By: Anne Parker, MA, MHSA.
Cultivate these habits and you will feel a difference in support for each other and keeping the love alive!
#1 Say Thank You
Acknowledging the positive is one of the most effective things we can to do stay connected with what’s working and nourishing a relationship even in the midst of the everyday busyness. Yet it is so easy to focus on the negative, particularly with the people we care about the most. Saying thank you, even for the everyday little things, is a key habit to acknowledge the positive and stay in touch with what you love about that person.
#2 Be Curious
Everyone wants to feel that the one they love is interested in them and cares about what is important to them. Make sure you that regularly create focused time to just talk, ask questions, and share the thoughts and feelings of everyday experiences. Curiosity breeds discovery and ongoing discovery about each other keeps the relationship vital and interesting.
#3 Have Fun Together
FUN! FUN! FUN! Sharing fun and laughter is absolutely critical to keeping relationships alive. Having a “date night” is a popular recommendation as a way for couples to have time together. However, when I talk to couples, what I hear is that their “date night” consists of going to dinner and talking about the kids, the finances, the in-laws, troubles at work, etc. THAT IS NOT A DATE! A date is a time for FUN. Sharing of fun and laughter on a regular basis in all kinds of ways is essential to support love and stability in any relationship.
#4 Respect Each Other
“I love you, but…” How often have you said that or heard it said to you? What does it feel like when you say or hear that phrase? Respecting each other means remembering that you are two different people and honoring those differences is just as important as honoring the similarities. We all want to be respected for who we are and what makes us unique. Giving and receiving that respect keeps a relationship on an even keel, even when there are disagreements.
#5 Cultivate Caring Touch
Touch is so important to our well-being. Caring touch in all of its forms releases beneficial biochemicals in our bodies including oxytocin, the so-called love hormone. Oxytocin helps us feel connected and bonded to those we love. So make sure you are touching in a caring manner in lots of different ways – the playful little caress in passing, the hug when you first walk in the door at the end of the work day, sitting close together so that thighs or shoulders touch, holding hands, making the kiss goodbye more than just a quick peck. A little caring touch goes a long way!