As Valentine’s Day approaches we get a lot of messages from the world about love and romance, but sometimes we’re not feeling as much in love with our partners as we’d like to. Here are 5 ways to connect more lovingly with your partner starting today:
Create a “hello” ritual
A kiss, a hug, a funny line (“Hi sweet cheeks!”)… Let your partner know—and remind yourself—that you’re happy to see them. Had a rough day at work? The kids are wearing you down? Even more important to take a few seconds to renew your connection with the person who supports you through the hard times.
Talk about your day for at least 10 minutes
With the hustle and bustle of life it’s easy to use your end-of-the day time to zone out in front of a screen. That’s fine, but make sure you and your partner are aware of what’s going on in each other’s lives by talking about it a little, every day.
It’s not a new concept, but it’s so important. How can you connect when you never actually spend uninterrupted time together? Put it on your calendar, hire a sitter, and get out there together. On a regular basis.
I bet you can name at least 5 annoying things your partner has done recently without even stopping to think about it, but can you name 5 ways your partner is awesome? It’s a natural human tendency to focus more on the bad than the good, so make yourself stop and acknowledge your partner’s lovable traits and behaviors. Did they follow through on something they said they’d do? May not seem like a big deal, but not everyone does it. Were they sweet to the kids this morning? Tell them. A culture of appreciation goes a long way toward building a more positive atmosphere in your home.
Give them the benefit of the doubt
Do you find yourself assuming the worst about your partner sometimes? Thinking they did something irritating on purpose or just because they’re inconsiderate of your feelings? That’s always possible, but it’s also possible they just forgot or were distracted or they really were going to do it in five minutes. While we don’t want to overlook major issues for the sake of harmony (like violence, substance abuse, or infidelity), try to assume your partner is doing their best and their mistakes are temporary deviations instead of permanent character flaws.