Happy Valentine’s Year!
Have the stressors of life dampened your enthusiasm for passion and romance? As relationships mature, positive experiences may diminish due to factors like habituation, predictability, or sheer laziness! The high energy levels once directed toward a new romance is metabolically expensive alongside the natural intrusions of work, study or family commitments that detract from your partner. Perhaps you now find yourself struggling to engage in meaningful conversations with each other, and the spark of flirty intimacy feels like a distant memory.
However, fear not, as Valentine’s Day serves as a perfect reminder to rejuvenate your relationship with strategies that extend beyond a single day.
1. Prioritise self-compassion
Before seeking completion in your partner’s affection, ensure you’re genuinely in love with God, then yourself. A strong spiritual relationship fosters a healthy sense of self that also features activities that nurture you. You can enjoy a dynamic relationship where you’re matched with the best versions of each other. Both partners can then be open to constructive feedback without blame, fostering growth and a resilient alliance that weathers the years.
2. Cultivate gratitude
Shift your habitual mindset of criticism to gratitude. Express appreciation for your partner’s qualities, both intrinsic and extrinsic, by listing twenty things you love about them and read them out loud to each other. Honest affirmations strengthen bonds far more effectively than mere compliments on appearance.
3. Engage in soul-gazing
Move beyond cliché stargazing and engage in “soul-gazing.” Sit facing each other closely, maintaining eye contact for five minutes without talking. This slightly unconventional exercise, supported by scientific evidence, enhances feelings of connection and intimacy. You could also incorporate prayer into this beautiful ritual that enhances peace and unity.
4. Break out of comfort zones
Neuroscience suggests that routine behaviours persist because they’re familiar, though not always beneficial. Reducing external demands and seeking opportunities for positive experiences can reignite the spark. Exploring new activities together, individually, or reflecting on shared rituals can deepen emotional connection and intimacy. Embrace novelty regularly and step out of your comfort zones with fun activities like acting classes, indoor rock climbing, Irish dancing, pickleball or try painting each other to inject excitement into your routine.
5. Give love coupons
Commit to selfless acts for your partner’s enjoyment with love coupons. Offer foot rubs, their favourite culinary delight, King or Queen of the remote control for a day or quality time together, redeemable until the next Valentine’s Day.
6. Spread love beyond
Donate blood. Consider the less fortunate on Valentine’s Day by donating platelets to those in need. Spreading love beyond your relationship can bring joy and satisfaction, creating a ripple effect of kindness and well-being.
Maintaining passion and romance requires prayer, effort and creativity. By prioritising self-love, gratitude, generosity and novel experiences, couples can keep the flame alive throughout the year, not just on Valentine’s Day.
Joanne Wilson is the facilitator of the Relationship Rejuvenator online mini-courses and author of Renovate Your Relationship – All the DIY Tools for Your Most Important Project.
Feature image: Photo by CanvaPro