Feel your relationship floating away? Ask yourself if you’re headed down the same path with your partner—literally.
Here are five tips guaranteed to keep your relationship strong—and on the right track.
1. Share a Chuckle In the language of love, laughter is key. Reminiscing about inside jokes can give you a bigger boost of satisfaction than recalling a laugh you had on your own. More importantly, the shared laughter doesn’t have to stem from positive circumstances. So go ahead, laugh together about that time you fell down on the sidewalk or made a major faux pas at a family function.
2. Try a Foursome No, not that kind. We’re talking about a double date. Friendships with other couples can help solidify your relationship. The reason: Seeing your girlfriend or wife being social at her best can make her more attractive and reveal new aspects of her personality. Interacting with another couple can also give you a model of what to strive for (the way they compliment each others sentences) or what to avoid (the way they bicker).
3. Compliment Her In the long run, small gestures mean the most. Give compliments, offer encouragement, and use subtle gestures like handholding. It shows your partner that you notice them and you don’t take them for granted. Try these daily: Tell your girl she looks great in her new jeans, give her a hand with the dishes, send her a middle-of-the-day sexy email, or fill up her fuel tank.
4. Deepen Your Conversation When was the last time you talked about anything other than the kids, work, or household chores? Knowing more about your partner in four key areas—friends, stressors, life dreams, and values—can increase overall happiness. In fact, 98 percent of happy couples said they intimately knew and understood their partners. Your move: Ask her about a happy memory from her childhood, to name the three worst songs of all time, or what her favorite movie is and why.
5. Shake Things Up
Playing hooky won’t always land you in hot water, so skip the same old, same old and fight your way out of a relationship rut by adding variety to a vanilla routine. Skip work and do something fun together.