23 Ways To Get Closer To Your Partner This Week
In the everyday chaos of things, it can be easy to get thrown into a routine and stay there. This can be especially true if you have a significant other. With work, appointments, taking care of yourself, and everything else that gets jammed into your daily schedule, it can be difficult to try and squeeze in real quality time with your boo. You might find yourself just going through the motions with your partner, rather than really appreciating the time you spend together. And if this has made you feel distant from your special person, you may be trying to think of little ways to get closer to your partner.
Candice Smith, sex expert and founder of Two to Tango Intimacy Coaching, tells Bustle, "I like to think of relationship maintenance like tending a garden. While the occasional grand gesture can be exciting and great, just as occasionally adding plant fertilizer can help a plant bloom, plants thrive most with regular nurturing and watering. Keep your romantic bond strong with regular small interactions that show your partner how much you care — and your relationship will continue to grow, blossom, and thrive." And if you're looking for ways to keep your garden green, here are 23 things you can do to feel closer to your partner this week.
1. Ask Each Other The '36 Questions'
A 1997 study by several psychologists called “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness" looked at whether two strangers could fall in love quickly by asking each other a set of personal questions. A pair of volunteers in the study got married and the questions also worked for writer Mandy Le Catron when she tried them with a friend after a bad breakup.
As one of the study authors put it, "One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure."
Even if you and your partner are already in love, these questions, which are broken into three sections and progressively get deeper, can teach you things you never knew about your partner.
2. Experiment With Sleeping In Different Beds
In the words of Ariana Grande, "I can't really miss you if I'm with you, and when I miss you it'll change the way I kiss you." In other words, sometimes a little time apart can make you miss your partner and even feel closer to them. If you're used to sleeping together every night, try spending a few nights at a friend's or staying in a different bedroom. A little distance can make both you and your partner miss each other, and result in you feeling a little closer the next time you're back together.
"You may have heard that old aphorism, 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder,'" Smith says. "In the case of sleep, this can definitely hold true. Intentionally sleeping apart can help you feel closer to your partner, for the simple fact that it can reduce conflict over different sleep patterns such as snoring or restless night movement."
3. Wear Something Of Theirs
One of the best ways to feel closer to your partner is to leave your home with a piece of them with you. Whether its their bracelet, watch, sweater, necklace, or hoodie, wearing something that your partner often wears is a great way to feel connected to them throughout your day, and vice versa. It can be a comforting feeling knowing your significant other is going about their day with something of yours by their side. Plus, if you opt for your partner's clothing, there are studies that show that sniffing the clothing throughout the day can actually make you feel happier.
4. Stroll Down Memory Lane
If you've been with your boo for quite some time now, you might be well-adjusted into a routine and have forgotten all the novelty that comes along with being a new couple. Bring it back by recreating your first kiss. Go back to the spot where it happened and let the nostalgia flood you both. This can also lead into a sentimental conversation about your "firsts" and how much you've grown as a couple. It's also a great reminder of why you fell for each other in the early days. Plus, kissing is great for you. "Swapping saliva with your partner causes a chemical reaction in your brain, which releases the love hormone 'oxytocin,'" Smith says. So pucker up!
5. Do Your Partner A Favor
Couples are often told that complimenting each other can make them feel closer. But you can do your partner one better by doing something for them that they had to get done. Jamie LeClaire, sexuality educator and writer, tells Bustle, "Doing something thoughtful that makes your partner’s life easier, like checking something off your partner’s to-do list, can be a great way to feel more connected to them, especially if you know your partner appreciates 'acts of service.'"
6. Explore A Sex Shop Together
A fun and sexy date to a sex store might be just what you need to feel closer to your partner this week. Even if sex toys aren't your thing, just taking the trip with your partner can spark some sultry feelings, or even just laughter at best. "At a sex store, you can ask the trained personnel questions about what items to use and how to use them," Smith says. "Or, grab your computers for some online exploration for new toys and inspiration."
