by Megan Stubbs
You share a bedroom, a closet, a sink, driveway parking privileges, and more. Am I talking about your college years with roommates or did I just describe your life with your partner? Sometimes it is difficult to remember that our partner, the person we are sharing a life with, should be thought of as more than just a roommate. When the initial high of a new relationship wears off, and the day-to-day routine gets comfortable, it is very common to one day wake up and wonder when the space between you began to grow. Drifting apart is very common in a relationship; life catches up to us, and we sadly forget to make our relationship a priority. But don’t despair! Before you drop the greatest hits by The Righteous Brothers, consider these easy fixes to help you come together and turn “you” and “me” back into “we.”
First of all, congratulations on taking this first step in making your relationship priority number one. Recognize that your relationship needs to take precedence over other matters. Do a quick review of your social calendar over the past month. I’m sure it was filled with work, meetings, volunteering at your child’s class, yoga twice a week, ladies’ night out, and other engagements. Not to discount those, but look at how you scheduled in time for all of those activities, why isn’t “date night” in there? Try allocating specific time for your partner and fit in the rest of these things around that. So what if you miss a night of book club? Time spent with your partner is priceless.
Create something that you and your partner regularly do. It does not have to be anything huge; it can be as simple as having Sunday coffee together or going to bed 10 minutes early to talk. Whatever you decide to do, take advantage of the face time. Studies have shown that simply cuddling with your partner will release oxytocin, colloquially known as the “love hormone” and will help strengthen your bond. Maybe institute a daily check-in where you can just say “Hi, thinking of you. How is your day going?”
Go off the Grid
Technology is great, but it can blur the lines between home and work. Even if it is for 30 minutes, shut it down. Odds are the evening e-mail you get from your boss isn’t likely to say “Hey, great job on the presentation today” but rather, “Oh snap, we have an emergency and I need you in early tomorrow.” Yes, I know you are in a group text with your girlfriends, but they can wait to hear your thoughts on the latest happenings on Scandal. Turn it into a game by putting your cell phones in a basket out of eyesight and see who can go longest without checking it.
Encourage your partner
Being supporting seems like a given, but don’t overlook its importance. Who is the cheerleader for your partner? Their boss? Their friends? I wouldn’t count on it. Remind your partner that you are in their corner and that you believe in them. Tell them how proud you are of them taking on a new project at work. Compliment their strengths. Acknowledge their efforts. Remember why you fell for this person. Tell them that you love their sense of humor and when they smile. Don’t be inauthentic; that will come off as forced. Just keep it simple and honest.
Surprises are easy to do, and you can do it today! Your partner comes home from working thinking its “Taco Tuesday,” but in actuality you’ve made reservations at the new sushi joint in town. Your partner reaches for their keys in their coat pocket and finds a pair of panties. Oh, how did those get in there? Your partner brings in the mail, and there is a silly card with a handwritten letter addressed to them from you. Anything that is out of the ordinary is sure to make your partner stop and take notice. Keep them guessing, sly vixen.
Dr. Megan Stubbs is a Sexologist, the job you never saw on career day. For insightful tips or a good laugh, find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SexologistMegan.com