5 Things You Should Do with Your Partner Every Month

A strong relationship is a marathon—not a sprint. So it’s going to take more than the occasional pick-me-up or romantic holiday to keep it happy, healthy and, most importantly, evolving. In a great relationship and want to keep it that way? Here’s your monthly checklist, friends.

Skip town
Our patterns of everyday life can just get so darn routine—the easiest way to remedy this is with travel. While jet-setting isn’t always possible on a monthly basis, you should still make an effort to get outside of your bubble (and troubles) together with a quick trip. Perhaps a weekend escape to a cozy B&B, or maybe just a lunch in the next town over? These micro-adventures serve as a reminder of the endless possibilities this world has to offer—and the fact that you're partners in exploring it.

Socialize solo
Hanging out with family and friends as a unit is great. But equally important? Taking the time to nurture your own personal connections without your spouse in tow. Translation: You don’t need to bring your hubby to your bestie’s birthday party. In addition to deepening your own relationships, it will also give you breathing room—and keep you from getting totally sick of each other. Absence makes the heart grow fonder is the realest idiom. Trust.

Share a romantic meal
When we go on overdrive, food becomes more about utility than enjoyment. And on busy weeknights, we often find ourselves rushing through dinner, if only to get the dishwasher loaded and kids in bed. Which is why it’s so important to slow down and indulge in a romantic meal at least once a month. Have cash to spare? Treat yourselves to a meal on the town. On a budget? Ship the kids to Nana’s, cook in, and add some candlelight to the mix. Either way, dedicate an entire meal to catching up and enjoying your great company.

Give 'gifts'
No, you don't have to shower your S.O. with lavish presents—but a thoughtful gesture goes a long way. Like picking up a bottle of their favorite red wine on the way home because you know they've had a crappy day. Or toting back a small, kitschy souvenir from your work trip, just because. These small acts of giving subtly remind your partner that you’re always thinking of them.

Try something new
Pick something cultural that piques both of your interests—maybe that means reading the same long-form article, seeing live music or seeking out a hiking trail and taking in a literal new view together. Shared experiences are the ultimate bonding agent, not to mention a great way to challenge each other, educate each other and create new memories. (“Remember that time we got hopelessly lost in the woods for five hours? It was so worth it.”)

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