7. Make A Meal Together
If you've been ordering out lately or been packing your own lunches, cooking together can be a fun way to change the pace and do a fun activity together. Follow a cookbook recipe or go rogue. Either way, you'll have fun creating something with your partner and getting to eat it after. Plus, studies show that engaging in activities like cooking and other housework with your partner can improve sex.
8. Plan A Double Date
When you've been with a person for quite some time, one-on-one time can feel routine and ordinary. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality time to feel close to your partner. A great way to switch it up is go on a double date with another couple. In fact, studies show that couples who went on double dates felt closer and more engaged to each other than those who only spent time one-on-one, according to The New York Times. So calling up your friend and their boo for a fun night of bowling or dinner can be a great way to feel more connected with your special person.
9. Work On A Fight You Keep Having
Let's face it: Every couple has arguments from time to time. And if you're noticing that there's one fight that keeps coming up again and again, you can feel closer to your partner this week by agreeing to a "fight plan" so that you can squash the argument in the most effective and mature way possible. Stef Safran, matchmaker and owner of Stef and the City, tells Bustle, "Everyone is going to get into a fight at some point. Agree to have a plan of action so that when things get heated, you don't make things blow up worse. Agree to talk on the phone or in person, but [don't do it via text]." By tackling the issue before it occurs again, you can show your partner you're dedicated to enjoying the relationship and not letting little arguments get in the way.
10. Go Away For The Weekend
OK, planning something within a week can be difficult and a total money-eater, but if you find a nice place just a city or state over, you can plan a great weekend getaway that's sure to make you and your partner feel closer and happier by the end of the week. Planning a weekend trip is great because it gives you something to really look forward to for the whole week and lets you and your partner get away to reconnect and release stress.
11. Schedule A Date Night
Let's face it: It can be hard to remember to go on a date when you've been in a relationship for a while. But dates are so important in a relationship so plan a date night this week.
"It might sound cheesy, but even if you spend most of your time together, setting aside time that is explicitly a 'date night' can help bring that flirtatious intimacy into your relationship," LeClaire says. "Furthermore, doing something high-adrenaline, like going to a theme park, carnival, trampoline park, go-kart racing, etc., can be a way to add another element of excitement and stimulate the release of feel-good endorphins."
12. Book A Room In A Hotel Or Airbnb
A switch-up is always a great way to spice things up and get closer to your boo. So even if you each have your own place or live together, getting a bedroom somewhere else can make it more exciting to sleep together.
"It’s important to get out of that relationship routine, to change up your surroundings, and try new things," LeClaire says. "Also, If you have roommates or kids, a nice night of long, intimate, good-good lovin’ just isn’t possible at your home. Renting a hotel room or Airbnb for the night can be a great opportunity to get the privacy you need to invite more intimacy into your relationship."
13. Try A Brunch Date
If you only get the weekend to sleep in or don't feel like waking up early any day of the week, you might not want to sacrifice a few extra hours for a breakfast date. But going on a breakfast date with your significant other can be a great way to reconnect and start your days with each other. Breakfast dates are the best because they're not as expensive as dinner dates and you can pretty much wear your pajamas or workout clothes out. Let's also not forget how much better your morning coffee will taste with your boo sitting across the table from you, talking about that totally weird dream they had last night.
14. Share A Podcast
Doing almost any activity together can help bring you closer to your partner, but sharing in a podcast, whether together or apart, is a great way to connect. "Listening to a podcast together that you both enjoy is a great way to feel closer to your partner," LeClaire says. "There are so many out there, no matter what your interests are, you can find one do agree on. Listening to podcasts can help you learn and grow together and can help spark conversation. There are several particularly great podcasts about modern sex, dating, and relationships, that can act as great conversation starters and pathways to discussing more intimate topics with each other."
15. Go To The Gym Together
If you usually work out separately from your partner, switch it up this week and go to the gym together. Couples who work out together can feel more intimate with each other because it adds another aspect of your day where you're spending time with one another. This is especially true considering how you can motivate each other and teach each other new workouts. You don't have to go to the gym together all the time if that's not you thing or if your schedules don't allow it, but trying to sync up your times once a week or every few weeks is a great way to feel closer to your partner.
