I don't know about you, but I'm breathing a big sigh of relief now that the holidays are finally behind us. It is sad to and kind of underwhelming to not be in "magical time" mode, but it takes a lot of the pressure off to finally have nothing big to do or plan for. Hopefully, it also takes some pressure off of your relationship. I've found that holidays and big events can put some of the most strain on marriage and long-term relationships. Now that that's all behind us, I'll continue the series with some tips for moving forward joyfully on an everyday basis during the "normal" times of the year. You can find the previous tips by following the links at the end.
16. Make your routine work for you. Spontaneity is great and provides spice, but realistically a balanced home life requires some routine. Make sure that that you don't just wait for those spontaneous moments to work on your closeness and romance, but that you building time to connect into your routine. Maybe wake up a little earlier and set aside that time to have coffee or tea together and chat before the rush. Or schedule a date-at-home night that you can look forward to each week, whether it's watching a movie with popcorn, playing a board game or video game, working out together, or whatever is fun for you two. Sometimes routine can actually build anticipation.
17. Leave a note.
There isn't always an opportunity to whisper sweet nothings in each other's ears when life takes over. But instead of just communicating through grocery list items, leave little notes here and there saying something sweet, something specific you like about them, or even just "I love you." You could leave an encouraging note on a big day, or if you know they're having a hard time. You could each pick a fun sticky note pad to keep around, so you don't have the excuse of not finding any way to write it!
18. "I just called to say 'I love you'!"
That's a pretty cheesy song, but there's a reason it's still around! It always makes me feel really special when my partner calls in the middle of the day for no specific reason, just because he was thinking about me. Once in a while it happens just when I'm having a rough day, and the call gives me the umph I need to get my day back on track.
19. Tidy up after yourself.
Sometimes, it's the little annoyances that build up to big arguments. Having to clean up after someone all the time, or just seeing their mess around constantly, can really put a damper on your loving feelings for them. The vast majority of us are not going to be able to always tidy up after ourselves perfectly all the time, but it can really help keep things more civil and pleasant if we all try a little harder. Wash your bowl and spoon instead of just leaving it in the sink. Make the bed. Go the three extra steps and leave your clothes in the hamper or on a hanger.
I've noticed lately that when we get caught up on the serious "adult" lives we're now entangled in, we tend to go through the day with furrowed foreheads or tired, drawn expressions. It's amazing how much we can raise our partner's mood, and our own, when we raise those lip-corners and try for a smile. It's okay if you have to force it a little. You'll find that physically smiling can actually change your mood on the inside!
Tips 1-5: http://www.vingle.net/posts/636426
Tips 6-10: http://www.vingle.net/posts/643019
Tips 11-15: http://www.vingle.net/posts/650978