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. Kiss For Six Seconds
Based on Dr. John Gottman’s research on romance and connection, Nicole Richardson, LPC-S, LMFT, recommends greeting your partner each time you see each other with a six-second kiss. “A six-second kiss when partners meet can positively alter the interaction,” Richardson tells Bustle.
Since a six-second kiss is long enough to feel intimate with your partner but it isn’t overly time consuming, it’s a great way to reconnect during the week when you may only have a limited free time. Those six seconds before you leave in the morning will linger with you at work, and the six seconds when you return home will give you something to look forward to, allowing the warm and fuzzy feelings to stay with you throughout your busy day.
2. Try A Temporary Sleep Divorce
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. Send A Text When You're Thinking Of Each Other
When you’re thinking of your partner during the day, shoot them a text so they know they’re on your mind. The message can simply be that you’re wishing them luck in an important meeting or presentation, or it can be a more intimate sentiment, Irene Fehr, sex and intimacy coach, tells Bustle.
Sharing these thoughts “can bring people closer in connection,” Fehr says. Most of us spend a good amount of our day glued to our computer or phone, so sending your partner a sweet message can seamlessly fit into the flow of your work day.
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. Go To 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. Have A Daily Check In With Each Other Every Morning
Each morning, you should ask your partner what you can do that day to make them feel “valuable, appreciated, or desired,” Fehr says. Once you and your partner outline what action or words of encouragement you both want that day to feel connected to the relationship, you should make sure to put the effort in to complete that wish for your partner.
One small thing a day can make your partner feel like you are prioritizing the success of your relationship and will make you feel more invested in your partner’s happiness throughout the week.
8. Have A Daily Ritual Of Connection
Pick one simple, low-commitment activity each day to do with your partner. “Maybe each morning on your way to work you call each other and just talk, or maybe you meet every day at the gym and decompress together,” Richardson says. “[Find] something that is in your daily habit that you and your partner can use to talk and connect.”
By choosing a specific activity to complete with your partner each day, you can build them into your schedule and give yourself the comfort of knowing you will connect at least once a day. A couple minutes on the phone, a half hour at the gym, or whatever activity makes sense for your relationship, is an easy way to make an activity you would already do a source of romantic connection.
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. Share Your Daily Highs And Lows
After a busy day of work, it’s nice to get in the habit of either sitting down with your partner or calling them and going over your high and low of the day, Tyler Turk, founder of Crated With Love, a monthly date night subscription box, tells Bustle. This practice helps with “building empathy, building sympathy, [and] reconnecting on an emotional level,” he says.
We often fall into the trap of scrolling through Instagram or streaming Netflix after work, rather than taking the time to hear about the high and low points of our partner’s day. While these self-care activities are important, it’s also important to set time aside to learn about each other and decompress after a hectic schedule
11. Book 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. Increase Physical Affection
Have you ever wondered why a simple hug from your partner can instantly boost your mood? According to Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love, “When you touch your partner, oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’ flows through your body.” It only takes 20 seconds of physical contact for your body to release the chemical, Chlipala says, which leaves you feeling more relaxed and less stressed, and it increases attachment and trust in your partner.
By making physical contact a part of your daily routine, you can both improve your own mental state and strengthen your connection with your partner.
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. Give Your Partner A Daily Compliment
When you wake up each morning or before you go to bed each night, make it a point to tell your partner one thing you appreciate about them. “Make the time for it,” Sarah Watson, licensed professional counselor and sex therapist, tells Bustle. “You most likely schedule everything else, schedule this too.”
If you find yourself forgetting to do this, set a daily reminder on your phone to give your partner a compliment. Whether you see your partner in person every day or mainly communicate over text, it’s important to remind them why you fell in love with them in the first place. Who doesn’t love receiving compliments?
16. Talk About What’s Important To You
Set aside a time each week to talk about what’s important to you in maintaining the health of your relationship, Watson says. “Put down tech and sit face-to-face,” she says. It may be that you need to set some boundaries in the relationship or you want to explore a new sexual fantasy. Regardless of what you feel is important to sustaining your relationship, having that weekly conversation with your partner will make you feel more comfortable communicating your needs and build a stronger foundation for a healthy and intimate partnership.
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. Learn Your Partner’s Love Language
Different people prefer different ways of showing and receiving love from their partner. “Some may prefer to spend as much time with their partner as they can, while others feel connected when their partner helps around the house,” Chlipala says. It’s important to identify your partner’s top love language, so you can make them feel supported.
While in the back of their mind, your partner knows that you love and care about them, sometimes they may need you to put in extra effort to show that you understand what they need from you. If you take the time to learn your partner’s desires, you will both end up feeling more emotionally and romantically fulfilled.
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.
Additional reporting by Eden Lichterman.
In Brief: Hugs Heartfelt in More Ways Than One. Harvard Health Publishing - https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/In_brief_Hugs_heartfelt_in_more_ways_than_one
Candice Smith, sex expert and founder of Two to Tango Intimacy Coaching
Irene Fehr, sex and intimacy coach
Jamie LeClaire, sexuality educator and writer
Stef Safran, matchmaker and owner of Stef and the City
Tyler Turk, founder of Crated With Love
Richard Horowitz, professional educator and cofounder of Growing Great Relationships
Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love
Sarah Watson, licensed professional counselor and sex therapist
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