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How to Keep Your Relationship Hot and Healthy

Now that the holidays are over, our lives are slowly going back to the normal. Folks are slowing down, looking at the year ahead and considering changes or improvements. ‘Gonna ask the boss for that promotion? Thinkin’ of volunteering?  Or maybe you need a little something to spice up your relationship.

It’s so easy to take our loved ones for granted, especially long term romantic partners who we see day-in-and-day-out. We have so many responsibilities to prioritize--kids, work, housework and finances. Between paying bills and taxiing the kids around town, it seems impossible to add one more thing to your list of To Dos. Sure, kids and work are important, but they can’t always be your numero uno priority. If you’re relationship doesn’t get nurtured,  it’s likely to become boring or even worse, unbearable. By now you’re probably wondering “what can I do to keep my relationship hot and healthy when time is tight?  Here are five ways to get you started:


1. Don’t Find Time MAKE Time: Nurturing any relationship, whether it is personal or professional, takes time. Even though life’s responsibilities can get in the way, it’s crucial to keep your relationship on top of your list. Often people say they just can’t find the time. The key is you don’t find time, you make time. Make time for a date night once a week.  Set aside 30 minutes before bedtime to talk about your hopes and dreams instead of your kids and bills. Make that time together count. Whether it’s a night out dancing, a relaxing walk, or a fun-loving conversation every Monday night, focus on each other. This kind of quality time can re-center your relationship and keep you on course.


2. Try Something New Together: Maybe you’ve been wanting to try a cooking class, or take salsa lessons. Why not schedule a date to try that out together? Experiencing something new and challenging provides the excitement of learning something new, and also strengthens your ability to work as a team. Think about it--when you have a shared goal, even if it’s something as small as learning to bake a cake, it requires you to work together and connect. It’s simple and a great thing to practice.


3. Gratitude: Another way to keep your relationship hot and healthy is to show gratitude in small ways on a regular basis. You might make coffee for your husband in the morning, or wipe down the bathroom sink after you shave so your wife doesn’t have to do it. One sweet way to show gratitude is to leave a post-it note for your partner somewhere they’ll find it later. Maybe it just says, “thank you for working so hard,” or “I’m  lucky to have you.” Maybe it references an inside joke. The point is that you find small ways to express your gratitude for your partner, and that you are making efforts, no matter how small, to keep your relationship on point.


4. Fantasize:Try fantasizing with your partner, read a hot, steamy novel together or give each other a sensual massage. Check out 50 Shades of Grey, and then go home and make your own movie. Fantasizing is not limited to sex, you can fantasize about anything. Where would you go if you could travel anywhere? What job would you have if money was no object? What goals can you set together to help make those fantasies a reality? As you share or act out your fantasies, or reach your goals, you’ll feel a sense of connection and intimacy from working together to make something happen.


5. Reminisce: It might sound simple, but if you’re feeling like your relationship is getting cold, think about your first date or the first time your partner said “I love you.” Replay those moments in your head. You can even reminisce about these times together. What was it about your partner that excited you? That made you laugh? That made you all hot and bothered? Reminiscing this way can stir up positive feelings that can replace or outweigh the negative ones that creep up after a while. Try telling each other the story of your first date and watch how the memories of that magic come flooding back.


If you aren’t motivated to try all of these ideas, remember one small change can make a BIG difference. If that doesn’t work, it’s helpful and healthy to sit down with a  therapist and process the things that are holding you back, so consider calling K&S Therapeutic Services to schedule an appointment today!


P.S. Is it only me, or does Mary J. Blige’s song ‘Reminisce’ pop into your head every time you see or hear the word reminisce? :-)