relationship advice

Running Out of Date Night Ideas? Here Are Some Romantic Options To Try
Planning a regular date night with your significant other is an important part of keeping the romance alive in your relationship.

Planning a regular date night with your significant other is an important part of keeping the romance alive in your relationship.

It is no great mystery that spending quality time with your significant other is key to the longevity of your relationship. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to figure out what to do during these sessions. While you likely spend a lot of time in the same physical space, this doesn’t mean you’re engaged in a useful way. Most couples find that having a specific time every now and again reserved for a date night is a great way to be dedicated to bonding and allow the rest of the world to fade away.

Whether you decide to partake in a unique activity or one that has been tested by time, there are many different options at your disposal. Here are a few easy angles to consider to help you find a fun fit.

No Effort Date Night

Life can be hectic. While 2020 might have taken things to a whole new level of unexpected, life before was not free from stress and anxiety. With so much to handle between shouldering the weight of the world and dealing with interpersonal and work dramas, you might not have a lot of energy to dedicate to your partner. Since canceling a date night is never a great idea, it is best to work with the mood you’re in. You don’t have to go anywhere to make your date night one that is totally worthwhile.

The easiest ways to enjoy time at home together in an active way include watching a movie you’re both interested in, cooking a meal together, or dedicating a bit of time to a project around the house. These little tasks completed together can be rewarding because of how simple they are. Plus you don’t have to spend much money to enjoy each other’s company in your own home.

An Unexpected Surprise

While a routine date night might offer comfort and predictability, romance also requires an element of surprise. Instead of simply waiting for a certain day each month to arrive, take action and figure out how you can make your significant other smile. If he or she works long hours, pop over to the workplace with a meal and encourage a quick lunch break together. This disruption of the normal routine can be a nice way to jolt a bit of excitement into life. Try to cater the surprise to the personality of your partner.

There are many ways to successfully surprise someone you love. If you catch wind of your spouse’s favorite band playing a show in your town in the near future, order tickets and arrange the plans to create a surprise night of magic. With COVID-19 regulations preventing public gatherings, you might need to get creative with ideas like this. You can still get out and have some unexpected fun without breaking the guidelines of distancing.

Nurture Nature

The couple who loves the outdoors will always benefit from finding activities to take part in outside. Recent months have seen most major campgrounds close due to guidelines related to the novel coronavirus. Instead of accepting defeat, arrange it so that you can have a glamorous camping date night right in your own back yard. If you don’t have a yard to camp in, make a blanket fort in your home. Play ambient sounds of nature, make snacks you’d normally cook over a fire, and have a bit of imaginative fun.

As long as you don’t mind thinking outside the box, there are plenty of ways to keep romance alive. The key is shaking things up while keeping some sort of routine in place for the times when you don’t have the energy for excitement. The more you actively work on this part of your relationship, the easier it will be to delve into new ideas and enjoy the time you spend together.

Plant a Garden and Watch Your Relationship Bloom
A perfect way to spend more quality time with your partner this time of year is to plant a garden together, among other do-it-yourself projects.

A perfect way to spend more quality time with your partner this time of year is to plant a garden together, among other do-it-yourself projects.

Tackling home projects with your spouse can be a wonderful way to spend your free time. As the weather gets nicer, you may feel inclined to bring some “do-it-yourself” projects outside. Dedicating time to a garden is a wonderful way to bond with your partner. In fact, a number of couples who have been together for decades have been able to do so by sharing in outdoor activities like gardening. If you think some fresh air and sunshine would be good for your relationship, here are a few projects to get your wheels turning.

Start With Weeds

Beginning a yard project requires a bit of preliminary work. Luckily, this phase is a great way to gauge how you and your partner will work together on more complicated tasks. Try dedicating an afternoon to weeding the garden. Depending on the last time someone did any work to the property, removing all of the weeds and unwanted growth can take a good chunk of time. Still, you won’t be able to plant anything or spruce up the yard without first taking on this task.

Plant the Garden and Wait

Perhaps the easiest way to spend time together outdoors is by planting an actual garden. If you’ve already got the space for it, then you essentially need to focus on seeding the ground. The process of selecting what plants to grow can be a fun activity in and of itself. Take a trip to a local nursery or hardware store and see what’s available. Research which plants will be best to grow during this particular time of year, and cultivate a selection of flowers, fruits, and veggies that will make your property look spectacular.

