Do you ever feel like you catch up with your partner infrequently, often late at night when you’re too tired to speak? Or when your timetables happen to collide? There are work dinners, school outings, sporting practice, dinners with friends, homework to supervise, household chores and so the list goes on. Do you feel like you need to make a date night just to spend some one on one time with your other half? Time when you’re not sleeping?
If this sounds like you then I’m sure you will enjoy these tips for keeping each other close at heart, even if you can’t always be as physically close as you’d like.
It’s all about communicating and sharing the little things that make up our lives. Here are ten easy ways to make your feelings known:
1. Birthday love letter. There is something powerful about a letter. A few years ago my husband and I agreed to write a love letter for each other’s birthday. I think I picked it up from a magazine article about Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. Apparently it’s something they used to do in lieu of expensive presents. Obviously it didn’t work for their marriage but we’ve found it has become the part of our birthday celebrations that we enjoy the most.
Writing down all the things that you love about the other person and then giving it to them is a very personal and thoughtful thing to do. In many cases it’s better than any gift you could possibly imagine and something to appreciate and cherish even when the birthday is a distant memory. You can do it for your children too if you have any and they will never need to doubt that you love them. Of course, you don’t have to wait until it is your loved ones birthday to send them a letter – anytime is a good time to tell them how you feel about them.
2. Sit down and talk about your day. When we can we sit down at the table to eat our evening meal and take it in turns to talk about what we did in our day. Even our two and a half year old joins in. For a long time he would talk about who he saw rather than what he did but now he’s getting the hang of it. The other thing we take it in turns to do is name the best and worst things that happened that day. Sometimes so much happens each day that it helps to pause and reflect on what were the highlights and lowlights.
3. Celebrate all your partner’s successes with them – from a high five to a glass of champagne. Whatever the scale of the success calls for, make it a joint celebration.
4. Allow yourself to be impressed by your partner and let them know. ‘I’m proud of you’ is something that I think everyone loves being told by someone they care about.
5. Never underestimate the power of a hug – train your kids to hug you back. My five year old son Jack loves hugs. He loves giving them and getting them. Sometimes he will spontaneously hug someone if he feels they are a bit sad, although usually he asks first if they would like ‘a Jack hug’.
6. Send them a photo that means a lot to you and tell them why it’s important – you could use a Show & Tell Card. It’s a new type of greeting card that lets you stick your photo on the front and is blank inside so you can write what you like. Go to http://www.showandtellcards.com for more information.
7. Share an experience. It could be a movie, a new CD, magazine article, or a short story. Talk about what you read or saw and why you liked or disliked it. And do it regularly.
8. Compliments. Everyone loves getting them so never pass up the opportunity to give one of these reliable mood boosters. You can give them in person or write them on a small piece of paper and leave them somewhere unexpected for your loved one to find.
9. Dance. It doesn’t take long to find a great song you both enjoy, put it on and dance around the living room floor – probably 5 minutes maximum but it is a wonderful way to physically reconnect with each other in between dinner and desert or at the end of a long evening or you could make it an unusual way to start your day.
10. Thoughtful gestures. Doing something unexpected, especially when your loved one is busy and stressed, is a lovely way to show that you understand what they are going through and that they have your support.
Showing your partner how much you love them need not take a lot of time and you will be rewarded many times over for your effort. Get loving today!