With Valentine's Day drawing near, new couples may be brimming with anticipation and excitement, but many long-standing couples feign indifference to the holiday of romance. Being comfortable with each other is no excuse for being boring, however. Romantic getaways, fancy dinners, and extravagant gifts aren't the only ways to show affection. These 10 cheap or free ideas can help keep the love alive.
10 Free and Cheap Ways to Keep the Love Alive
Partners who spend more time laughing together are more satisfied in their relationships, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And using humor to diffuse conflict is a positive step toward resolution. Arguments aside, whether it's a silly joke just between you two or a comedy on Netflix to watch together, laughter leads to closeness.
If you've been kissing the same person for years, it may be getting a little monotonous (or not, if you're lucky). Regardless, shun the low-effort, lazy lip graze and go in for a real smooch each time you kiss. Why wait for Valentine's Day to start?
A common complaint among couples: One partner always seems to be the person who does more of the work around the house. A simple way to fire up the relationship is to share the duties more equitably. This can help reaffirm your commitment to each other and to responsibilities you share, whether child rearing, a home project, pet duty, or taking out the trash.
Spotting each other across a crowded room (a bar or restaurant, say) after work inserts a bit of mystery into the ordinary. Feeling really cheap? Skip the happy hour specials and head home for a cocktail.
Taking care of your own health can help you be a better partner. Eating well, sleeping enough, exercising, and making time for your own interests and hobbies keeps you stay balanced and able to love another fully. Find healthy living ideas by following a social media star who shares your sensibilities.
Making your partner a cup of coffee, clearing the dishes, or even putting a sweet note in his or her lunch bag is a touch of thoughtfulness that goes a long way toward keeping the love alive. Focus on the little things you know your partner would appreciate.