Cheat sheet: Romantic relationship maintenance
Relationships are a lot like car engines: Complex, a little messy and oh-so-powerful. To keep them running their best, they need a lot of TLC. From filling the tank with quality gas to regular tune-ups, wheel alignments and full-blown under-the-hood checkups, the better you take care of your car -- or in this case, your relationship -- the better condition it will stay in for a longer period of time.
Keep your relationship running its best and avoid the need for major repair by following this maintenance routine:
GAS: Weekly TLC
- Go on an actual date.
- Have morning before-work sex.
- Give/get a foot rub.
- Pay a genuine compliment.
- Engage in an really passionate lip lock.
- Belly laugh.
- Do an extra-courteous gesture, such as de-icing the other's windshield, making a favorite breakfast, etc.
- Watch a favorite TV show together.
- Play a board game.
- Take a 20+ minute walk together.
TUNE-UPS: Monthly TLC
- Give each other a "get outta jail free card."
- Do the other person's assigned chore (trash duty) or typical errand (dry cleaning pickup).
- Prepare an at-home spa night (alternate months), complete with music, candlelight, massage and foot soak.
- Have a romantic home-cooked meal.
- Give the other a day all to himself, if you have kids.
- Go on a double date.
- Get waxed/trimmed in all the right places.
- Balance your budget (if you cohabitate).
- Go on a girls'/guys' only night.
- Have a lazy day together.
- Immerse yourselves in something cultural, such as the theater, a street fair or a museum.
- Do a relationship checkup by simply asking each other how everything is and if anything could be improved upon.
CHECK-UPS: Annual TLC
- Go on a spontaneous adventure, if even just for the day.
- Set mutual goals.
- Learn something new together.
- If you have kids, go on a weekend getaway without them.
- Give a "for no reason" gift.
- Get a makeover (yes, guys too!) to feel renewed and re-attracted to each other.
- Take a break from each other (visit friends/family, or take a solo vacation).
- Volunteer together.
- Have sex in a new place, try a new position or visit an adult sex shop.
- Make a homemade card or write a poem for the other.
- Visit a place that is significant to your relationship (where you met, where you first kissed, etc.).
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