Between the daily grind and household chores, sometimes long-term love just isn’t that sexy. But one thing established couples have that singles don’t is a right-hand man, a captain’s “first mate” to share life’s joys with. Bring back that closeness you had at the beginning of your relationship with these tips.
“How was your day?” is a fine evening opener, but try digging deeper as your main squeeze goes into detail about work. Even little queries like, “What did your co-worker say when you told him you need to split the workload equally?” or, after you’ve seen a good movie, “What was your favorite part?” make the speaker feel validated. As he opens up, he’ll feel like he’s being encouraged and, in turn, closer to you.
Do something brand new together
If you’re outdoorsy types who rarely cook, pick out a recipe together and bake something. If neither of you have been out in nature for a while, strap on some sneakers and go for a walk. Even taking a long drive to a locale outside your neighborhood works. When you both do something that’s out of your element (rather than you dragging him down to the gym and making him accompany you on your daily elliptical fix), you’ll feel more drawn to each other in order to navigate the new situation.
No need to bust out corny board games for this one. Try bringing back fun childhood games like 20 Questions and VW Beetle-spotting, and get competitive with each other. It sounds lame, but it’s a ton of fun, and will awaken the playful qualities that attracted you to each other when you were first dating. If you’re not into those cheesy suggestions, try playing Words with Friends against each other on your smartphones when you’re away from each other — or, when you’re waiting to, say, see a movie, download the Scrabble app and pass it back and forth — there’s a multi-player option.
Revisit what you used to have in common
Chances are, the two of you had a shared hobby before life got a little less exciting. Even if you rarely dust off your iPod or CD player, try playing music that you both used to love (even something as simple as Arcade Fire’s first album, which you heard at a party you attended together, works). Or rent (or stream) a movie you saw on one of your first dates — even if it was a real stinker of an action flick (one idea: Payback starring Mel Gibson). It’s those little things that jog our memories and lead to quality “us time.”