Let’s face it: we all fall into habitual routines – both as individuals and as couples. We get up, shower and dress, eat breakfast, and head out the door. In the evenings, we come home, eat dinner, help with homework or watch TV, and head off to bed. Often, this can lead into couples feeling more like roommates rather than partners.

 In my last posting, I gave some tips on breaking ineffective habits and cultivate new, healthy habits for couples looking for greater connection and a more fulfilling partnership. I challenged you to pick something you wanted to improve, write it down, and create a plan. 

However, if you’re looking for ideas on what new habits to cultivate, the below list might give you some ideas to start with. These are some simple ideas to create a healthier and happier future for you and your partner. 

  1. Communicate more intentionally. Maybe you’re feeling like you and your partner only discuss the practicalities of life: bills, scheduling, and what’s for dinner. These might involve a lot of talking or texting but not a lot of meaning interaction. Some simple changes might be:
    1. Send a surprise text message of affection or a compliment at a random point during the day. 
    2. Each of you take ten minutes in the evening to share about your day uninterrupted. 
    3. Bring a topic to have a conversation with your partner about. This might be something you saw in the news or a question you ask your partner – just like when you were dating! 
  2. Create space. Build time into daily and weekly schedules to be present with each other and have fun! This might be:
    1. Have a weekly date night. Rotate picking new activities or restaurants to try one day a week. 
    2. Carve time out in your schedule. If a weekly date night isn’t possible, try taking a daily walk or creating a bedtime ritual that’s special to you and your partner. 
  3. Think small. Too often, when working on our relationships, we focus on huge gestures – a surprise vacation or a present. However, small gestures of kindness are often equally as fulfilling and a lot more sustainable. This might look like:
    1. Make your partner a cup of coffee or tea in the morning.
    2. Text them a photo of something they would like. 
    3. Grab a flower on your way home from work. 
  4. Express gratitude. When we’re on auto-pilot in daily life, we don’t usually stop to think about how each other is contributing. Slowing down and saying “thank you” or “it really helped me when you took out the trash this morning” are great ways to affirm someone and create a loving connection. 

Of course, these are just a few habits to start working on. In our next post, I’ll share how my partner and I worked to create a healthy and sustainable habit of supporting each other during our workouts.