Fall is just around the corner. Here in Minnesota, we can feel that telltale crispness in the air. Sales on school supplies have been replaced by bins of Halloween candy. With students returning to school, now is a good time to review the ABC’s and 1,2,3’s of your relationship! These are not deep, life-changing tips, but just some fun, easy ways to bring that back-to-school feeling of excitement and anticipation into your relationship.
Act like kids. This can be hard, especially if you have children of your own. You’re too busy being an adult to have time to act like a kid! We’re not saying you should shun all your responsibilities for a week (or even a day), but sneaking in some time to laugh and be less than serious together can help you to keep things in perspective. So make sundaes for dinner. Get overly excited when you see that your favorite childhood movie is on TV—enjoy a few minutes of it together. Tease each other (good-naturedly). Go out of your way to make each other laugh. Sometimes we just need a reprieve, even for just a few minutes, from the day-to-day seriousness and responsibility.
Be excited to see each other. This gets often gets overlooked or taken for granted when you’re busy with all that “adulting”. But there was a time when the thought of seeing the other person was what got you through the day, and everything else secondary. Try to recall that feeling, and hold it close to you throughout the day. It’s like when you know a package you’ve been waiting for has been delivered, and you can’t wait to get home and open it!
Check in. Remember when you were a kid and your parents would ask, “How was school today? What did you learn?” Take time each day to check in with your partner about his/her day, or perhaps more importantly, his/her mental/physical/emotional state. You might discover that you’re both feeling stressed or overextended. In which case, see letter A!
1 date per week –or at least 1 per month. This is not a new idea. In fact, you are probably tired of hearing that prioritizing date night is important, but it really is! It’s not really about how much money you spend or how dressed up you get (although that can be fun!). It’s about carving out time to focus on, renew, and sustain your couple relationship and sense of being a team, which existed before babies, bills, housework, and everything else that tends to crowd our lives after the honeymoon period is over.
2 gives for every take. Remember learning the concept of sharing or taking turns? Perhaps you have children going through that stage right now. When making friends, it helped to be kind, and you likely put extra effort into being considerate and thoughtful. Your partner deserves this same consideration and courtesy.
3 kisses (at least!) each day. Kiss each other good morning, goodbye, and good night. Kissing helps maintain closeness and intimacy, so even if you barely had enough time to exchange “hi” and “’bye”, you will still maintain a sense of connection, of being more than just roommates or two ships passing in the night.
No one is a perfect student. Implementing all of these tips every day is probably unrealistic, but even trying just a couple of them will hopefully inject some fun and energy into your relationship!