It is the time of the year when life gets hectic and busier than normal.
It is also the time when relationships can get ignored.
Sometimes you don’t even realize it is happening until weeks go by and you finally take a moment to really look at your partner and realize you feel disconnected from them.
Even the best relationships require attention. If your relationship could use a boost, let’s look at three quick things to put a little spark back into your relationship.
Below is from an article in Psychology Today by Amie M. Gordon Ph.D.
1. Express your thanks for something unexpected…
We underestimate how good it makes people feel when we express gratitude, and expressing thanks to your partner can go a long way towards making you both feel good.
Even thanking your partner for doing their job can have major benefits for both of you. So this month, find something your partner does that you don’t usually thank them for, and express your gratitude.
It might be realizing you’ve never thanked them for going to work every day and providing a sense of security, or maybe it’s thanking them for always giving great birthday presents or for being willing to go along with your last-minute plans. Whatever it is, make it sincere and tell them at a time when they can listen, take it all in and enjoy it.
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2. Do something fun together…
If you’ve been in your relationship for a while, it is easy to get into a routine. Especially if you are busy with work or kids, a lot of the time you spend together is just figuring out logistics. These types of experiences are a necessary part of life, but making sure to balance them out with more positive experiences may be key to maintaining your happiness long term.
So this month, plan one fun thing that you can do together, just the two of you. Get out of the house, spend time together, and remember why you fell in love in the first place. If getting out of the house together is hard, then don’t set your expectations too high or you’ll never find the time.
Just schedule a lunch date one day over the next month – go for a walk, try a new restaurant, see a movie. For more on the benefits of doing fun things together, see this post.
3. Take some time to reminisce…
Remembering the ordinary events of our lives brings us more pleasure than we realize. The other day my husband reminded me about a three-page letter I had written him after a fight we had 13 years ago.
I had completely forgotten about it! But I loved making him tell me the story of it all over again. And a few weeks before that, my sister had forwarded me an email I had written to her detailing a weekend biking adventure gone-wrong. The memory made me laugh and sent me searching through my old emails for more old gems.
Try it yourself. Take some time this month to walk down memory lane – go through old pictures, emails, and texts. If you can, do it with your partner and tell each other some of your favorite memories from years ago. Positive memories make us feel good, and sharing them with others helps strengthens our social connections.
About The Author: Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D., is a social psychologist at the University of Michigan whose research focuses on interpersonal relationships and well-being.
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