It’s been 7 years now. More than 1,000 people. And through it all, there has been a consistent pattern in all the couples I’ve seen.
The pattern is simple – three things that are easy, free, and have an instant impact on your relationship.
No more excuses! Take the advice in this post and I promise you’ll see immediate results.
1) Go To Bed Together
If you aren’t going to bed together, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to connect. I know sometimes people have different sleep schedules, and it can be frustrating for both of you. If you commit to doing this, your schedules sync up and it becomes second nature.
As a general rule, join your partner within 30 minutes of them going to bed. But what about couples that work opposite, or very different hours?
If you’re the one who stays up late, go to bed with your partner until they fall asleep. Bed is one of the few times you have privacy and the chance to be intimate (both sexually and emotionally) so it’s important not to skip out. On top of that, it can be hard to fall asleep before your partner joins you.
Falling asleep alone has this weird exaggerated mental effect. People who fall asleep alone tend to report feeling more alone and unsupported in the relationship, even if they aren’t. I’m not a neuroscientist, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we’re hard wired on some level to crave closeness at night, and to feel more isolated than usual if we don’t have it.
2) No Electronics In Bed!
Creeping around on your phone is a bedtime ritual for many people, and it’s absolutely horrible for your relationship. It totally defeats the purpose of going to bed together.
I get that for some people it’s a way to unwind, and that’s cool – just do it *before* bed. Scroll through your feed, catch up on sports, read forums, do whatever you want as long as it’s not in the bedroom. When you’re done, put your phone on silent and leave it under your pillow or on your bedside table (facedown).
This goes for TV as well. And if you aren’t sold on the relationship benefits, consider that your brain forms associations between things very easily. It won’t secrete as much melatonin (sleep chemical) if it doesn’t think you’re going to your sleeping spot.
You have to train your brain to associate your bedroom with sleep… and sex! But watching TV and creeping your phone are definitely not associations you want to build.
3) Spend At Least 1 Hour a Week Dating
The vast, vast majority (I’d say 90%+) of couples I see don’t even spend an hour a week together doing stuff.
You don’t need to be going out for fancy dinners, expensive outings, or extravagant locations, a simple picnic in the park is enough. The key here isn’t so much what you’re doing, but that you’re doing it together with no interruptions.
If you have kids, get a sitter. Turn your phones off. I don’t care if you use your phone for work or if you’re on call. If you can’t be away from your phone for an hour, you’re lying to yourself about how important you are and disrespecting your spouse at the same time. Period.
Ride bikes together. Get some gelato and go for a stroll downtown. See a fortune teller, even if you know it’s a bunch of BS. Halloween is coming up… grab a latte and go pick pumpkins together.
Have Your Own Tips?
Have your own date ideas? Tips that have helped out your relationship? I’d love to hear about them! Post a comment below the article, and subscribe to my weekly email for free dating and relationship tips!