Build a Shed

For couples who are looking for something a bit more involved than simply planting and tending to a garden, you can build a shed. If you’re planning on spending a considerable amount of time outside in the future, then you’ll need a convenient place to store all of your tools and equipment. Bringing these items into your home can be a messy decision, and a shed helps you avoid crowding your house with tools. Many stores sell DIY kits for sheds, so all you need to do is invest in the tools and select the right spot in your yard for it.

Focus on Little Details

Curb appeal is important to many homeowners. Whether you plan on selling your house in a few years or you simply want neighbors to notice your hard work, dedicating time to the little details of your home’s exterior can work wonders. The mailbox, for example, can be painted or fixed up to be a more appealing feature. The trim on your house can also be updated to give the color of your home a bit more pop. Take a look at your house and see which details you might be able to improve upon.

Create a Shady Spot

If you have enough space on your property, you might want to dedicate time to a project that creates a spot of shade. On hot summer days, sitting in direct sunlight for too long can be both dangerous and exhausting. Think about planting a tree or building a structure like a gazebo on your property. This will provide a simple spot where you and members of your family can go when they’re looking to enjoy the outdoors and still have a bit of respite from the harsh rays of sunlight.

When you are looking for ways to spend time with your significant other and commit to a common goal, working on your yard can be the perfect fit, especially planting a garden. Find a project you both agree on and discover how you can strengthen your bond by committing to a variety of do-it-yourself endeavors.

Growing Together Instead of Growing Apart
While it can be common to worry about growing apart as your life and relationship evolve, there are active steps you can take to help you grow together.

While it can be common to worry about growing apart as your life and relationship evolve, there are active steps you can take to help you grow together.

Relationships can be tricky. While finding a suitable romantic partner can be complicated in and of itself, the struggle doesn’t stop the moment you meet your match. In fact, the longer you’re with the same partner, the more likely it is you’ll encounter new and unusual issues you hadn’t anticipated. One common problem for long-term couples is growing apart as the years go on. Though a common fear for many, there are many simple ways to focus your efforts and learn to grow together and strengthen your existing bond instead.

Spend Time Alone

When you first meet a potential romantic partner, it can compel you to want to spend each and every moment with this person. As the years go on and your relationship grows, you begin to take the other person for granted in subtle ways. Sitting around the house together and staring at your phones might seem like you are spending time together, but you’re technically just occupying the same space at the same time. To keep your relationship strong, there must be a concerted effort to spend meaningful time with each other.

Life is going to take you both in very different directions, and it is important to find activities you enjoy doing alone, or without your partner. However, if you don’t actively dedicate time in your schedule to each other, your relationship will start to fizzle away. Sit down together on a weekly basis and have a “check-in” about your week. This creates an excuse to talk to each other about work, school, or whatever activities you take part in separately. Having a vested interest in your partner’s life helps to reduce the odds of distance growing between you.

Fight When You Need To Fight

Many people have strong reactions about whether or not fights are healthy in a relationship. While newer couples tend to shy away from arguments, studies have shown that a bit of fighting can be incredibly helpful for relationships of all types. While you definitely don’t want to argue over every little thing, a fight is an opportunity to work through an issue that is bothering you. When you constantly avoid arguments because you fear they will upset the peace, you’re really shoving down your emotions until they explode out of you in less healthy ways.

One key to understanding arguments is learning how to admit your mistakes. Saying “I’m sorry” is definitely key, but an empty apology is about as useful as a toothbrush with no bristles. Don’t apologize just to end an argument. Instead, take a look at what your partner is pointing out and try to own whatever issues are being addressed. The more you both acknowledge each other’s frustrations, the easier it is to find meaningful solutions for the future to help lower the odds of the same issue repeating time and time again.

Work Together

The healthiest relationships are typically made up of two people who know how to work together for a common goal. Sadly, there are plenty of circumstances in which you might feel your partner is not in your corner and vice versa. During these moments, it is crucial to remind yourself that your significant other is not your enemy. Though you might not see eye to eye, you need to think about what matters in the moment. At the end of the day, all successful relationships consist of two individuals who know how to work together.

