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Tip #3: Say Something Nice
Your mother always told you, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” But when it comes to your partner, if you can’t say anything nice (i.e. pay them a compliment), then you should keep trying until you can. It’s easy to criticize and to nag the people we spend our lives with, complaining about socks left on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink. And those negative words can stick with a person long after they are spoken, deflating their self-esteem and eroding the bond between you.
Make a point to say something positive and uplifting to your S.O. every day. Your kind words will stick just as well as the harsh ones, maybe even better. Just make sure you mean what you say. And never underestimate the power of a sincere thank-you, or a hand-written note.
Tip #4: Sneak in Some Laughter
Laughter is healthy for your relationship, both emotionally and physically. Laughter reduces stress and tension, stimulates your immune system, lifts your spirits, and can bring you closer together. Try to find little ways throughout the day to laugh with each other. Share that hilarious YouTube video. Tell him about your embarrassing fall in the cafeteria at work. Curl up on the sofa at the end of the day and watch tonight’s episode of 30 Rock. Do something silly, like have a pillow fight. Couples who laugh together are healthier and happier.
Tip #5: Share About Your Day
Many of us work long hours and spend most of the day with people other than our partner. In order to really know and understand each other, you have to fill each other in on the stuff that happens when your partner isn’t around. One way you can do this is to play the high/low game – share the high point of your day and the low point of your day. You can do it as soon as you get home from work, over dinner, or in bed just before you turn out the lights. This 5-minute exercise gives each of you a unique glimpse into your partner’s life and can serve as a springboard for deeper conversation.
Any given day, it’s easy to deplete your energy on other things, leaving yourself with little to give to your relationship. This is especially true of us DINKs who have a strong relationship; we can easily be lulled into a false sense of security. But all relationships require work, even the seemingly effortless ones. By doing little things each day to strengthen your bond, you can enjoy their cumulative effect for many years to come.
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