There are a variety of challenges that many couples face, as we are constantly bombarded by both individuals and couples “living their best life” on social media. Be it celebrities, influencers or accounts that are all about #goals, we can paint a picture in our minds about the great lives other people have and how our own does not level up. When this is combined with the responsibilities in our personal and professional lives, we are lucky to navigate life without crumbling from the demands.
Most of us are aware of the concept of self-care. It is a necessary practice for people to show up as the best version of ourselves and for those around us. Far too often, we neglect our own wellbeing. Whether we are serving people at work, our friends or loved ones, we consistently stretch ourselves to the max. Every now and then, it is even past our breaking point. We are left with the feeling of depletion and our relationships suffer.
Relationships demand and deserve much more than the scraps we give to our significant other at the end of the day. When children are added to the mix, the complexity of relationship maintenance is stretched even further. Couple-care can pick up where self-care leaves off in our intimate relationships. In order to be successful, the idea requires active participation by both people. By focusing efforts on the partnership, your connection will strengthen, communication will improve and romance will re-spark.
Couple-care does not require grand gestures, it’s about finding the ways you and your partner can go the distance while still enjoying each other’s company and having fun along the way. Here are three couple-care tips you can bring to your relationship immediately:
Tip 1: Know and Practice Your Love Language Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages Quiz is the first step in practicing couple-care. By knowing how you and your partner give and receive love, you are able to consciously demonstrate and engage those specific style elements. When a couple consistently provides love to each other in a way that is communicated accordingly, the connection and romance is considerably enriched.
Tip 2: Create Bonding Rituals Find daily practices that are meaningful to both you and your significant other. Start out with an easy task that you already do on a consistent basis, then work from there. In the morning, consider making the bed together then head to the kitchen to enjoy a conversation over breakfast. In the evening, instead of scrolling through emails and social media before falling sleep, discuss the things you were thankful for during the day or talk through goals you have for the next day. By implementing simple, yet significant habits, you will grow closer together in a variety of ways.
Tip 3: Add Surprise, Mystery and Adventure to Your Relationship Shift your mindset so that you don’t feel like couple-care is a duty or chore. Making time for your significant other is vitally important for the vibrancy of the relationship, but it doesn’t need to be mundane or boring. Replace the traditional “dinner and a movie” with an activity that adds adventure to date night. These date activities, or “doing dates” as we like to call them, can even be new experiences for the both of you. For example, surprise your partner with a date once a month, by only telling them when to be ready and what to wear. Leave the rest up to mystery.
Here’s to being the happiest couple you know!
Dana Lam and Marty Kupper are the owners of Fun Fantasy Ritual. This article originally appeared in Arizona Foothills Magazine