A quick Internet search reveals that most people use the words love and sex interchangeably. I guess I am just an old-fashioned guy with old-fashioned thoughts about love and sex. To me, love and sex are two completely different things and making a distinction is necessary for a full and complete relationship with anyone. Love is a must if you want to have a healthy relationship. Love is the sacrificial giving of yourself to another person. It is not just a feeling but rather an action, an act of intention. Love is a verb.
With that said, I am going to share some strange and probably unfamiliar ways to grow closer to your mate and improve your love life. While this improvement in your relationship will undoubtedly dribble over into your sex life, the main focus here is on love, not sex. Love is the foundation upon which everything good grows.
Stay in touch while you sleep
Research conducted by the Edinburgh International Science Festival found that couples that stayed in touch while they slept had a stronger love relationship and were happier in their relationship. People who did not touch at all during sleep were less happy in their relationship. Whether you sleep spooning or simply touch each other’s back, feet or hand, it is better to stay in contact than put a vast space between you and your partner.
In addition, it is also important to make time in the morning for some physical contact (not sex), before getting up. Simply giving each other a big hug while lying in bed is a great way to get the day going and affirm the relationship. The study found that 94 percent of couples who spent the night in contact with each other were happy in their relationship compared to 68 percent that did not touch.
Do chores together
University of Alberta professor Matt Johnson analyzed data from a five-year study of 1,388 German couples. He found that those couples who shared chores around the home had a more secure and loving relationship than those homes where there was not a fair division of labor. Doing chores together is even better. “A division of household labor perceived to be fair ensures that partners feel respected while carrying out the tasks of daily life,” Johnson wrote in his report.
Have a dance party
This is one that I really like and practice myself. In my kitchen, I have a sign that says, “We dance in this kitchen.” That is a good reminder of how important it is to dance with your partner on a daily basis. First of all, dancing is fun. It relieves stress and creates a bond between you and your partner. I will frequently suggest that my partner put down everything she is doing and dance with me, especially if there is stress in the air.
Watch sunsets together
This is another one of my favorite things to do with my partner. We love to take long walks around the time of sunset and just enjoy the beauty of the sky together. The walk in itself is a bonding activity and being outdoors makes you feel great. Focusing on something beautiful in nature together nurtures your relationship. There is nothing like finding beauty in life and sharing it with someone that you love.
Pray with each other and for each other
When you take the time to pray for and with your partner, God can do amazing things in your relationship. This is another great way to start and end your day. My partner and I love to pray and do devotion together each day. Putting the focus on the Lord instead of ourselves is a great way to deflect our natural selfish natures.
Go on dates
Even if you have been with your partner for some time, it is important to keep dating. Arrange at least two dates nights per month, preferably more. Take turns deciding on where you will go and what you will do. Handle all the arrangements when it is your turn to plan a date night. Make a pact not to talk about work, kids, school. etc. Focus on each other and having fun together.
Practice unconditional love and respect
This is a hard one for many of us. What this means is simply that I will love and respect my partner even during times that I may not think she deserves it or times when she is not loving or respectful to me. One of the worst things that can happen to a relationship is when love and respect breakdown.
We are innately selfish creatures, we want what we want and we sometimes do things that are not caring in order to get what we want. When our partner has angered us or hurt us, we tend to throw back a cold shoulder. I can tell you from experience, when you love and respect your partner just for being another human — and do it all the time, no matter what — it tends to break the cycle that some people get on with regards to feeling unloved and not respected.
Other ways to strengthen love
- Say thank you often
- Write notes to each other and leave them around the house
- Make plans for your future together
- Focus on being best friends
- Do community service together
- Take a technology break together
- Forgive quickly
- Listen intently
- Send each other cards in the mail — even if you live in the same house
- Compliment your partner often, and mean it
- Be thankful
- Practice gratitude
Relationships are work
It takes commitment, time, patience, selflessness and tenderness to make a relationship strong and loving. Far too often, couples forget that it does take effort — and lots of it — from both partners. A good way to look at building a love relationship is to think of the third party; call it “us” or whatever you want. When both partners are focusing on what is best for “us,” it takes away selfish interests and builds a very strong relationship core.
— Rich Everfail