It’s no secret that modern life is fast-paced and getting faster every day. In this world, relationships – and all the work they require – can easily be seen as inefficient, time-consuming and simply not gratifying enough.
For your relationship to have a healthy chance of survival, you must take steps to nurture the simple, loving aspects of your union.
1. Share the trivialities of life
Think back to a time when your relationship was new. What did you and your partner talk about? Probably anything and everything.
The excitement of new love propels us to share even the smallest details of our day. Unfortunately that level of sharing often dwindles as relationships mature and responsibilities mount.
Focus on the act of sharing to refuel intimacy. The simple act itself is more important than the specifics of what is shared. So make it a habit to share the trivialities of your day with your partner … and to listen attentively when he shares his!.
2. Communicate through touch
Touch is a powerful way to communicate affection and foster intimacy. Whether you’re sitting across from each other at the dinner table or next to each other on the sofa, make the effort to increase the number of times you touch each other.
Touch also has a calming effect on our bodies, so if you want to create a relaxed, loving atmosphere and make your partner feel special, lean into each other the next time you’re at the movies or watching TV.
3. Hellos and goodbyes
Greeting your partner and saying goodbye are quick and easy to do, but are often overlooked in the chaos of hectic schedules. A warm, expressive greeting can set the stage for the entire day. An affectionate ‘good-bye’ allows you and your partner to emotionally hold on to loving feelings while separated from each other.
You’d be surprised how often couples skip this simple way to book-end their days. It may seem easier to put all your morning energy into catching the 7:15 train and overlook taking the time to stop, make eye contact with your partner and genuinely wish him/her a good day. Don’t fall into this trap.
4. Learn to laugh together
Shared laughter is a sure-fire way to keep the connection with your partner vibrant. When you laugh, you’re tapping into the playful energy that transcends life’s stresses. When you and your partner make each other laugh, this energy feeds intimacy and life becomes a little less daunting.
Make time for mutual playfulness and make fun of life’s absurdities, together – this will help you both cope with stress, develop perspective and achieve a greater sense of togetherness.
5. Show your appreciation
It’s human nature to want to be recognized for the things we do. When you express gratitude, your partner receives the message that you are thankful and are not taking him/her for granted. An atmosphere of appreciation will create positive feelings and deepen your connection.
Don’t fall prey to the expectation-mindset, where you start to believe that your partner is supposed to do all the things s/he does and therefore doesn’t need to be thanked for them – this creates a dangerous atmosphere of complacency and expectation that erodes intimacy.
These five loving acts don’t take much time and don’t cost a cent – but the payoff is huge. Pick one of these behaviours and make it a daily habit.
And remember the virtue of patience – slowly but surely you will be taking steps to protect your marriage or relationship from the fast-paced tempo of life.