How To Keep Both Partners In A Relationship Interested, According To An Expert
Whether you and your S.O. have been dating since high school or you're entering into a brand new relationship, keeping that spark alive and ensuring both partners remain interested can be tough. If you both admit that things have become kind of blah lately, don't stress that your relationship might be on the downward slope. When you start feeling distant from your partner, Nicole DiRocco, the relationship coach and expert behind Dating With Grace, suggests being vocal about what you're feeling and speaking openly in a non-threatening way.
DiRocco says that if you've noticed your partner being distant, don't put pressure on them. She advises, "Instead, try saying something like, 'I've noticed you've been quiet, is everything okay?'" She also believes couples can easily lay a foundation together to ensure their relationship runs deeper than surface-level attraction. To achieve this type of time-tested connection, she suggests consistently honoring each other on a deeper level. For her, keeping both partners intrigued means staying physical and emotionally intimate, surprising each other regularly, and setting up regular rituals and habits that remain static throughout a relationship.
To keep your relationship feeling like you're forever in the "honeymoon phase," read on for five easy ways to not only re-ignite that flame — but keep it burning.
1. Learn From Couples Who've Been There — And Made It To The Next Chapter
30 Lessons for Loving , $12, Amazon
DiRocco's go-to book for teaching couples how to keep the spark alive is 30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage . This book, written by Karl Pillemer, PhD (a professor of human development at Cornell University), uses interviews with hundreds of longtime couples and offers timeless, relevant wisdom — covering everything from in-laws, money, children, to sex.
(Psst! Listen to this title on Audible now for a free 30-day trial, including two free audiobooks.)
2. Establish Consistent Relationship Rituals And Habits
175 Best Date Ideas , $13, Amazon
"Establishing consistency in a relationship is important," DiRocco says. "Anything from sitting down every morning for coffee on the patio, to Friday dinner dates, to putting cards in your partner's suitcase every time they leave for a trip is a healthy ritual." By having a fun tradition that you and your S.O. enjoy regularly, you both have something that holds you together, bonds you, and gives you something to look forward to consistently. If you and partner want to add something new to your weekly routine, try referring to this book of fun and fresh dates ideas for any couple. The book also includes blank pages at the end where you can tape, glue, or paperclip any ticket stubs, score cards, or random memories you collect on your outing. One user even raves about "the variety, simplicity, and reality" of the date ideas as being "incredible."
(Psst! Check out this title now on the free Kindle app.)
3. Be Curious About Each Other's Lives — And Stay Curious
DiRocco believes that for a relationship to be successful, two people have to stay curious about each other's everyday lives. If you and your partner have been feeling out of touch with each other's schedules recently, you may feel like you're too busy to sit down and catch up on your weeks. Avoid becoming distant and creating arguments based on feeling out of tune together by setting time aside for just the two of you every week. Cooking meals together is one excellent way to do that.
Invite your partner over for a special dinner, and take time to ask about their new workout class or their newest project at work. Cook your dinner using Date Night In , a top-rated couples' cookbook, that focuses on reducing prep and clean-up time. You'll have fun making everything from home cooked pasta to seafood dishes (plus, you'll be sharing the meal together in less than an hour!).
(Psst! Check out this title now on the free Kindle app.)
O ne Pan, Two Plates is another perfect addition to your intimate night of catching up with each other, and it includes 120 recipes to inspire your delicious dish for the night. Created by couple Ashley and Gabe Rodriguez, these recipes give you simple instructions on sautéing, roasting, mixing, and dicing your way to amazing meals, which will only make your bonding time that much better. Users give this read top ratings for being a "no brainer purchase" that is "worth every penny."
4. Remember To Play
DiRocco believes that play is a vital part of maintaining a spark in any dating relationship. A packable game you can take on your next date to the park (or even the backyard) can have you both laughing and having carefree playtime together.
This advanced badminton and volleyball set is easily assembled in minutes without tools, making it simple for both of you to set up games together. It includes a volleyball with an inflating pump and needle, four steel badminton rackets, and two shuttlecocks. Bonus: This set comes with a deluxe carry bag to keep equipment neatly stored. For an extra twist, invite your friends over for a couple's BBQ and outdoor game night. You'll all feel more bonded after you get your endorphins pumping over a fun backyard game.
But if you and your partner aren't exactly the 'outdoors-y type' (or you're looking for a way to liven up a bad weather day), this book full of couples' games, puzzles, and quizzes meant for you two to work on together can be an awesome source of entertainment. Some of the activities will help you both to get to know each other better by asking each other fun and interesting questions, and others will challenge you to some friendly competition that rewards the winner (loser cleans dishes?).
5. Regularly Surprise Each Other
The next time you head home from work, try grabbing your partner's favorite dessert to enjoy while you both watch the newest episode of Girls. This is especially important if your partner best responds to the "gifts" love language because they'll feel loved and appreciated with your simple and sweet gesture. For an even bigger surprise that leads to lasting memories for both you and your boo, plan a surprise weekend trip to a city that you've always talked about visiting.
Capture memories from your trip with a couples' travel journal specifically arranged to help you take advantage of the time together before it's gone. The helpful tool gives you the chance to record your favorite moments, so you'll never forget how much fun you had together on your getaway. Stash this book on a shelf near pics from the trip, so whenever you're both feeling stressed, you'll remember how much your surprise vacation meant — and head straight to your laptop to book your next trip!
To keep you both off of your phones, bring along a compact instant camera to capture memories and stay present with each other for a true bonding experience. This camera even comes with a self shot mirror for all the cute side-smooch selfies your heart desires. Users give it five stars because they love the instant gratification they get from having their photos print out automatically. DiRocco pointed out that "Surprising each other adds a deeper level of intimacy," so you'll both be enjoying the extra feels from your spontaneous social media-free vacay in no time.
6. Continue To Celebrate Your Partner's Joy
What I Love About You , $8, Amazon
In a healthy relationship, two people have to remain supportive and encourage each other's achievements — especially on bad days. Over time, these basic acts of love can fade or become overlooked, which can ultimately result in a distant relationship filled with disappointment or resentment. Keep each other motivated and feeling supported by taking the effort to tell each other, hitting all the points that matter. This book has fill-in-the-blank pages that let you put your own personal touch on telling your partner why they're your favorite. Just slip it into your partner's bag or briefcase before their next trip, or while they're getting ready in the morning for an added surprise.
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