Do you feel like you’re drifting away from your partner? Though you’ve been together for years, there may come a day where you’ll feel like you’re sleeping next to a complete stranger.
When this day comes, remember that feeling of disconnectedness may only be temporary and there are actually ways to fight this.
Here are eight thing you could try in order to feel as connected as when you only started dating.
1. Talk even if it’s tough
Even if your partner doesn’t want to talk, try and initiate a conversation without placing too much pressure on the issue. Sometimes, the simple effort of making small talk can help in a big way.
Ask them about their day and don’t be discouraged when their enthusiasm doesn’t match yours. Press on without pressuring them and make them feel that you’re as invested and interested in them as the day you first met.
2. Be comfortable in the silence
Sometimes, talking does more harm than good. Even the simple act of sitting silently side-by-side reading good books or watching your favorite TV show (without constantly checking your phone), will help ease you into feeling connected again.
More reconnecting tips on the next page
3. Hold them while they sleep
This may sound simple enough but it may take a bit of effort, especially if you’re both exhausted from a hard day’s work.
Wait until your partner dozes off and pull them close to you; let your breathing rise and fall in unison. Do this as a form of meditation, recalling all the good things about this person and why you fell in love with them in the first place.
4. Let them be upset
Instead of suggesting a quick fix, let them rant—scream, even—about their rough day. Allow them to feel what they are feeling without telling them to calm down or be reasonable.
Let them defy logic and feel their way through what’s upsetting them.
5. Create couple rituals
Take up a hobby or change your routine with an activity that interests you. Go for a run together, or have a weekly date night.
It can even be as simple as chatting before sleeping or having your morning coffee together every day.
More reconnecting tips on the next page
6. Disconnect from the 24/7 office
“Technology is really blurring the lines between home and work,” Professor Noelle Chesley of the University of Wisconsin told Reader’s Digest. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may give you more flexibility. But your boss doesn’t tend to call you with the good news — you don’t hear that you’ve done a great job on the project; you do hear that suddenly there’s a deadline crisis.”
7. Replace “love” with a code word
Creating a secret language takes you back to a simpler time: like when “olive juice” meant “I love you” in elementary school.
You can make up your own alternative language for sweet nothings which only the two of you can understand. This will come in handy when you want to say ‘I love you’ over the phone but your boss is right next to you.
This creates a sense of intimacy that bonds you together even if you have to spend most weekdays apart.
8. Cheer each other on
Claudia Arp, who founded the relationship-building program 10 Great Dates along with her husband David, revealed to Reader’s Digest that one of the best things you can do for your partner is to encourage them.
Stick by their side even when no one else will.
During their workshops, they help couples build each other up using three strategies: First, they ask participants to look for the positive in their spouse.
Then, they stress the importance of developing a sense of humor and, lastly, they encourage couples to give specific and praise, describing in detail what they love most about one another.
READ: 12 Ways to tell you have the best husband ever
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