If you want a relationship that lasts, you need to find ways to make each other happy that are unique to you as a couple. There are hundreds of little things you can do — and the little things often have the biggest impact. Whether it’s leaving love notes for your partner to find or simply making sure to say “I love you” before you leave for work, show your partner how much you care. If you’re not sure where to start, consider the following ideas:
Cook for Your Partner
Pick at least two nights every month to cook for your partner. Don’t tell the other person what you’re making, but devote the time and energy to ensure it is a special evening. Although scheduling a date night to go out is a good idea, sometimes staying home together and enjoying good food can feel more intimate and romantic.
Compete With Each Other
One of the best ways to strengthen your relationship is to challenge each other. Although you can play games like Monopoly and chess to have some friendly competition, make up little competitions that are unique to you as a couple. For example, see who can find the best low-priced gift for the other person every month or race to see who can be the first to get home from work on a Friday. Debate with each other or see who can run longer at the gym. Whatever it is, make sure it means something to you. As a reward, the winner can pick the dessert, receive a massage or choose a different small treat.
Try New Activities
Make a habit of trying all sorts of new activities with one another. Set a date for once every three months that can act as a seasonal holiday for you to try something new. For example, go to a cooking class or salsa lesson together. The key is to find activities that neither one of you have done so you can learn together. You can foster a lot of intimacy and a deeper connection when you help each other learn, grow and get through uncomfortable situations.
Create Code Words
Relationships are about connection and the bond only the two of you have. Extend this connection to language by making up a few code words that only your partner understands. This way, when you’re at a cocktail party or picnic with friends, you can continue to communicate privately even when everyone else can hear what you’re saying. Pick a secret word that means “I love you” and another that signifies “I’m bored.” Or, best of all, chose one that means “Let’s get out of here and have some fun.”
Take the Next Step
If your relationship feels like it’s in a rut or you want to take the next step, discuss moving in together. Deciding to be responsible and accountable to one another is a great way to show your love for one another. Beyond choosing what furniture you want to move into your new place, talk about your habits, cleanliness preferences and finances. Know how you want to handle your money as a couple and how you can be safe when paying bills online. And even though some of the logistics aren’t sexy or exciting, being able to make decisions together is good for your relationship.