your anchor in a swirling sea. In order to fit that bill, it’s important to make it one of your greatest priorities.
Here are six ways to show your partner that you value them and that your relationship means everything to you.
1. Create a daily ritual
This can be as simple as kissing good morning, enjoying a 30-second hug before bed, or greeting them with a cup of tea when they arrive home from work. These small rituals show your partner you are thinking of them. Even just a few minutes together is important (and certainly better than nothing!). To further enhance the bond, come up with an idea for the daily ritual by brainstorming together at least one small thing to do each week.
2. Show Gratitude
Show your partner how much they mean to you by listing 5 things you are grateful for or appreciate. Give them the list or leave a little note each day mentioning something new. When they partner with you to clean up the kitchen, bathe the kids, or make dinner, thank them and tell them you appreciate their efforts.
3. Step outside of your comfort zone.
If your spouse likes to go dancing with friends, but your idea of a fun night is watching Dancing With the Stars, try their preferred activity. You might even bring up the idea of taking a dance class together. Stretching beyond your limitations demonstrates that their interests are as important as your own. Your partner will also be more inclined to reciprocate.
4. Talk about it.
Keep lines of communication open. Take time to discuss the importance of and your desire to prioritize your relationship. Love that lasts is based on the active, positive choices by each partner. Don’t just react in any given moment; think about shared visions and goals for your relationship and discuss them with your partner. Imagine together what you would like your relationship to look like in five months, or even five years.
5. Mark your calendar.
For some, the thought of having to schedule date night is a big turn-off. But, just as you schedule other priorities, like doctor visits and meetings, mapping time with your spouse is sometimes the only way to ensure that it happens. If it’s on your calendar, that makes it real.
6. Be present.
Nothing is more important to making a relationship a top priority than to be truly present for each other. Practice being mindful of each moment that you share together. Enhance your experience by taking in your surroundings, sensations you are experiencing, and the emotions that it generates. Acknowledge and appreciate all the feelings that come to the surface during these moments.