Play some basketball on your driveway
Ask about each other’s day (for real)
If you need help around the house, just ask him.
In the first part of 30 Days, 30 ways to improve your relationship you learned among other things that saying thank you, taking risks in the bedroom and asking your guy for advice can improve your stale and predictable relationship. In part two you will learn among other things that asking for what you are missing and complementing your guy will also help you turn back the clock to those early sexy and exiting days when you first became a couple.
1. Kiss more often
Kissing. Remember kissing? We’re not talking about the 2-second peck on the lips – we’re talking those deep, slow, mouth-open kisses. You both used to look forward to it, greet each other with it, brag to your friends about it. So how did it get so completely lost in the shuffle? “Kissing becomes a forgotten act for many couples in long-term relationships, unless it’s during foreplay,” says Kerner. “But kissing is probably the simplest, sexiest act there is.” In fact, he says, “Couples who kiss regularly tend to have sex more frequently.” And sex doesn’t need to be the only incentive; sometimes relationships just need a little mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
2. Be the first to apologize
Arguing about little things like chores, picking up the kids or spending some extra money doesn’t have to be about who’s wrong and who’s right. Do you want to keep hovering over the tension or do you want to move forward? If it’s the latter, it might require you being the bigger person – if it makes you feel more comfortable, try using humor to get there. “Too often men get stuck on their pride and don't even remember what they're angry about,” says Kerner. “When a woman makes the first move towards reconciliation, it often saves the situation from escalating.” And there may be a racy reward, he says: “The nice part about fighting is the make-up sex to follow.”
3. Ask about each other’s day (for real)
It’s easy to go through the motions of checking in with one another, when your minds are really on grocery lists, carpool schedules and clients. But how can your relationship grow when you don’t really know what each other is up to during the workday? (That’s where you spend an average of nine hours of every weekday, after all). But just asking the right questions isn’t enough: “Don't just pay lip service to what he says,” warns Amatenstein. To show that you’ve been listening, be specific: Ask about an ongoing situation, or how a work project he’d mentioned turned out. “It will mean the world to him that you actually pay attention and are invested in his work life."
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4. Talk about your future plans
How do you want to spend next weekend, your next vacation, even your retirement? It offers a sense of security to know that, however you spend it, you’ll be spending it as a pair, even if you’re only daydreaming – and a little playfulness can even add to the fun. “For couples, it’s ‘two against the world,’ so talking about your plans in a way that’s positive and aspirational can bring couples closer together,” says Kerner. “Discussing babies, buying a house, and growing old together help couples to bond emotionally.” It can even enhance the desire for intimacy, he adds.
5. Ask for what you’re missing
One of the most common mistakes couples make is resenting one another for not knowing what the other is thinking. If you have to ask, where’s the romance, right? But romance is one thing and being realistic is another. “Your partner is not a mind reader,” says Amatenstein. “He wants to make you happy, but needs instruction on how to make that happen."
So if you need a shoulder rub? Ask for it. If you need more help around the house? Ask for it. And, if you need a date night? Ask for it – or, better yet, take control and plan one yourself.
6. Surprise him
It’s easy to fall into a routine in a long-term relationship, particularly once you’re living together. And, while making a joint decision to break free of it is nice – i.e. Let’s go to breakfast on Saturday morning for once, instead of sleeping in! – deciding to do something special for him without him knowing about it is even nicer. “Bringing fun little surprises to your daily life keeps things fresh in your relationship,” says Meyers. So call him to tell him you’ve scheduled dinner reservations… on a Monday when he least expects it. When he tells you he’s running late, DVR his favorite TV show so – surprise – it’s waiting for him when he gets home.
7. Practice reflective listening
You often wonder if he hears the sounds coming out of your mouth – or if he’s really listening to what the words mean. There’s a surefire technique you can both try to make sure it’s clear that you’re truly paying attention – it’s called reflective listening. In response to what the speaker is saying, the listener paraphrases each idea out loud. For example, if he’s talking about vacation ideas and suggests Miami, San Diego or the Caribbean, you might respond by saying, “So it sounds like you’re envisioning us going somewhere warm on our next vacation.” The goal, says Amatenstein, is to “ensure that you actually understand the point your partner is making, versus him assuming you understand,” explains. But it’s a skill that takes time to master so be sure to keep practicing; it will feel less forced over time.
8. Do “his” housework sometimes
Is there anything better than waking up to find that your guy emptied the dishwasher after you went to bed? He feels the same way when you handle household chores he’d been putting off, especially when he’s busier than usual. “Being considerate of your partner is the gift that keeps giving,” says Amatenstein. “Not only will he feel he is more than a 'task-mule,' he'll be more inclined to do chores for you when your schedule is crazed." And surprisingly it’s the little to-dos, like picking up milk when you see you’re running low or replacing a light bulb that can be most noticeable.
9. Give compliments...daily
He knows you think he’s smart, funny and sexy. Why else would you be with him for so long, right? Not necessarily. Even if he’s the most confident man on the planet, he’d probably still love to hear about how you feel about him more often – and compliments are a great place to start. “Giving compliments provides a necessary reminder that you find your partner physically and emotionally attractive,” says Meyers. “And practicing this will make your partner feel warmer toward you.” So the next time he tells you about a success at work, let him know you’re not surprised he’s so well-respected. The next time he wows you with his knowledge of American history, tell him you’re impressed with his social studies smarts. And the next time his butt looks extra-cute in those jeans? Let him know!
10. Do an activity intended for kids
Playing basketball on your driveway, hitting the zoo or an amusement park, even the swings at your local playground isn’t just for kids. In fact, a sense of child-like fun may be just what you need to fill a void in your relationship when you’ve reached a point where all you talk about is dull, dry, grown-up stuff. “Too many adults forget to incorporate play into their lives,” says Meyers. “And play can be fun in and out of the bedroom.”
Find out more tips in part 3 of this article.
The content for this article has been gathered from different online sources.