I talk about relationship with some people and I can see their eyes glaze over with the story of it: that it’s hard, that it’s work, and that like Pinterest, it may, possibly, involve a lot of mason jars.
It’s not any of those things. Nurturing the relationship you share with your most beloved can be a whole lot simpler than you would think, but it is super important to do.
It’s like putting gas in your car; not a huge deal to pull over and do it, and it’s really important. We don’t make getting gas for the car a huge, complicated thing, and I would love for you to approach maintaining your relationship the same way.
Today, I will share with you five things that you can do in your relationship each week to spend five hours connecting and being intimate. I know. Five things, five hours, over the course of seven days. It’s really easy, as in peasy.
1. Meaningful Morning Parting
The first thing is to pay attention to how you part in the morning. Instead of grabbing your keys, purse and kids and your lunch and running out the door, grab two minutes, and say goodbye nicely.
This means having a little hug and a little connection, and maybe touching a little as you kiss goodbye. It means wishing your partner the day that you hope they have, telling them that you’re going to miss them or telling them that you’re looking forward to seeing them at the end of the day.
Whatever that means for you, making it a meaningful parting.
At the end of the day, when you get home, be conscious of making your transition to home be meaningful and intentional. What this means is when you come home, instead of saying, “Hey, honey, where you are?” before getting on with the routine of the evening, spending 10 minutes together talking about your days and actually connecting. This can also be physical; hugging, kissing (six seconds is optimum for this.)
This is your opportunity to be the biggest fan of your partner as really listen. You get to acknowledge them, tell them that you’re on their side, and have them know the you are a safe haven. If their day has been difficult, this is your chance to say, “Oh, honey. That really sucks. I wish that that hadn’t happened to you.”
That’s all it is. It’s witnessing each other and being a soft place for your partner to land.
3. Practice Admiration and Appreciation
This means not just saying, “Oh, thanks for picking up the mail, honey,” but actually really acknowledging your partner for who they are in your life, how they show up for you, how they are for your kids, and for the rest of your family. It’s about really recognizing them.
My partner gets up every morning and makes me coffee and breakfast, even when I’m obnoxious and a little grumpy. I thank him because I like to eat and I need to eat, but I also appreciate this because it’s out of respect for my work and the book I am writing that he does this. He has a lot going on, so it’s really special to me that he believes in what I am doing and takes care of me in this way.
This is also about just taking a step back and admiring the incredible human you choose to start and end your day with; tell them what you see.
This can be as quick as a five-minute conversation, and you can even spread it out throughout the day.
Again, this is five minutes a day and I hope it’s rather a fun one. This is as simple as sneaking up behind your partner as they wash the dishes and putting your arms around them, and sharing some affection and some touching.
The ritual at my house is we get into bed at the end of the night and spend a few minutes in the middle of the bed just talking and saying goodnight properly with a little (stress-reducing) skin on skin contact. It’s important stuff.
5. Date Night
The last thing I invite you to practice is date night. This is a minimum of two hours (but two is perfect) once a week, where you escape your lives together and soak each other up. A movie is not ideal because you’re staring at a screen and not each other, but do whatever feels right to spend some time together.
We’ve got to keep nurturing that relationship that started all of the chaos that may be your life. Start to nurture it, or continue to nurture it. At the end of the day, you’re still a couple and no matter what circumstances life is handing you, you still began the same way, and that was a boy and a girl, or a girl and a girl, or a boy and boy, or whatever combination you have, on a date. It was a sweet little spark, and then you added to it.
If you don’t get all these things every day, it’s not the end of the world. This is an ideal world that we’re working towards. If you prioritize it, it means you’re prioritizing your connection and your relationship and I promise that you’re going to have a different relationship if you’re doing these each week.