Long-term relationships can be tough — we know. But the best thing about being in love is being able to grow alongside your partner. When you grow together, you can build something beautiful, but that requires that both parties do their part to keep things alive and fresh. Check out our tips for igniting the spark again.
Remember those times when your loved one used to do those sweet little things that made you all weak in the knees? Even if they don’t happen often, it’s worth making a big deal over it when he does something nice. Everyone likes to be appreciated.
Try to remember why you fell in love with him in the first place. Be quick to see the positives instead of focusing on the negatives. What you put under the magnifying glass sticks out. Instead of always seeing the flaws, think on the amazing attributes of your partner and put more emphasis on those.
Learn (and speak) their love language.
These days so much focus is placed on sex, especially erotic sex in our relationships. Instead, look for those things, little things, that your partner does specifically that puts the butterflies back in your tummy. Identifying and acknowledging that certain look, the way he wears a certain outfit, how he complements you, or that fantastic dinner he made just for you is where it’s at.
Turn it off to get turned on.
An inattentive audience can eat away at the confidence of the performer. Likewise, your lack of attention can siphon the life out of your partner’s passion. Be attentive, and remember: If you want love then give love. Turn off the TV, disconnect from the internet, unplug from the rest of the world, and give your undivided attention to the one you love. There is no better Valentine gift than this.
Spend REAL time together.
Household chores, grocery shopping, or even doing something with your grandchildren are all activities we frequently confuse with “together time.” They’re not. Real, quality time is spent doing something not because you have to, but because you choose to. Anyone and everyone groans when they have a chore list. Don’t put your relationship on that list. Do something together that is pure pleasure for the both of you.
People love to talk about themselves, and a sure fire way of developing a relationship is to listen actively. Yes it’s fabulous that you want to share all your amazing achievements, but your partner needs someone to listen to them too! Try for one night to focus on the greatness of your sweetheart and you’ll be showered with gratitude. Remove any physical barriers, set down whatever you’re doing, make eye contact, nod your head, and listen. This will make them feel important. Remember… you get what you give. You’ll have your moment to shine, make your partner feel shiny and special too.
Stop being a critic.
Your partner will avoid and eventually resent you if you are constantly criticizing him. If you want your partner to change something, then you need to do it first. Truth is, people are more willing to do or copy a desired behavior if you’re modeling it for them. Other people, including your honey, will watch what you do more than listen to what you say.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.