Change The Status Quo : Do Some Romance

By Rachel Swalin

Keep The Romance Alive

With everything going on in the life of the average couple, it’s easy to forget the small gestures that keep a relationship ticking. What most couples don’t realize, though, is that it doesn’t take much to help your partner feel more valued every day. “Stringing together these little things is an ongoing way to make change in your relationship,” says Gail Saltz, MD, Health‘s contributing psychology editor. The expert tricks here can fit easily into any routine—in minutes you’ll be on your way to building a stronger connection and lasting bond over time.

Turn Off Your Smartphone

If you’re glued to Facebook during dinner, then it’s time to unplug. A study published in Computers in Human Behavior looked at data from 1,160 married people and found a negative correlation between heavy social media use and relationship happiness. “When angry, some people may turn to texting to avoid saying something,” Dr. Saltz says. “It’s a way of creating distance.” While it doesn’t hurt to send a flirty or loving message, it does pay off to be more direct with your partner when something is really eating at you.

relationships

Go To Bed At The Same Time

Feel like you never have a free moment together? Hitting the sack at the same time will help. “Bedtime might be the only opportunity you’re alone together all day,” says Barton Goldsmith, PhD, author of The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time. Even if you’re a night owl, you can always stay in bed until your partner drifts off. You should also make sure you’re both getting a healthy amount of shut-eye.

A study from the University of California, Berkeley looked at the sleep habits of more than 100 couples. Those who reported poor sleep were much more likely to argue with their significant other the next day.

Brew A Cup Of Coffee For Your Partner

Grand gestures aren’t the only way to express your love. Something as simple as brewing your partner a cup of coffee in the morning helps improve your relationship, says Terri Orbuch, PhD, a marriage researcher and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great.

Orbuch has studied 373 couples for more than 28 years through the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center, and her research shows that frequent small acts of kindness are a predictor of happiness in a relationship. “People may feel taken for granted,” Orbuch says. By doing these small tasks on a regular basis, you’ll help your partner feel noticed.

Bring Up A Funny Moment From Your Past

Sometimes the best memories are the funny ones. In Motivation and Emotion study, couples that remembered laughing together—like the time a grocery store clerk did something funny in the checkout line—reported greater relationship satisfaction than those who remembered experiences that were positive, but not necessarily when they’d laughed. “Laughter reminiscence packs an additional punch because people relive the moment by laughing again,” says study author Doris Bazzini, PhD, a psychologist at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

Work Up A Sweat

It’s no secret that getting buff helps you out in the bedroom by boosting your endurance, strength, and flexibility—but a sweat session also has more immediate effects. “Endorphins from exercise give you an adrenaline rush that boosts arousal,” Orbuch says. Activities that get your heart rate up, like hiking, running, or biking, are guaranteed to have a positive effect on desire. “Any kind of arousal rush can be transferred to your partner and add passion to your relationship,” Orbuch says.

Ask A New Question

As a couple, you probably spend most of your time chatting about work, your kids, or your friends. When’s the last time you stopped to ask something new about each other? Everyone changes as relationships progress, Orbuch says, so it’s likely your partner has different interests and passions from the early years of your relationship. So ask your partner about anything you wouldn’t normally—movies, music, even what you’d do with lottery winnings.

Source: health.com

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