Has your relationship lost its spark lately? Feeling disconnected from your partner? It happens to many couples after time, so slowly we barely notice it until we wake up one day and realise we're simply sharing a space with someone, as opposed to sharing a life together. If this sounds familiar, here are some tips to help you rekindle your love and connection.
Date Night - schedule a regular date night even if it's only once a month. Take turns organising the dates (and organising a babysitter if necessary). It's crucial that no matter how hectic life becomes, you make the time for each other outside of your home and routine.
Surprise your partner with flowers, thoughtful gifts or actions, not for any other reason than to show your love and appreciation.
Image by ProfDEH (Wikipedia)
Be kind to one another - we're often hardest on the ones closest to us so remember to speak kindly to one another, compliment each other often, communicate when you're proud or pleased with each other, and generally avoid lashing out which can lead to unnecessary hurts and arguments.
Reminisce together by looking at old photos, talking about fond memories, or re-creating your first date.
Communicate effectively by talking openly, looking into each others eyes, honestly listening to what is being said and most importantly ensuring you understand exactly what your partner is trying to convey. Respond in a loving supportive manner and avoid rash reactions. Talk through problems until they are resolved, don't allow anger and resentment from unresolved issues to build and fester. It's okay to agree to disagree sometimes.
Find common interests and spend time together doing them; things like gardening, join a mixed sports team, or maybe take a class together that interests you both, like dancing or learning a language. But remember the importance of also maintaining a healthy dose of independent interests.
Image by Joe Mabel (Wikipedia)
Reconnect every day - find out how you're partner is doing and what is going on in their lives. Talk over a shared breakfast or turn the TV off at dinner and give each other your full attention for as much time as you can. This is a great opportunity to share your feelings, just talk, and reconnect mentally and emotionally.
Touch each other spontaneously and show affection regularly to maintain the physical connection. Get in at least one loving kiss and cuddle each day.
Know each other intimately - your dreams, desires and goals and use what you know to support each other every day in any way you can.
Accept each others differences - they're probably what bought you together in the first place. Don't try to change your partner in any way, it's not easy but you'll both be a lot happier if you can accept one other just the way you are.
One last little tip - make your relationship your own. Don't be afraid to defy convention or step outside the bounds of familial and societal expectations, your relationship can be whatever you want it to be; you're the two people who have to live in it after all.