Jordan Gray offers six simple hacks to spice up your relationship, for the long haul.
With online dating and booming big city populations changing the dating scene in a massive way, relationships are suffering. It’s easy to devalue intimacy when the frictionless market of dating allows you to get out of your current relationship and into a new one within a few days.
But you’re not here for the easy way out. You’re here to push yourself to grow and be the best possible partner that your ideal partner could hope for.
Through working with my clients over the years I have noticed a few trends in all of the most highly functioning relationships I have witnessed. As with most of my articles, if you even implement a couple of these tips into your relationship, you will see clear results in the way that you and your partner interact with each other.
Here are half a dozen hacks for a thriving relationship…
1. Date Them Like They’re New To You
In the beginning of a relationship, you are on your best behavior and put in a lot of effort. Then you feel like you’ve won them and you stop trying as hard.
If you date them like they’re new to you at all stages of the relationship, it not only makes them feel more appreciated, it also makes you more attracted to them. Our minds have this cool little mechanism around commitment and consistency (and if you’ve ever studied sales psychology then you’ve likely heard of this little trick). Basically it states that whatever we do, our mind forces us to believe consistent thoughts with our actions. “You’re doing nice things for your girlfriend again? Well you must like her a lot!” *cue flood of happy brain chemicals*
2. Focus On Freeing Your Partner From Their Blocks
Your goal throughout your entire relationship is to help your partner become as free, open, and unrestrained as possible.
We all have blockages in our emotional lives. Life can be tough and no one gets through without a few bruises.
Maybe your partner feels self-conscious about their body because society has told them that they aren’t tall/short/skinny/beautiful enough. Worship it. Love it. Kiss every inch of it until they can feel your desire for them dripping from the love and intensity of your gaze.
If you and your partner mutually set the intention of focusing on helping the other person work through their blocks and become the most open version of themselves possible, you’ll both benefit.
There is an endless barrage of things fighting for our attention these days. What do people miss the most amidst this disconnected cacophony of noise? Someone to make them feel heard, understood, and who misses them when they’re away.
When you are with your partner, give them your full attention. Turn off your cell phone as often as possible. Have conversations more than you watch television (or you know, throw away your TV). Face them directly and give yourself to them completely.
No relationship has ever ended because someone felt like their partner listened to them too much.
4. Express Your Scariest Thoughts And Desires
You do your deepest healing in the context of an intimate relationship.
Regularly take the time out of your day (or week) to listen to each other without judgment. Whether someone has an answer for you or not, just being able to say something that has been bothering you for years and having them receive it with an open heart is enough to remove the stigma you’ve attached to it.
5. Plan Spontaneity
Predictability is death to attraction. And spontaneity is the antidote.
Do you always rotate the same few date ideas over and over? Mix it up with something surprising and romantic (like laying on the hood of your car under where the airplanes land in your city). Or playful and ridiculous (like building a fort and drinking red wine from sippy cups).
Do you remember the last time you left the city? Get out of town for the weekend.
Do you remember the last time you planned a bad-ass romantic gesture? Write up three different date ideas in three different envelopes and have your date choose their own adventure (they only get to look at one).
Everyone likes surprises.
Take the initiative and create a story that you’ll be talking about for years.
6. Gratitude And Praise
Couples that go the distance not only give each other praise, they do it in a very specific way.
Imagine you come home from work and you tell your partner that you got the promotion that you had been after for a while.
Scenario 1, they say: “That’s such great news! I’m so proud of you!”
Scenario 2, they say: “That’s such great news! I’m not surprised at all that you got it… you’re so hard working and good at what you do, it’s about time they recognized the value you bring to the company.”
Highly functioning couples praise each other while tying their successes to each others values and character.
So next time you’re about to praise someone, ask yourself “Why”. Why did they make that dinner for me? Why did they get that promotion? Why did they lose that weight?
They made dinner because they are thoughtful and caring. They got the job because they are creative and valuable. They lost the weight because they are disciplined and courageous. You get the drill.
The First Step Into Your Thriving Relationship
Every journey begins with one step.
Pick one of your favorite tips from this list and commit to doing it within the next two days with your partner. Not sure which one to go with? Whichever one seems easiest. Just get the ball rolling so that the benefits will give you momentum to keep moving forwards and keep the relationship rocking.
Have any questions regarding any of these tips? Leave them in the comments below.
This originally appeared on Jordan Gray’s blog, along with lots of other relationship advice.