While a grand gesture is nice, sometimes it’s the little things that count.
Date nights and expensive gifts may get some hearts racing, but in reality it’s those everyday gestures that really make a difference to your relationship.
Psychotherapist and relationship specialist Melissa Ferrari reveals some ways that you can continue to build your bond with your partner, with little effort.
Check-in throughout the day
It takes no time to send a quick text to your significant other during the day. Melissa says by doing this, it shows your partner that you’re thinking about them.
“There are some great apps out there to help with this as well,” she tells. “A sweet thing to do is leave a note if you’re coming home late or working away as it can make such a difference and help your partner feel loved and secure even when you are apart.”
If you’re thinking this is a little bit much, maybe just start small by opening up this communication path by doing it a few times a week to make you feel more connected.
Greetings and farewells
Establishing routines around hellos and goodbyes are a simple, yet important, way to keep the connection with your partner strong, Melisa suggests.
“Even if you are super busy, take the time to kiss and hug when leaving or arriving home,” she advises. “It will help your partner feel that they are important to you and this ritual can be reassuring for a couple.”
It may sound simple but give it a go next time you walk through the door. If you are both busy, it gives you a small moment of meaningful connection instead of the usual, absent-minded greeting you may be used to.
Walk in with a smile
When you’ve had a tough day, it can be easy to walk into your home with a scowl on your face, but Melissa says this can rub off on your partner and your relationship.
“When it comes to relationships, the brain is always searching for what feels safe and secure, and facial expressions plays an important part here,” she explains. “So, when you walk in the door, try to be aware and put a smile on your face, it can go a long way to setting up a good evening for you both and the family.”
It’s not about hiding your emotions or putting on a mask, as those feelings need to be shared, but if your partner is always witnessing you coming home in an angry silence, it can easily be misinterpreted into them thinking your mood is something to do with them.
Go to bed at the same time together
“The happiest couples tend to go to bed and wake up together - so try and sync your clocks,” Melissa says. “Research shows that about three and a half years into a relationship, couples tend to stop going to bed at the same time and this can lead to problems down the track.”
Making the time to talk about your day and have a cuddle on the couch before you go to bed, can be one of the most intimate parts of a couple’s day.
“Try to stay on the same sleep schedule and go to bed together so you get the chance to connect,” Melissa suggests.
Look into each other’s eyes
You may think you do this every single day already, but Melissa says to concentrate on gazing into your partner’s eyes consciously.
“Give them a look of tenderness that shows you are taking them in,” she says. “It will make them feel very special, admired, cared for and loved.”