By Edel Jarboe
Connecting with your partner emotionally and physically is a soothing balm for our frazzled lives. A foot massage and a sympathetic ear give us the chance to recharge our selves and our love lives. But after a long day of putting out fires at work, handling numerous phone calls, writing up that report, shuttling the kids back and forth, cooking, doing laundry, walking the dog, etc., etc.- the last thing on your mind is romance. With so much competing for our attention it is easy to focus on everything but each other. So, how do you find the time to connect with your sweetie? Make intimacy a habit just like your morning coffee and bagel by adding it into your daily routine.
Compliment each other on the things you like and appreciate about each other every day. Let your partner know that he/she is in your thoughts and in your heart.
Create your own simple rituals that show that you care about each other. Find a way to connect during the day with a note, a phone call, or an email.
Listen without giving advice, taking responsibility, or trying to "fix" things. Let your mate enjoy the luxury of knowing that you are really listening. Only give feedback if your mate asks for it.
Talk to each other about what's going on in your lives besides the day-to-day running of the household or office talk. Share what you are feeling.
Hold each other. A simple hug can do wonders.
Instead of the standard, "How was your day?" exchange, pick at least one good thing about your day and share it with each other.
Give each other a kiss when coming and going.
Laugh together - often.
Plan a regular "date" night once a week.
Say the words "I love you."
You may be thinking that your relationship is the one thing in your hectic life that is stress-free, so why change things? While there is a certain level of comfort and predictability in a long-term relationship, the danger is that you may stop listening and may stop "being there" for your relationship. Knowing your mate inside and out can also give both of you the illusion that you can read each other's minds. And this can lead to misunderstandings which, when piled on top of each other, can lead to relationship disasters.
Talk to each other. Listen. Ask questions. Don't assume. As you continue to grow and change as an individual, so will your relationship. Keep the lines of communication open by not tuning each other out. This doesn't just apply to verbal communication either. If your mate feels more like a roommate than a lover, perhaps you should incorporate more "togetherness" into your daily routines. Love is in the little things, in the day-to-day details of our lives.
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