Relationships like everything that really matters in life, take work. Truthfully, you can search all over Google to find the secrets to a successful relationship. You’re likely to get all kinds of answers like communicating, showing gratitude, or even having awesome sex. But if there’s ONE thing you and your partner should be doing every night to ensure a happy and successful relationship, what could it be?
Is it talking out your feelings? Cooking together? Or maybe trying something new in the bedroom?
If you're thinking, yes, yes, and yes, that would be correct. But if you think about what all those three have in common, the answer is pretty simple.
“One thing that people should do nightly with their mate is genuinely spend time with them," Alexis Nicole White, relationship expert and author of The Covered tells Bustle. "Offer them unhindered and uninterrupted personal time where you can communicate, watch tv, cook dinner and/or make love. Whatever your choice is, just please put the phones down; shut the computer off and tune into your mate."
While I’m sure many of us like the Instagram-worthy romantic gestures, I’m of the belief that the strongest relationships place more value on the little, everyday things. Because of that, I talked to experts specializing in dating and relationships to get their take on spending time with your partner every night. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Take 10 To 15 Minutes Out Of Your Day To Just Talk To Each Other
"Ask how his or her day was, listen and talk about whatever hasn’t been talked about during the day. Then say, 'Good night, I love you,'" Tina B. Tessina, PhD, Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of How to be Happy Partners: Working it out Together told Bustle. "Loving pillow talk is crucial to a healthy relationship."
"I always recommend carving out at least 10-15 minutes to talk about their feelings from the day with a focus on times they were mad, glad, and sad," licensed clinical psychologist, Bobbi Wegner says."Oftentimes couples come home and report the details from the day but don't focus on their emotional experience. A game like "Mad, Glad, Sad" keeps couple focused on the emotional connection and gives an easy structure to follow."
2. Go To Bed Earlier
Sexuality and media specialist, Kerrin Bradfield tells Bustle that couples should go to bed half an hour earlier every night and lie there talking and cuddling. Turn off the TV, put the phones away, and shut down the laptops.
“Making time for each other to talk without distraction and show affection in your relationship is part of what makes a successful intimate team,” Bradfield says. “Sex doesn't have to be a part of this but you may soon find that you are craving going to bed each night earlier and earlier!”
3. Compliment Your Partner
“Make sure you compliment your partner every night," dating and relationship consultant Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH tells Bustle. "The compliments can be anything; a physical attribute, personality trait, characteristic, something he or she did, and preferably nothing general. The compliment should distinctly identify that this person is your partner, the person you love, and want to be with."
4. Share Your Appreciation For Them
"The number one complaint within relationships is a lack of appreciation from partners — or a sense that we're being taken for granted. This is remedied by telling our loved one a few things each night that we're grateful about them,” The Bountologist, founder of Bountologist, tells Bustle. “A powerful sentiment is to not to expect anything but to appreciate everything. To constantly focus on what you like about the other person, to tell them every day about all the things you like so they know to keep doing them.”
5. Get Intimate
"Sexual intimacy is the most important level of relational bonding,” Dr. Chris Donaghue, Doctor of Clinical Sexology and Human Sexuality tells Bustle. “Every single day you should flirt, be affectionate, or eroticize each other.”
According to Donaghue, letting time go on without some form of intimacy is how couples turn into roommates. “Sex and affection keep couples feeling close and prioritized. Not doing this is the fastest way to create relational boredom,” Donaghue says. “Always try new sexual things, too. There are so many toys, body parts, locations — just keep it important and novel."
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