Have you ever looked at another couple and wondered how they manage to look so “connected” and in love even though they have been together what seems like ages? It is quite amazing how other couples often look so constantly in love while you might be struggling with your own.
However, keep in mind that nobody knows about another’s ups and downs and there certainly is no such thing as a perfect relationship or partner. Once you have that out of the way, you can start building a stronger, lasting relationship with your partner.
The foundation of a strong relationship especially when you are in it for the long-term, is based on honesty, communication and intimacy. Keep in mind that intimacy ranks the highest as without intimacy there will be no honesty and neither will there be communication.
Especially with the hectic lifestyles all of us have, between work and home, making time for family and friends, your relationship suffers unintentionally.
- Weekly Communication
Don’t leave it for a later date to address issues and do not allow storms to build up until you have a massive argument. It is a scary suggestion to put time aside specifically for a “sit-down”. What if it escalates into a massive fight, bitterness or resentment?
More often than not when you continue to let things slide, it remains with you until a bunch of trivial things collectively leads to an explosion. Make it a weekly thing to calmly, rationally and in a loving tone, give each other a turn to talk about anything that might be bothering him or her.
Listen without interruption, take turns and have a productive and healthy discussion. Also, agree on not bringing up past bothers after your weekly sit-down. Sort out what’s bothering you and your partner about the past week and you will experience an increased level of intimacy.
- Purposefully spend time apart
When you first met, you couldn’t wait to see each other, make plans, look deep into one another’s eyes, shared feelings and everyday things, have wild sex and couldn’t keep your hands off each other. With time, it changes and not necessarily for the worst.
By now you know each other deepest desires, secrets and could almost finish each other’s sentences. You are used to each other and there are no more surprises with nothing new.
You might learn to take each other for granted and less appreciative of the little things that made you the awesome couple you once were….
It’s time to spend healthy time apart, not too long that the other one gets too used to being without you to start actually enjoying it. Just long enough to give each other time to miss the other. Not only will both of you have some “me-time”, but you will recognize and appreciate what the other one does for you.
It will be amazing when you see each other after a couple of days, there will be so much to tell and share and the longing will be evident and intimacy strengthened.
- Go for a couples massage
While sex isn’t making the top of the list to build intimacy, touching and knowing where and how to touch is an excellent way to build intimacy that lasts. How do you spend your time during foreplay? Intimacy isn’t how great you or your partner’s performance is in bed. What is more important is to know how and where to touch each other. Do you even know where your partner’s most erogenous zones are? Are you too shy to tell him or show him what you really like?
Book a couples tantric massage workshop and learn how to touch each other. Learn what a significant difference something like a massage will do for your sex life but also increase intimacy and deep connection. You will learn to be in tune not only to your partner’s body but your own too.
- Have a day with zero rules
It might be close to impossible to imagine a day where nothing matters and nothing is planned. But once you try it, you will see it is very doable and you will do it again. Make a conscious effort with your partner to have clear schedules for an entire day, over a weekend.
Forget about laptops and mobile phones. Don’t plan any meals, don’t have any rules, except for spending the day with each other with no friends or family. Do whatever you feel like, whether it’s staying in bed and snacking, or watching Netflix all day.
If you want to take a run, it must be what both wants, go play tenpin bowling or going out for a meal, as long as the entire day is unplanned, thoroughly enjoyable with just each other for company.
- Shop and cook together
You shouldn’t expect your partner to go grocery shopping and buy cleaning materials with you (unless he suggests it) but shopping for ingredients for a meal, that’s different. What a great way to build intimacy than to cook together over a glass or two of wine.
Let him choose ingredients or plan together who cooks what and allow him to pick ingredients and see how much fun it could be. It’s a great way to experiment with food while you learn more about their food preferences.
- Get a common activity
What do you both love? There must be something, from fishing to watching or taking part in a particular sport to birdwatching, reading, watch movies, going to a show, etc. Actively enjoy your similarities even if it is playing video games together, running or surfing. Find it and share it as doing things together will keep your connection exciting.
Keep in mind that no two couples are the same if your girlfriend’s partners love cooking with them and yours dislike it, find something else. One, two or three of the above ways to strengthen a long term relationship should apply to you and your partner. Never compare your relationship with another person’s. It is your life, your partner and the two of you are what both should concentrate on.