Happy couples have a number of habits in common, but what they do during the day matters just as much as what they do come evening time. If you feel like your nighttime habits with your partner are dull, you might want to pay attention to the interesting things happy couples do before bed. Imitating these habits might help you improve your relationship — or maybe just make your bedtime a little more enjoyable and your sleep a bit more peaceful.
"Being conscious of what your partner is thinking and feeling at bedtime is a relationship enhancer," says relationship counselor Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH over email. "Couples who check in with each other about feelings and concerns are more likely to have an active and healthy connection which translates into a good sex life. Couples who live in their own little world and are all wrapped up in their own issues and problems might find themselves sleeping all alone on the other side of the bed."
Whether you're trying to keep the spark alive in your relationship or you're just trying to go to bed more relaxed and connected to your partner, consider copying some of these eight interesting things happy couples do before bed.
1They Have Intimate Conversations
"Some couples like to talk about their feelings, hopes, desires, and their love for one another before they go to sleep," says Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S over email. "This helps them build trust with each other and to feel safe and connected."
2They Catch Up
Not all pillow talk has to be serious. Even just catching up about something trivial can be a great way to connect. "This doesn’t have to be anything deep or even a discussion of how each person’s day went," says Weiss. "It can just be a little bit of inane chatter about the latest TV show or office gossip or whatever. The simple act of talking and showing interest in each other is an affirmation of the relationship."
3They Put Their Phone Away
"Turn off phones, your computers, and the TV," says Thompson. "Making a rule of no electronics in the bedroom is a nice rule to have to bring the two of you together. It will allow more conversation to happen more easily and allow yourself to feel more connected to your partner without interruption."
4They Are Physically Intimate
Even if you're not in the mood for sex, physical intimacy is important. This could be something as simple as cuddling. "Making physical contact before bed is another way of connecting with your partner," Melissa Divaris Thompson, LMFT over email. "Having physical touch or making love also allows us to feel more connected and bonded."
5They Compliment Each Other
It feels good to fall asleep knowing you are loved and cared for. "I often give couples the homework of sharing with each other three things they appreciate about the other person," says Thompson. "This can strengthen a relationship, and even though it sounds simple, it’s amazing how much of an impact it can make."
6They Make Eye Contact
"It sounds simple but many couples don’t look at each other," says Thompson. "Getting into bed, putting your cell phone on silent, and just being with each other is a beautiful way to connect." Gazing into your partner's eyes can actually increase arousal, according to Psychology Today.
7They Have Sex First
Sex of course is part of a healthy relationship, but happy couples have sex right when they get into bed instead of waiting until they're too tired. "If you want to have sex, don’t procrastinate," says psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. over email. "Have it as early as possible, while you’re still awake and have the energy. You can get out of bed afterward if you want to, and then do your nighttime routine."
8They Resolve Their Issues
Going to bed resentful of your partner is going to have you waking up feeling bitter and disconnected. Happy couples don't go to bed angry. "If you just got into an argument with your partner before bed, try to mend it just enough where you can find a little common ground before going to sleep," says Thompson.