Since the pandemic started, one of the biggest challenges is setting aside time and energy for self-care. If you are in a relationship, taking care of it is just as important. Below are seven ways to do this. Each way sends the message "I value our relationship" and "You and I are important to me." Each time you do these, you are adding a log to the fire that you want to burn brightly.
Show gratitude to your partner with a thank you. Try to recognize when your partner gives their time and effort. It could be their consistency in watering the plants each day or from removing the spider you spotted in the shower.
Turn off your phone when you are together - It's sad how technology can get in the way of a relationship. When you're together, nothing shows "I am prioritizing you" more to your partner and your relationship than turning off your phone.
Initiate/Plan something together. If only one of you initiates activities, this can be a burden. Get your partner out of this role by doing what they complain they are left always having to do. When was the last time you planned a date? If you cannot remember, stop reading this and make plans now.
Anything you do together is a date. Whether it's watching a new Netflix show, attending your son's recital, raking leaves in the backyard, painting the kitchen or going food shopping, it's a date.
Maintain Eye Contact - in American culture, this is the equivalent of prioritizing your partner as you would turning off your phone or silencing it so you are not distracted.
Connect Physically - We are wired to connect. Physical connection is just as important as emotional, spiritual, and intellectual connection. When was the last time you held your partner? What better way to say I'm here for you than your hand on your partner's shoulder, arm, back or in your partner's hand? It's comforting, calming and grounding.
Revisit The Meta - Early in a relationship, it's common to discuss with your partner the state of your relationship (aka The Meta), how it's progressing, and what can be done to make it work better. As the relationship matures, talking about the relationship may get discussed less frequently...until something is wrong with it. One of the best logs you can put into your relationship fire is to get out of this mindset and talk about the meta of your relationship with your partner in positive terms. When was the last time you did this? You can check off all the boxes by initiating a date to include this with both phones silenced, make lots of eye contact and hold hands while talking about how much your relationship has enriched your life.
Of these seven ways, which one(s) do you practice the most? Which ones do you want to do more? If you have another way of practicing relationship-care with your partner, please let me know in the comments.