Just like your diet, job and workout routine, a relationship requires thoughtful attention to maintain, research to enrich, and time to commit for success and happiness.
There is no relationship like the one you have with your significant other. You rely on each other every day, witnessing the make-up-less faces and bad reactions to dinners. You see the good and the bad, and build a friendship along with a loving bond.
Using The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman as a road map, Lindsay Kramer, a marriage and family therapist with Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, gives five tips for how to nurture your relationship and show love to your partner.
Kramer suggests discussing these five tips with your partner and identifying which ones each of you feel are most valuable. Then you can both make a joint effort to add these into your regular routine.
- Share the load.
Pick a chore that your partner doesn’t like to do and complete this task for them. In today’s busy world, alleviating stress for your loved one gives them an opportunity to fill their time with something more meaningful and fulfilling. Your partner will appreciate you for lightening their load, and they will feel seen by you because a gesture like this demonstrates that you know how to help them.
- Disconnect together.
Block out a chunk of time where you and your loved one go screen-free and can spend quality time with each other. Go to dinner, see a movie or take a walk without any digital noise distracting your attention. This can bring increased awareness to the relationship and allows for revisiting what quality time really looks and feels like.
- Hold tight a little longer.
Greet your partner at the door with a long embrace when they return home from work. If your partner appreciates and responds well to physical touch, this gesture will help them to feel loved and supported by you. Also, it can greatly assist in melting away stress and allow them to be present in your relationship.
- Leave love letters.
Whether it’s in their lunch (elementary school-style), in their briefcase or in the car, leave positive, affirming words for your significant other to find later. This can provide them a break from an otherwise busy day, as well as give you an opportunity to express words you normally may not. It also serves as a loving reminder of your feelings for them. Plus, they can hold onto it in the future whenever they miss you or need to hear your words of encouragement.
- Give a little gift.
Surprise your significant other with something they’ve said they wanted but haven’t yet purchased. Buy them something practical that you know they could get good use out of but they wouldn’t normally pick up for themselves. Send them flowers or edible arrangements just because. Gestures like these are great ways of demonstrating your thoughtfulness, thus making the recipient feel admired.
Too much to take on right away? Start with your favorite tip until these small, loving gestures become second nature. Then add others as you see fit.