You may have read my previous article about buying experience-based gifts for the holidays, and with Valentine’s Day approaching, now is a great time to consider that option. But what if, rather than buying gifts, you just want new ways to express your love and devotion to your partner? Rather than going the chocolate and flowers route (although those are always nice accompaniments), below you will find five ways to show your partner that you care.
These tips are helpful for keeping the passion alive in your relationship on Valentine’s Day and beyond.
Continue to date your partner
Don’t let your hectic schedule get in the way. Set aside at least one evening per week to go on a date with your partner. It can be a night out on the town or a quiet evening in. Either way, make sure to leave your work life behind, limit outside distractions, and focus on the two of you and your relationship.
Remember the importance of touch
Physical contact is important in a relationship. Don’t take your partner for granted and remember to show affection by hugging, kissing, and cuddling.
Go the extra mile to show your partner that you care
Tokens of appreciation are always a nice touch. These need not be expensive gifts, but instead serve as a signal to your partner that you are thinking of him/her and that you care. The more personal the token, the better. It could be something as simple as a sweet note expressing your love, or as grand as surprising him/her with that new (insert wonderful present here) he/she has been eyeing.
It’s important that you continue to grow together, and not apart. You and your partner should pursue a hobby or engage in a new activity. You may want to begin a collection, join a sports team, or even learn a new skill. Despite what you choose, it is something new that you and your partner can learn together and share.
Listen to each other
It is important not to get carried away by your own lives and stresses. You need to be there for your partner, and a big part of that is knowing when and how to be there. This involves listening. It is imperative that you know what is happening in your partner’s life and how you may be best able to support him or her.
These five suggestions are just the beginning. The more time you set aside to focus on, and bond with your partner, the more you show how much you care for him/her, and the more you will strengthen your relationship.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Marisa T. Cohen, PhD is a psychology professor, relationship researcher and relationship coach. Learn more about Marisa at www.marisatcohen.com.