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If you’ve been in a relationship for a while — maybe dating or married for months or years — one of the biggest concerns people have is keeping their relationship sizzling. What are some great ways to make your relationship exciting again? As a matchmaker and relationship expert, I get this question a lot. Here are four simple tips that I believe really work.
1. 30-second hugs
A 30-second hug is one of the warmest, most bonding things you can do with your spouse. It’s a long, extended hug that you "melt" into. This longer hug enables oxytocin to start bubbling in your system — which is the attachment hormone. If 30 seconds sounds too long, start with 10-second hugs and build up to 30 seconds.
Men love touch, and women enjoy a loving, warm touch, which a hug is. Indulge in a longer embrace each morning, and watch how your nights with each other get warmer and more sizzling!
2. Say three nice things every day.
As women, especially, we have a negativity bias, and we look for what’s wrong instead of what's right. And men, sometimes you just forget to observe the nice things that your partner does for you. Every day, commit to noticing three good things about your partner and here’s the big sizzle — TELL them the three good things. It could be how they look, something they accomplished that you noticed or thanking them for something nice that they did for you. Put your relationship back into its positive light by looking for what’s good — and you’ll be surprised how the sweetness comes rushing back in.
3. Ask great questions.
Sometimes after we’ve been in a relationship for a long time, we think we know our partners inside and out. That’s not always the case, because we all make assumptions.
Ask your partner the question, “What makes you feel loved?” over dinner one night this week — and drill for specific times that he or she felt loved. If you’re feeling brave after that question, the next one to ask is, “How can I love you better?” This powerful question will force them to think of what they need, and feel comfortable asking for it — and it will give you invaluable insight on HOW to love your partner even better than you already do.
4. Go on date night with an agenda.
Have a date night, but not the SAME old date night. Go to a new place! Doing something new is always fun and brings a little rush of adrenaline (which builds attraction). Have an agenda for the date: Talk about 10 fun things you’d like to do together this year, five places you must see in the next decade — discuss anything that will have you plan common fun goals for the future.
Follow these tips to tune up your relationship and get back to the sizzle. I do these with my spouse and can promise you that they’re effective and NOT at all annoying.
Dating coach Bela Gandhi is the founder and president of Smart Dating Academy.