No matter how long you have been with your significant other, growing apart can be a very real concern at any stage of your relationship. To avoid drifting from the person you love, you must take active steps to spend more meaningful time together. By making this effort to connect, you can reduce the odds of the passage of time pushing you farther away from each other.

Be a More Supportive Partner With These Suggestions
Being a supportive partner is an integral part of any relationship, but it is important to understand your partner's personality to best help them.

Being a supportive partner is an integral part of any relationship, but it is important to understand your partner’s personality to best help them.

Whether you’re casually dating someone or have been married for many years, properly supporting your significant other is the key to any healthy relationship. Since support can take many forms, some people struggle when it comes to providing exactly what their partners need. The first step toward success is approaching support from an angle your partner will respond well to. Some people take unsolicited advice as an attack, and others feel neglected when a partner doesn’t engage at all when input is needed. In addition to knowing and understanding your partner’s personality, there are several simple ways to be supportive.

Talk About the Future

Providing advice to someone who doesn’t ask for it can sometimes be annoying because the one giving the advice is assuming what the other needs. A great way to avoid this is by having a conversation about the future. Focus on specifics like career goals or whatever larger ambitions your partner might have. This can provide you with the context you need to offer more useful advice in the future. Engaging with your partner and asking important questions can help him or her feel like someone cares about the answers.

Add Some Supportive Observations

While listening to what your partner has to say is always an amazing way to be supportive, there are going to come times when your observational skills are going to prove handy. For example, your significant other might have a life goal of writing a novel. However, you might notice that he or she never actually spends any time writing. Armed with knowledge of your partner’s goals, you can gently suggest that he or she focus more on sitting down and getting the book started.

Interestingly, you may observe traits or patterns that your partner is not fully aware of. Maybe he or she loves to tinker with gadgets and is very talented at understanding how a device works. If this is the case, you can point out what you’ve observed and potentially make your partner aware that he or she could easily consider a new career path or hobby based around these skills.

Don’t Go Crazy

Some people love to offer suggestions to friends and relatives when asked. Of course, there is such a thing as too much advice. Even when your partner asks for assistance, you don’t want to come down too hard or offer an entire array of ideas. This is an easy way to overwhelm your significant other. Pay attention to how he or she is responding when you bring a suggestion to the table. If it seems like your ideas are making the situation worse, take a step back and allow your partner space to figure things out without influence.

Bad Decisions

Watching someone you love make a bad decision can be really difficult. While you need to trust that your partner has his or her own best interests in mind, there are times to speak up and stop a bad idea before it starts. For example, your partner might have had a difficult time with alcohol in the past. When he or she decides to get a late-night gig working at a bar, this would be a good time to speak up and start a conversation about why you feel this might be problematic.

Relationships are often incredibly tricky, and there are no clear-cut answers for all of the many issues you’re likely to encounter in the future. Still, being a supportive partner who engages in healthy ways can make a world of difference. Learn what works best for your relationship and you will have an easier time discovering the most practical ways of showing support to the person you’re building your life with.

Handling Fights With Your Significant Other
Relationships are far from easy. Getting through difficult periods of strife is all about learning the right way to handle fights.

Relationships are far from easy. Getting through difficult periods of strife is all about learning the right way to handle fights.

Relationships are far from easy. While some might be simpler for you to manage than others, all of the connections you share with friends and family members need to be tended to every now and again. One of the most important bonds you share in life is with your significant other. Fights can disrupt the normal routine of a couple and sour plenty of experiences before the issue is resolved. Getting through difficult periods of strife is all about learning the right way to handle a fight.

There are several actions you should avoid when arguing with your partner. Consider these tips and discover how you can keep your fights to a minimum and civil all the while.

Respect Is Everything

Showing proper respect to your significant other is important when you want your relationship to stay healthy. Of course, this is not always easy. When you are in the middle of fights, you may not remember how crucial respect can be. The worst thing you can do is willingly and consciously show disrespect during a fight. Remember that every person has a different way of handling stress and coping with an argument. Respect your partner’s process, and it will be easier to find a resolution.

