With record snow throughout much of America and cold winds blowing, it may be hard to stay warm. If you’ve got someone to cozy up to, you know that love alone does not guarantee the success of a close relationship. It also takes work, commitment and communication to build strong connections.
If the weather weren’t enough, couples today are dealing with huge stresses of all sorts – fears of economic meltdown, actual job loss, threats to safety and security, concerns about retirement finances, and, for Sandwiched Boomers, issues arising from children growing up and aging parents growing older. Partners rely on each other to help buffer the impact of these stresses – and, hopefully, to make coping with them a little easier. Here are some tips that you and your partner can use – on Valentine’s Day and throughout the year – to keep the fires of love burning bright.
Devote time and energy to your relationship. Make time for each other. It is well worth it – your efforts will come back to you many times over. Even if your days are filled with chores, let your date nights reflect romance, sensuality and affection.
Share with your partner what you love about him or her. Don’t hesitate to give compliments when you think of them. Express the gratitude you feel at having your partner in your life. As you remember why you first fell in love, your feelings will grow even deeper and richer.
Focus on the positives in your relationship. Draw on your partner for support when you need it. Recognize that your mutual trust lets you enjoy being playful and sharing a laugh together. Your relationship can rejuvenate you when the stresses of the world outside weigh you down.
Remind yourselves of the commitment you made and the love you created. Plan date nights even when you don’t have something special to celebrate. Draw on humor to lighten the mood. As you recall the joyous times you shared in the past, you will be forming new memories for your future together.
Do something unique this Valentine’s Day. Studies of long-term relationships have found that couples who share novel experiences together actually increase their marital satisfaction and happiness. Why not begin by planning a brand new celebration of your love on February 14th this year?
Build new memories as you enjoy each other. Be playful and have fun together. Laugh and bring humor into your daily life. Plan some adventures – discover new activities you both like to do. All of these bring more pleasure into your relationship and encourage real intimacy between you.
Savor your special times together, whatever they are. When you give all of your attention to enjoying a positive time, you can build memories of these happy occasions and re-live them whenever you want.
A survey of women after last Valentine’s Day found that 2/3 of them were disappointed in the way the day had turned out for them. Either their expectations were too high or the realities too low. In either case, why not talk with your partner before Valentine’s Day and decide to do something different this year. You can make it a special day for you both, even if you are a Sandwiched Boomer coping with the stresses of growing children and aging parents.