Working late, sorting through emails at home, weekend dinner plans with friends, Sunday brunches with family, meals to prep, endless mounds of laundry, and checkbooks to balance…life happens. Life distractions can cause a huge disconnect between spouses without them even noticing. How many times have you been sitting on the sofa scrolling endlessly on your phone after a long day only to look up and realize your spouse is doing it too? Happens to me all the time and to be honest sometimes I shrug and think to myself I really need this quite time to unwind, we’ll spend quality time together tomorrow. This would be totally fine if I always followed through, but I’m human and it could very easily become a cycle.
Being a little girl and believing in fairy tale love, I never understood how people that were married for 10 or 20 years could divorce and say they just weren’t in love anymore. It never made sense to me. Now I get it, these are relationships where one or both of the partners were not intentional in their relationship. Maintaining love is no fairy tale, it’s actually tons of work and commitment. Part of that is being intentional and making an effort to stay connected. Often I hear from friends in relationships or marriages that they don’t know where to start. How do we get back on track after a season of disconnect?, it’s a common question couples have. Today, I’m sharing 5 ways to reconnect with your partner. These points are powerful and really work when given time and 100% effort!
1.Instate A Daily “Check-In”
At work team meetings are the norm and it’s obvious why. Team meetings provided visibility to what everyone is working on, what projects are coming down the pipeline, and a clear plan for the future. Makes sense right? So why not do that at home! When you get home, whether its at the dinner table or while you’re folding laundry, make sure to get in a daily check-in with your spouse. During this check-in these are objectives you need to meet:
– Give one complement or share something you admire about your partner.
-Offer up a story about your day.
– Make a non-critical or judgmental request of your partner, bonus points if you can end it with a compliment. (When you clean up after dinner please remember to hand wash the sautee pan. The dishwasher never manages to get it as clean as you do!”)
-Ask your partner if there is anything you can do for them to make their life easier or to make them happy.
2.Plan At Least One Date Night A Week
You all know by now that I’m a huge fan of date nights! They are incredibly powerful and important tools in the world of relationships. Remember first dates and how nervous you were about making a good impression? You didn’t reach for your phone, you focused on getting to know each other, and you presented the best version of yourself. That should still be the standard no matter how long you’ve been together. It doesn’t matter what the date is, it could be going out or staying in, but you still need to complete these objectives:
-Learn something new about your spouse. It could be a story from their childhood, or just their new favorite song. Whatever it is, always continue to learn about each other.
-Make sure there is some kind of psychical touch. Love language or not, touch is important. Something as small and simple as holding hands, keeping one hand on your spouses knee, or a quick loving peck can boost relationship morale leaps and bounds.
-Make your date a no phone zone.
I think kissing is the most underrated tool in relationship building, bonding, and reconnecting! Studies show that kissing actually has a bunch of great health benefits, but it also causes our brains to release Oxytocin, which is a chemical that helps us bond and spikes arousal. Kissing also boosts Dopamine, which is tied to feelings of love and desire. You can check out this article for more info on how awesome kissing is. Here are the objectives for kissing:
-Kiss hello and goodbye daily.
-Make time for at least one 7 second kiss a day.
-Make out like teenagers more often!
4.Create A Ritual
Traditions are great. They build excitement and give us something to look forward to. I love creating rituals or traditions in relationships because you know that even when life gets chaotic and busy you still have that ritual set in stone to reconnect. Daily rituals are great, but not always attainable. Instead, try to a weekly ritual. Your ritual can take slightly different forms each time, but it should still be consistent quality time. Mike and I have breakfast together every Sunday morning. Sometimes we got out, sometimes I cook at home, sometimes we just have coffee together on the patio. Whatever form breakfast is in, we still make it happen. This is time that we can talk to each other about whatever, its uninterrupted us time that I know is aways right around the corner. Make sure you’re meeting these objectives:
-Set a reoccurring event for when your ritual will take place, no excuses to not remember.
-No phones, no distractions.
5.Communicate In Your Partner’s Love Language
If you’ve ever felt like you were doing so much to prove your love to someone, but it still wasn’t enough, it’s most likely because you weren’t communicating it to them in their love language. When I read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages it was like I was seeing for the first time! Seriously, it was that eye opening. If you’re praising and sharing words of affirmations with someone who is an acts of service person, chances are you’re not filling their love tank. I strongly encourage every couple to read the book, but if you’re short on time you can read the summary of the love languages on the website. Once you learn and understand your spouse’s love language you can communicate with them effectively and make sure they always feel loved. Be sure to follow these love language objectives:
-Communicate your partners love language at least once a day.
-Ask your partner how you can improve communicating their love to you.