Add Oomph, Add Spark to Your Relationship!

Happy loving couple frolicking on the beach

Do you want to add spark to your relationship? The best-case scenario for any relationship is for both partners to feel happy, cared for, understood, appreciated, and valued. It sounds elementary, but genuinely living this way takes attentiveness to give your relationship a boost.

To have a meaningful relationship, you’ll need to do more than bring home gifts for each other, enjoy a combined income, or share a bed. Knowing your values and those of your partner will help you choose the right actions so you can add spark to your relationship. Ultimately, expressing your expectations and hearing your partner’s is essential for knowing how to get along. Sometimes you can add oomph to your relationship by knowing better what not to do, yet other times you can do so by taking purposeful actions.

Watch Out for Disparaging Comments and Actions

The most subtle problems in a relationship can often be avoided if you know what to watch for. Each partner has his or her own sensitivities. Walking away from a conversation, failing to acknowledge your partner’s opinion, focusing on your phone or a TV show while your spouse is talking, may give them the impression you don’t care about them.

Looking at your partner the wrong way, being sarcastic or critical (even if you think it’s constructive) can be mistaken for dislike. No one wants to be with someone they feel doesn’t like them.

Not only should you be careful of your behavior, but you should be careful not to misinterpret your spouse’s behavior. Ask for attention or clarification when needed.

Balance the Need for Space

Women’s hormonal cycles may not only test a woman’s own fortitude, but that of her partner. Likewise, cranky, tired men may become easily short-tempered. No one wants to be around someone who is irritable and acting unloving. At moments like this, it may be helpful to warn your partner how you’re feeling so they don’t take your actions personally.

No one is perfect and it’s perfectly fine to offer each other space rather than trying to fix each other. If your relationship is to succeed, give each other adequate breathing room.

Be Aware of the Potential to Keep Score

Resentment may brew when it seems like one partner is doing all the work. Make sure you revisit your expectations and communicate what you feel is lacking. Don’t become tempted to keep score on how much more you’re doing than your partner is. Love is action and you will reap what you sow, eventually.

Model Positivity and Caring

The best gift you can give your partner is to live with a positive attitude. Be generous with compliments. Get excited about small things. Happiness is contagious.

Instead of looking for what’s going wrong in your relationship, look for what’s going right. Celebrate the good. Laugh at the silly stuff.

Share your dreams and plans, but don’t worry if your partner’s dreams and plans vary from yours.  Find middle ground.

Make Life Interesting

It’s easy to stay home to relax, but doing the same thing repeatedly becomes boring. Keep action in your relationship. Buy tickets for special events, take walks, make vacation plans, and work on household projects together.

These are but a few simple ideas to implement to add spark to your relationship. Get the foundation right.  Protect your relationship from subtle pitfalls. Stay active and involved, and then add in all the gifts and loving gestures you can so your relationship will always be meaningful.

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This is the Time for New Year’s Relationship Resolutions

Couple Looking forward to the New Year 2015, setting resolutionsCouples can set New Year’s relationship resolutions together

This is the time. This the end-of-the-year, beginning-of-a-New-Year time when people reflect on their past and their future. They make resolutions with new goals, ambitions and directions for a new year and for their future. Often we consider these to be personal/individual. However, we invite you to consider including New Year’s relationship resolutions too. These would be new goals, ambitions and directions for your relationship and for your marriage. Doing this can help you keep your relationship from stagnating as it keeps you both moving forward with new ideas and renewed energies directed within your relationship. Whether you are engaged and getting married soon, or been married for many years, this is a great time to sit down together and plan next year’s ideas for relationship adjustments or improvements as well as plan for new fun and exciting experiences you can share together. You can also use this time to reflect back in general on your shared past and envisioned future to improve emotional intimacy and strengthen your love bond.

Relationship tune-up plus

Essentially you can use this time of year to do a relationship check-up and tune up- it’s like giving it a boost to boot! Sometimes it may seem awkward or you may feel like “it never seems to be the right time” to discuss such topics with your partner. But, this is the time of year when it’s not only appropriate, it’s expected for you to set New Year’s resolutions. So, it’s the right time, without awkwardness, for you both to share your views and discuss ideas for your New Year together!

Need some conversation starters? Have no clue about what you can adjust or improve in your relationship? Don’t know what new fun or exciting experiences you can have together? Here are some ideas that may directly apply to you or that can inspire you to think of additional ideas for your own relationship.

New goals, adjustments, and improvements in the relationship

  • Changes with chores for one, the other, or both of you
  • Changes with physical expressions of love and/or sexual activities – type/frequency/initiation
  • Changes with time spent together and/or apart/time management
  • Changes with routines
  • Changes with child rearing
  • Changes with financial management/bills/what big ticket items/expenses to save for
  • Changes with how you treat each other and encourage each other/what, when, how
  • Changes with an addiction that affects your relationship

New fun or exciting experiences together 

  • Try a new sport together/Take newbie lessons
  • Decide on a local attraction you both like and get a yearly membership there (some places also offer extra perks like reciprocal discounted or free privileges to other similar type places for the year as well, like other museums or zoos or gardens)
  • Go to one of your “someday I want to go” places so you can cross one more thing off the list
  • Join a health club and exercise together
  • Learn to play the same or different instruments, then jam/play together for fun, or entertain your friends and family
  • Plan a day trip to explore a new-to-you town or city
  • Plan a Valentine’s day experience
  • Plan a visit to far away family members or friends you’re longing to see again
  • Plan on a monthly fun activity you want to regularly participate in (card game, bowling, biking, sailing, book club?)

Don’t feel like you have to make all sorts of changes and plans. Discussing and setting just a few New Year’s relationship resolutions together each year can be enough to strengthen and grow your relationship. Anything you both agree to and feel excited about will re-invigorate your relationship as you begin to realize more fun, more respect, and a deeper love connection with one another.

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