The Quickie: Making small, unexpected gestures
Why It Works:
Sometimes the best validation that you’re loved and appreciated is when you experience a gesture that proves your partner is always thinking of you. Yes, planning a romantic night on the town takes thought and is always appreciated. But buying your husband a red velvet cupcake, just because you happened to walk by a bakery, see it in the window and know he would love it, will really make an impression. It’s that for-no-real-reason feeling that makes the act mean so much.
The Quickie: Doing something your partner always does
Why It Works: Sure, when youdivided up the chores, you agreed that he would take out the trash and you would do the dishes. But every once in a while, when he’s super-slammed at work, rather than nagging him for not noticing the overflowing trash can, take it out for him. When you love someone, you pitch in — even when you’re not asked (or it’s technically not yourturn). Small gestures to make each other’s lives better remind you why you put up with his stinky feet, or her snoring, in the first place. Plus, giving your mate a break means he has one less item to worry about, and the more relaxed he is, the easier it will be for you to appreciate each other’s company (wink, wink).
The Quickie: Letting her (or him) breathe
Why It Works: Because you’ll be so much more excited to see each other! Having someone to come home to is a definite plus to being in a relationship. But sometimes — justsometimes — it would be nice to walk into an empty house and, perhaps, slip into a lavender-scented bath or chill out in front of the TV without having to speak. Even couples that are joined at the hip sometimes require a little alone time — not to brood or escape, but to refresh. Perhaps you don’t understand the need for solo moments. But if your husband enjoys winding down from a long day with only himself and maybe the dog for company, or your wife likes to be alone with her thoughts on Sunday mornings, give him or her that space — guilt free. Make plans to meet a friend for brunch or make a date with your personal trainer for Sunday morning, conveniently come home late from work one night, or run errands alone one afternoon. You don’t need much distance to make the heart grow fonder, but a little goes a long way.
The Quickie: Writing it down
Why It Works: Let’s face it: Telling your mate how much she means to you can feel kind of sappy or trite. But expressing your feelings, even when you assume they’re known, is key in long-term relationships. Otherwise, you risk falling into “taking each other for granted” syndrome. Now, we’re not suggesting you start penning long love letters (or emails). But an “I love you” written on the dry-erase board in the kitchen, or a “Have a great day!” Post-it left on the bathroom mirror, is all it takes to let your other half know you cared enough to take the time to write it down.
The Quickie: Saying “yes”
Why It works: Agreeing to try something you always veto, or joining your partner for something you normally try to get out of (like your two-year-old niece-in-law’s birthday party), shows you are listening to what your significant other wants and are willing to put your partner’s needs first. Now, we’re not suggesting you go out of your way to do something you truly despise — no one benefits if you’re visibly miserable the entire time. But a “yes” to a fairly innocuous, temporary thing can still mean a lot. For example, let him flip to the game and keep watching — and don’t get off the couch. Or maybe have sex the next time you’re tired but she’s raring to go. Seeing how happy these small gestures can make your partner should make you feel good and inspire you to do them more often. Plus, they’ll probably inspire your partner to start doing the same, and soon enough, instead of arguing over who gets to man the remote, you’ll notice you’re starting to work much more like a team.