Flowers, chocolates, and fancy gifts only get your relationship so far. If you want your love to last, it’s the little things that really count.
Celebrate the familiar
Every couple goes through relationship ruts, especially if you’re stuck in the same old routine every single day. But familiarity is only boring if you don’t embrace those routines with your partner. “We have to make our daily lives fun and something that can be celebrated,” says Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, a licensed clinical social worker in Long Beach, California. “The special events [like vacations or weddings] that heighten the enjoyment in our lives should not be the only things we enjoy.” For example, if you and your partner hate doing laundry, change your mindset to figure out how laundry enhances your relationship, whether it’s spending quality time together while you quietly fold or getting 10 minutes away from the kids to talk about your day. Make it your daily goal to find the patterns in your relationship that you both enjoy and focus on the connections these routines create instead of the actual task itself. Here are 20 things happy couples do after work.
Unburden your partner from their day-to-day tasks
Many of us are so absorbed with our daily to-do lists that we’re oblivious to how stressed we are. If you notice your partner feeling overwhelmed, offer to help them without being asked. Sometimes it takes an outsider, like your significant other, to notice your burdens. “We’re so used to responsibility that we don’t think to ask how nice it would be if we didn’t have to do one small part of it,” says Weiss. “Doing something to unburden your partner says, ‘I see that you’re struggling, but I want to help.’” A simple task like offering to pick the kids up from sports practice or cleaning the dishes can show your loved one that they can count on you and have your unwavering support. Or try exercise to lighten the load of burdening stress on your health.
Do an activity that your partner likes
Compromise is essential in every relationship. Sometimes you must step into your partner’s world to do something that makes them happy despite how unappealing the activity seems to you. “If it comes from a place of genuinely wanting to make your partner happy then that’s good for the relationship because you’re giving,” says Joanne Davila, PhD, clinical psychology professor at Stony Brook University in New York. “It has the potential to create positive feelings of being valued, a sense of intimacy, and security in the relationship.” Start thinking of ways that you can be present with your partner, like planning a date around their favorite hobby or interests. Your hometown’s website or newspaper are great resources for finding movies, concerts, or festivals your partner may enjoy. Here are some great outdoor date ideas you’ll want to try.
Say “Thank You”
Imagine what your life would be like without your partner by making a list of the things you would have to do if they weren’t around to help you. If your list is extensive, it may be time to start thanking them for the things you may take for granted, like taking out the trash or cooking a scrumptious meal for you after work. “Thank you” is a magical phrase that gives your partner feelings of value and validation, two things we all look for in relationships. “This is something that they are taking the time to do for you every week so notice it, pay attention to it, and validate it,” says Weiss. “That’s way more romantic and intimate than flowers or candy.” Good morning and good night are just a few other key phrases you should tell your partner on a daily basis for a happier relationship. Here are some more things you should tell your spouse every day for a happier marriage.