4 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship This April
You have dug your car out from under seven billion feet of snow. You have unearthed a chic trench from the depths of your closet. Why not dust the mothballs off your relationship while you’re at it? Here are four lovely and surprising ways to recharge your relationship this spring.
Embrace the Day Date
You and your husband have unused vacation days (assuming you are among the 54 percent of Americans who commit this crime against self-care). Before you sign up for the pressure of hiring a sitter and propping your exhausted eyes open at a dimly lit restaurant (he did NOT just take his phone out, did he?), hang out together while you’re both still awake. Go to happy hour like a bunch of millenials. Have oysters and wine while the kids are at school. You’ll feel like you’re getting away with something. And really, what’s sexier than that?
Get All Fixer-Upper
Nothing cements bonds like a shared home improvement mission—just ask Chip and Joanna Gaines. Commit together to power-wash the scum off your deck and install window boxes full of lavender and ranunculus in front of your house. Are you seriously making out in the aisle of Home Depot? Get a room.
Play the ‘Say Nothing Negative for as Long as Possible’ Game
My husband just walked into the room and said, “It’s so nice around here when the snow melts.” My response (word for word)? “Ugh. I hope we don’t all have strep.” Science says frequent complaining erodes otherwise healthy relationships, and especially annoys and depletes the listener. And get this: "Research on how couples discuss conflicts shows that for every one expression of negativity—contempt, criticism—you need five positive expressions to outweigh it." Why not aim for the five positive expressions first and see if the negativity melts away?
Ditch the Routine
Nothing makes a relationship feel more stale and predictable than saying, “But we always go to the movies/hang out with Marc and Jen/get Chinese on Saturday night.” You know what? So did my Grandpa Morty. Closing ourselves off to new experiences drowns the spark between partners, while conversely, trying anything new together—especially heart-pounding physical stuff—is a proven aphrodisiac. Seems like a good time to mention American Ninja Warrior-style training classes at gyms in New York, Chicago and the Bay Area. Just sayin’.