Ah yes, February, the month that we all love to show our significant other how much they mean to us. Florists are booked out for weeks, restaurants are overflowing, heart
teddies are bought in their dozens.
While it is a lovely time for people in relationships - there are some who see Valentines as "just showing you love me because its expected. "
Relationships need work to be healthy and long lasting - effort needs to be put in every day rather than just on special occasions. Here are a few suggestions that you could try to fit into your lives to support your relationship growth
“Successful long-term relationships are created through small words, small gestures, and small acts.” (The Gottman Institute) The Gottman institute have a new podcast called Small Things Often - maybe as a couples you could subscribe to this and make time every week to listen and see if you can implement any of the suggestions. https://www.gottman.com/blog/introducing-the-small-things-often-podcast/
Try some Reflective Listening - :
This is when you give your partner an opportunity to speak, and you don't react As the Listener - you need to repeat / reflect back to your partner what you have heard, ask for clarification if you have misunderstood and then you can switch roles.
Really being present with your partner, and allowing them space to express themselves freely can pay off dividends for your relationship.
Have some dates in the diary for you to focus on the relationship - both people in the relationship should take responsibility for organising dates.
Putting a focus on the relationship in this way ensures that both people are invested in making the other person feel safe and secure. Dates don't have to be at night - and they don't have to cost anything - a walk in the woods, picking favourite movies to watch together, planning a trip. All of this is time invested in the relationship and committing to the other person.
Maybe write some date ideas on pieces of paper, put them in a jar and then each person picks a piece of paper and is then in charge of organising that particular date.
This next one can be a strange notion when we are talking about increasing your connection within the relationship - Give each other some space.
Ask your partner what they would like you do do for them - sometimes they might just want you to give them time to themselves. Different hobbies, different friendship groups, - embrace the difference as it will allow you both time to still be your own person. The best part of giving that space is that you are going to enjoy the coming back together - with more experiences to share and more opportunities to understand your partner better.
So hopefully you will try and use some of the tips above and incorporate them into your every day relationship - Remember relationships are not just for Valentine's Day.