10 ways to shake things up

You love each other but there’s no denying you’ve slipped into a comfortable routine. Here are ten fail-safe ways to resuscitate your relationship.

1) Make it special
If you’re bored of the same old routine, make a point of going out together once a week and making it a really special night. You could try a trip to the theatre where you both have to dress-up posh, or going out to a new restaurant in your neighbourhood. Choose an activity you don’t often do. Research on what’s on and make plans together. The very act of doing things outside your normal everyday routine will clear the cobwebs and reinvigorate your relationship.

2) Take a break
Holidays are an important way to de-stress and unwind, and needn’t be expensive, so make sure you both get to go away together as often as you can even if it’s just for the odd night. Look out for last-minute deals and weekend getaways. While you’re away, go on long walks and bike rides together and talk. Get to know each other again. Talk about when you first met and what drew you to one another. Memory is a powerful tool for reawakening those feeling of attraction that initially drew you together.

3) Re-instate romance
Romance doesn’t always have to involve vast expense and bold gestures. So stop taking each other for granted and incorporate a little romance into your into your day-to-day lives. If you think your partner looks nice, then tell him/her so. Little things like running them a relaxing bubble bath, cooking them their favourite meal, giving them a back or foot massage or leaving them a soppy note or even sending a flirtatious text will bolster your connection and make you feel closer.

4) Eliminate distractions
Of the time you spend together, how much of it is spent in front of the telly or with one or both of you hunched over a lap top, sending work emails or using Facebook and Twitter?  Today’s modern world of communication is great, but it can mean that you’re not concentrating so much on the here and now. Try turning the telly, mobile and laptop off for a while and making the most of your time together. Make a meal together or take a bath together. Eliminate the distractions and learn to appreciate each other’s company for a change.

5) Throw a party
Plan a party or dinner party together.  Making plans to throw a social event together is hugely rewarding and bonding experience. Work on the guest list and menu ideas together and do all the costing, shopping and preparation as a team. You’ll both get a kick from the prospect of being the hosts with the most. It’s fun and will also show all your friends just how well you operate together. Everyone’s a winner.

6) Do something new
Mix things up by taking up a new hobby together. Pick something that suits your interests. Be it joining a walking club, taking up ballroom dance classes, joining a choir or even climbing lessons.  Shared learning projects are not only fun and rewarding, they’re a brilliant way to show your support and encouragement for one another and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition either.

7) Make time
Pressures of work and family can severely impact the proportion of quality time you spend with your partner. That’s why it’s vital to set aside some time every week to focus on just the two of you. The best way to do this is to schedule at least a couple of hours a week when you both agree not to make any other plans and devote some quality time to each other. The more you know about your partner’s current stresses and strains the more support you’ll be able to offer. Take it in turns to ask questions and really listen to the answers.

8) Share your dreams
It’s easy to get settled into a comfortable routine but it’s important to talk about your relationship and expectations from time to time to make sure you’re both on the same page. Don’t be afraid to talk about your hopes for the future, be they getting married, starting a family, moving abroad or something totally different. A relationship is a partnership and it’s vital your other half feels part of the bigger picture.

9) Don’t bottle things up
Having an open dialogue with your partner is the key to making a relationship last. So if there’s something that’s bothering you, pluck up the courage to bring it up. Burying your feelings will only lead to suppressed anger and feelings of resentment which will take their toll on your relationship in the long run. You might be favourably surprised by your partner’s response, so don’t waste time feeling anxious and annoyed. Be brave and speak your mind but also be prepared to listen, discuss and work things through as a couple.

10) Spend time apart
Leaving your partner alone isn’t a sign of neglect, it’s a sign of respect and trust. Remember the old adage ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’? For a relationship to thrive, people need time away from each other as well time together. Encourage your significant other to socialise without you from time to time. Give them the opportunity to enjoy their own space now and then. You’ll both appreciate it and are guaranteed to get more from one another when you’re reunited.