Keeping Your Relationship Happy
1. Act Out of Character
Couples develop a particular dynamic: the way they relate to each other that repeats itself over and over. If you break that pattern and act against type — in a positive way — you inject new life into the relationship. For example, if you always get angry at your guy when he doesn't follow through on some chore, try addressing him in a nicer, more friendly tone, then thank him when he does a good job. It works every time.
—Toni Coleman, psychotherapist
2. Get in Touch a Lot
No doubt you hug and kiss each other hello and maybe snuggle a little after having sex. But simple acts like stroking his arm while you're watching TV, taking his hand when you're walking down the street, or fondling his thigh during dinner are also ways to bond. Touching your partner throughout the day triggers your feel-good hormones, which reinforces your affection and makes you feel closer on an instinctive level.
—Psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith, PhD
3. Don't Be BFFs
Being pals with your man is great in theory. But that kind of connection actually can kill your sex life. You could wind up having a roommatelike bond with each other rather than a hot one if you let yourself lose track of the masculine-feminine tension that excited you at the beginning of your relationship. Save the gab sessions for when you hang out with your girlfriends and your sexy energy for connecting with your guy.
—Lana Holstein, MD
4.Be a Good Date
Face it, no one can stay fascinating forever. After being together for a while, the initial excitement fades, and your guy can start to get kind of boring sometimes. Hey, don't think you're off the hook — if you're feeling a little ho-hum about him, the feeling is likely mutual! To combat the blahs, take turns coming up with an interesting date idea every month. Keep the time and details to yourself, and try to think outside the box — dinner and a movie is not exactly innovative. An awesome concert or a snowboarding lesson, for example, is a much less predictable treat.
5. Take Turns Talking
To make sure you both get a chance to state what's on your mind during a disagreement — and get your points across — alternate playing reflective therapist, where one listens while the other talks.
—Psychologist Diana Kirschner, PhD
6. Be More Positive Than Negative
There's a more effective way to air grievances than to file an angry complaint. Sandwich your negative comment between two positives. If you want to complain about how he's always late, for example, try something like "You know, I love that you're so laid-back and easygoing, but it really bothers me when you show up so late. I'm sure you can still be the fun guy I adore and also be on time."
—Los Angeles psychologist Yvonne Thomas, PhD
7. Banish TV from the bedroom. Television is a major intimacy killer. Watch your favorite shows and DVDs in another room, and use the boudoir for three things: sleep, snuggling, and sex.
8. Have His Back
You might not agree with your guy when he's had a riff with a friend or he thinks his boss is being unfair, but you should always be on his side...and vice versa. Otherwise, you'll both feel like you can't count on each other. That doesn't mean you have to take the "you're so right" route all the time. Just hear him out, and let him know that you'll support him no matter what.
—New York City psychotherapist JoAnn Magdoff, PhD
9. Take a Time-Out
It's important that you get a break from the daily grind and spend alone time as a couple — cell phones and the Internet are off-limits. It can be a fun day trip or just a few quiet hours to yourselves. The point is simply to steal away (even if you're going nowhere) so you can reconnect, free of any distractions.
Read more: Relationship Tips from Experts - Cosmopolitan