Because you and your partner should never stop falling for each other.
Remember when you and your spouse were first dating?
You probably did little things for each other all the time – things no one else knew about, or would understand if they did. When you fall in love with someone, you develop your own language; a shorthand for telling each other how you feel. Maybe you hid love notes for each other in unexpected places, had jokes that only made sense to the two of you, or routinely did sweet and thoughtful things for each other.
These are the stories that form the foundation of your ‘how we met’ story, which is so important to whether or not your marriage will thrive over time. But inevitably, once you’ve been together for a while, you stop doing all these adorable things you did during your courtship. You’ve nailed things down; you’ve won your partner’s heart and promised to love each other for the rest of your lives. Do you really have to keep on courting each other? Shouldn’t you be able to just relax?
Sure, you can relax – if you want the spark in your marriage to slowly fizzle out. Because that’s what will happen, if you stop doing all those little things that made your relationship so special in the beginning.
Who did you marry, anyway?
If you’ve been married for a while, you might wake up one day, and it dawns on you that the person you’ve become has very little in common with the person your partner fell in love with. Your partner, too, might have changed quite a bit in the years you’ve been together. Of course, it’s natural that we keep growing and changing over time; if we didn’t, it would be weird and unhealthy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep some of the magic alive, from when the two of you first fell for each other.
Here’s a fun thing to try: imagine that the two of you from years ago could see the two of you now. What would past-you think of the state of your relationship? Would she wonder why you never bother to pick up his dry-cleaning for him anymore, or when he stopped rubbing peppermint lotion into your tired feet while you binge on your latest Netflix obsession?
And here’s another question: when’s the last time the two of you went on a date? Not just out to dinner or to see a movie, but a proper date, where you set it up a few days in advance, plan your outfit carefully, buy a new lipstick, and meet each other at the restaurant bar, where your heart might beat a little faster when you spot each other across the room?
If things are a little stale in your marriage, try bringing back the person your partner fell in love with. Chances are, you could both use the reminder of what made you want to spend your lives together in the first place.
Little ways to keep the magic alive
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas to get things going. You’ll want to adapt them to your own situation and preferences, of course. But these should start you thinking about the way things used to be…
Tell your partner exactly what you love about him. Is it the way he sings to himself around the house? His dimples and blue eyes? How he stops to talk to every dog he passes on the street? Make sure he knows what it is about him that still makes your heart skip a beat.
Go out of your way to do something nice for your partner. When you were first falling for your husband, you wouldn’t have hesitated to add an extra half hour to your commute to pick up that special kind of pie he loves. (Can he even remember the last time had that pie?) Surprise him by bringing home that special something he loves tonight.
Plan a trip together. When you’ve settled into the routine of married life, it can be tempting to spend every weekend catching up on chores, hanging out with your couple friends, and watching television. Instead, plan a romantic getaway like you would have done when you were dating.
Brag about your partner – in front of him. In the grind of everyday life, it’s easy to focus on the things that bug you about your SO. He leaves his socks on the floor, he constantly leaves the cupboards open, he forgot your last anniversary. Let those things go and make an effort to recall all the wonderful things about him. Drop them into conversation whenever possible – tell your friends about his promotion at work, his uncanny baby-whispering skills, or that he built kickass new shelves for the kitchen. Everyone loves hearing nice things about themselves, and feeling loved and appreciated will make him love and appreciate you all the more.
Don’t neglect your sex life. Last but definitely not least, make an effort to keep things hot AF in the bedroom. Physical intimacy is absolutely crucial to the health of a relationship, and feeling like your partner still desires you is essential if you want to keep that flirty, fun feeling alive in your marriage. Don’t put sex on the back burner.
Images via 2sharemyworld.com, lipstickalley.com and pandawhale.com.
Comment: What little things did you do to woo your partner when you first got together?
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