This is an important step, but rarely executed. Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “Five Love Languages” really should be required reading for everyone interested in having a romantic relationship. The book describes the various love languages we all “speak.”
Knowing your partner’s love language is fundamental in a relationship because while you can love someone with every fiber in your body, unless you are conveying that love in a way they can understand it, they’ll never truly feel loved (and desired).
This is one area where the biological research is very clear. Doing novel things together, as a couple, will increase dopamine levels in the brain. Romantic connection is largely connected with dopamine, a chemical known to affect emotions.
These activities include everything from trying new restaurants, taking up a new hobby or traveling to a destination you have never been together. Note: For a major dose of dopamine, add a new position or location to your sex life (see #5).
“Don’t start nothin’ you ain’t willing to maintain” is another bit of brilliant pre-marital advice I often hear. Committed relationships require something I like to call “sticktoitiveness.” When you think back to the beginning of the relationship, there were dates, flowers, appreciation, compliments, sweet gestures and messages. You also most likely touched a lot more. Go back there.
I’m talking about all types of touching – hand holding, hugging, caressing and cuddling, as well as more intimate touch and, of course, sex. Bring back those early relationship days by making time for romantic gestures, daily. And if you find that you don’t know what to do, don’t be afraid to ask your partner what they need and want.
An unexpected gesture or gift is always welcome as long as it is something you know your partner will be interested in (which underscores the importance of listening to them to determine their desires).
Maybe you’ve noticed that your schedules are so hectic these days that there’s hardly even time to have breakfast together. Just as you make time for important meetings at work, do it at home.
Magnetic resonance imaging scans at Oxford University found that learning a new motor skill — whether it’s striking new keys on piano or playing a new sexual harmonic in bed — sets off a flurry of activity in the brain that drives happiness.
I’ll never forget what a co-worker told me a few years ago about why she works out so vigorously: “I’m keepin’ it sexy for my man.” Attraction often times grows throughout the course of a relationship, but looking your best physically is a great way to maintain the desire that was present in the early days of your relationship. Plus, when you feel good about the way you look, your confidence will be irresistible!
Spending lots of time together is key to maintaining a relationship, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Allow yourself and your partner time away to rejuvenate for the sake of the individual and the relationship.