Making Your Most Important Relationship a Priority

With less and less free time available in life, nurturing the bond between yourself and your partner has become more difficult then ever. On the flipside, with the daily pressures of balancing career, kids, chores, errands, and everything else, a strong foundation of love and support from your partner has never been more crucial to promoting enduring happiness.

I want to suggest 5 simple and unconventional ways you can continue to invest in the most important relationship in your life. My husband and I have employed all five, and are constantly trying to discover new ways we can spend time together, bond on a deeper level, and continue to grow as individuals and partners in life. Nothing in this journey is static, in fact the only thing that is guaranteed to be constant is the presence of change. Embrace this ideal, and help your relationship to evolve in healthy ways over the years.

Five Unconventional Ways to Stay Connected with Your Partner

(1) Cook a new recipe

I know there will be a ton of you out there already shaking your heads. Like me, you believe the kitchen is your domain. You can do everything in that sacred room, faster and better than your partner. I am not going to deny this is possibly true, because I know its absolutely true in my house. At first, attempts at having my husband join me in the kitchen were a disaster. I easily became aggravated with his tedious and slow efforts, and often preferred to just take over whatever task he was doing. Then we tried one simple step change that made all the difference; we chose a new recipe. A recipe that neither of us had cooked before, and therefore I could not be a “pro” at preparing it. In addition, we made my husband the Head Chef, meaning, he was in charge of reading and understanding the recipe, and delegating tasks to me, his Sous-Chef. Harmony reigns in the kitchen once again, and now we are so relaxed and laugh through the entire process.

(2) Read the same book

This may at first seem a difficult task to accomplish logistically, but I am by no means suggesting you make time to sit and read sonnets aloud to one another. As romantic as they may be every once in a blue moon, or in a romantic comedy, its impractical for everyday life. Instead I suggest, you decide together a new novel or non-fiction book that interests you both, or perhaps take it in turns to suggest a new book, and read over the same period of time. Hubby might read on his daily subway commute, while you prefer the audio file while you are on your morning jog. What you are doing is creating a shared experience, even when apart. You are both escaping into the same world created in the text, or learning the same knowledge the non-fiction expert is providing. As well as the benefit of the shared experience, there is the ability to discuss in your own mini- book club. Rather than popping on netflix on a Friday night after the little ones are in bed, grab your copies of the book, a glass of wine, and dissect together.

(3) Start a new hobby

In the honeymoon phase of a relationship everything you did together was exciting because it was new and your romance was new. As the years pass us by, however, the butterflies seem to have escaped our tummies, and we can easily settle into a routine. You start to chose the same “go-to” activities you have always done together. There is not anything you can do to make your relationship new, but why not engage in some new activities? In fact, treat the comfort and trust the shared years have provided as a gift. There is little you would feel nervous or scared to do in front of your partner, and this opens up the possibility for a whole new range of activity options. New hobbies my husband and I have started just this year together include origami, meditation, and pregnancy yoga. Not every new hobby will be a keeper, but that is part of the fun of exploring!

Kayaking in La Jolla Scooter riding in Turkey

(4) Exercise together

We all love the endorphin boost a good run in the park, or a hot yoga session provides, and it is difficult enough to make time for ourselves in our hectic schedules. Once a week I challenge you to plan with your partner a shared exercise experience. Those endorphins will boost both your moods, and you will associate the time spent together, with the happy warm feelings inside. No way you can both make it to the local yoga studio at the same time, purchase a yoga DVD and practice at home. He hates running? How about a long hike or walk instead? One of you might be better at a given exercise, or generally more in shape at the moment, but do not let this stop you. Instead, agree to find a compromise level of difficulty where you are both comfortable. When you are willing to make the effort to engage in healthy habits together, you help establish a pattern of self investment within your relationship. Happy individuals, make for happy couples.

(5) Kitchen Disco Disco

My husband is a goofball, through and through. That childish ability to have fun in all situations that we somehow lose from the age of about 14, never left my husband. It can be very easy to try and get tasks done as fast as possible in our busy lives, rather than taking the time to try to make them enjoyable. My husband started the “Kitchen Disco Disco” tradition, in an attempt to put a smile on my exhausted face after a gruelling 12 hour shift at the hospital. He grabbed me and our dogs and dragged us into the kitchen where he had been cooking dinner and listening to music, he flipped the light switch over and over and started to dance around with us. I can tell you I had only one desire after a day like that, and it was to collapse on the sofa, but rather then turn him down, I engaged and moved around. Before long a huge smile was on my face, and my mood was completely lifted. Now everyday we meet at home after our days apart, we take a couple of minutes to Disco Disco in the kitchen. It might sound crazy, because like my husband, it is, but give it a go, and see if you can help yourself from having a good time!

What are your Unique Ways to Stay Connected?

This world is one giant community of people, all with inspiring ideas. So please share yours below! What ways do you are your partner engage, and stay connected?