The Stakes Aren’t That High

Fighting has a way of making everything seem extreme. When you’ve been with your partner for long enough, you start to argue over the dumbest topics. Sometimes, you may even have the same point of view but are arguing anyway. When tensions are high, many people assume the stakes are also high. This creates an “all or nothing” mentality that can destroy your relationship by making it seem like any little fight is a cause for throwing your relationship away. Luckily, taking a step back before reacting can help you gain some perspective on the matter.

Let Go of Fights

Nothing is worse in a fight than when your significant other slings something at you from the past. Though plenty of couples “keep score” and hold to past transgressions, this is a very unhealthy habit. Throwing something at your partner from the past means those wounds were never healed. It is important to address topics that bother you as soon as possible, or else you may end up in a situation where you are constantly fighting over the same things.

Learn To Listen

A big mistake couples make frequently during fights is to fail to hear what the other is saying. When you both have a lot to get off your chests, you both need to hear each other. If you only argue your point of view and wait for your turn to speak, then you won’t be able to resolve any of the issues being brought up. Listening is a skill many people lack, so do your best to focus and put your emotions to the side as you do.

Find a Resolution

You may also find that many of your fights feel like they are going in circles. This is because plenty of couples constantly go back to the root of what caused the argument. While it is important to address the cause, you need to move past this and focus more on the resolution. How will you move forward, and what changes will each of you make? Thinking about the resolution will help you avoid an endless cycle of arguing the same points.

Relationships require a lot of work. No matter how strong the bond you share with your partner might be, you are going to argue now and again. What matters is how you move through the conflict. Take time to learn sensible ways of handling your fights, and see how you can use each disagreement as a way to strengthen your union for the future.

Maintaining a Healthy and Happy Relationship With Your Partner
Planning a wedding with your partner can be daunting. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

Planning a wedding with your partner can be daunting. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

The decision to get married can be a very exciting one. You and your partner are in for a lifetime of adventure together once you have gotten engaged. Of course, you also need to make sure you focus on specific aspects of your relationship. Planning a wedding can put a lot of pressure on you both, and it is very common for most couples to get into a few spats throughout the process. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

Taking time to appreciate your significant other is vital to maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. To prepare for what’s in store and be ready for anything, look over these simple ways to keep yourselves sane and working as a unit.

Spend Time Together

This might not come as a huge surprise to anyone, but spending quality time with your significant other is a fantastic way to reinforce your relationship. Unfortunately, plenty of couples make the mistake of thinking any time together is good. While it might be nice to get together to plan for your future wedding, you also need to focus on other activities in order to keep your connection alive in more exciting ways. Only spending time together writing out invitations or communicating with vendors can easily become a bore.

The best way to be together is by making time for each other. Set a little bit of time each week aside to do fun couples activities. This can be anything from cozying up on the couch for binging a bit of Netflix, to cooking and enjoying a meal together, to taking a stroll through the neighborhood and having a leisurely conversation. No matter what you do, try and make sure you aren’t focused on wedding details. Leave that for another day and concentrate on the relationship that led to the engagement in the first place.

Spend Time Apart

It is true that spending quality time with your significant other is a great way to strengthen your connection, but there are instances when you are going to need to do the exact opposite. Spending too much time with your partner can easily have a negative impact. You don’t want to constantly be breathing down each other’s necks, so you may want to practice getting involved with people outside of the relationship.

According to experts, the happiest couples are those who have their own lives away from their partner. You and your partner both want to have your own friends, for example. These can be friends from childhood or people you have met along the way. Both you and your significant other should have trustworthy friends and confidants to turn to when you need to vent, decompress, or recharge.

Put In the Effort

It might be taxing to plan for a wedding, but you can’t let your exhaustion be an excuse for not putting in the effort in your relationship. No matter how tired you are or how many tasks you need to complete before the deadlines arrive, it is crucial for you to make time for your partner in the right ways. When you remember basic household tasks like making dinner, cleaning the bathroom, or even making the bed in the morning, it can do wonders to keep your love alive.

Though putting together your dream wedding might require a lot of effort, you still need to keep the home fires burning with your significant other. Learn how to make time for each other and put it to good use to keep your connection as strong as it has always been.