16. Plan A Self-Care Date
Planning a DIY-Spa Day for you and your partner is a great way to relax and take care of yourselves, especially after a stressful week. Whether you choose to do at-home manicures, pedicures, massages, or masks (or all of the above), spending a night in focusing on de-stressing and pampering each other can help you feel a closer connection with your partner. Plus, who doesn't love a good mask selfie?
17. Watch A TV Show Together
If you don't share too many interests or friends with your partners, it can be difficult sometimes to find things to do together. But you can never go wrong with a little Netflix & Chill. In fact, studies show that couples who didn't share friends benefitted greatly from watching TV together. It adds quality to the relationship and even encourages partners to share other media with each other. So, start a show this week with your partner. That way, you can have a nightly or weekly routine that you share and can talk about. Your discussions about the show and mere enjoyment of seeing it together can bring you closer to one another.
18. Download Apps For Couples
We have our phones in our hands all the time anyway, so using it to do something to get closer to your partner can be a fun way to get intimate with them this week. Download "The IceBreak" either on your iPhone or Android and use the app to ask your partner intimate questions you might have never known the answers to. The app is a great way to learn more about your partner and also have fun while doing it. Plus, there are other features on the app like Rewards, which allow you to redeem movie tickets every time you complete an activity on the app. It's a questionnaire and date night bonus in one, free app.
19. Clean Up Together
Once you get into a daily routine with your partner, the idea of doing everything together doesn't seem as appealing. But this week, bring back a few activities like running errands together. Whether it be grocery shopping, going to the post office, or handling those doctor appointments, accompanying your partner or having them accompany you can be a great way to feel closer to them. It allows you to find ways to make fun even out of the mundane things in your life. Plus, running errands with someone is a great way to see how they act under pressure or during monotonous tasks. This can help you see whether or not your partner is the type of person that's going to make everyday tasks seem difficult to complete. It's an intimacy-builder and test all in one!
20. Schedule Time To Talk About Your Days
You might go through the daily “How was your day?” back and forth with your partner, but at this point you may be just receiving routine answers. Get closer to your partner this week by sitting down and scheduling time to really go in depth about your days and your feelings. Richard Horowitz, professional educator and cofounder of Growing Great Relationships, tells Bustle, “Sharing day-to-day experiences increases communication and emotional intimacy in a relationship. It also foster cooperation and effective problem solving strategies which minimizes conflicts.”
21. See Your Partner's Family
Your partner's parents might not be your absolute favorite people in the world but that's OK. Sometimes getting your families together is a great way to feel closer to your partner. You learn a lot about your partner through their parents like how they communicate and where they get their models for love from, and planning outings with each other's family can let you observe these things up close. Plus, if you and your partner are headed toward a larger commitment, it's a good idea to get a jump start on building a closer bond with their family.
22. Schedule 'Screen-Free' Time
Being on your phone all the time can be disruptive to your relationship. In fact, there are studies that suggest that your cellphone use can be impacting the mental health of your partner. Get closer to your partner this week by making a pact to spend some time away from your screens. You don't have to necessarily do anything together. Even reading next to each other or getting work done without screens is a great way to feel present with your partner even while you're preoccupied.
23. Compliment Your Partner
It’s probably a given that you think your boo is super cute, but it might have been a while since they’ve heard it from you. You can make both you and your partner feel all warm and fuzzy inside by complimenting them on something. Whether it’s a new top they’re wearing or about how hard you see them working at their job, showing your appreciation can go a long way. “Liberally expressing sincere appreciation and authentic gratitude for each other helps mitigate the tendency to take each other for granted,” Ahluwalia says.
It can be hard to carve out time for our partners, but routine shouldn't have to make you feel distant from your significant other. Try one of these things or all of them — the most important thing is that you and your partner continue to put in effort to stay connected and close.