While we may think that it’s the big issues in our relationships that define how we are together, it’s often the simple gestures that make a big difference in your marriage. The little things add up, and when they happen each day (or don’t happen) this can lead to big and lasting changes. Both positive and negative.
You don’t have to do them all, and you don’t have to do them every day, but adding a few simple gestures for the one you love into your day may bring a whole new level of happiness and closeness that you were missing before.
1 – Make Time To Cuddle
Human touch is one of our most basic and primal needs. Cuddles release a hormone called oxytocin that reduces stress and increases our feelings of love and connection. Plus they feel pretty darn good.
It’s really easy to fall into a rut and routine where you are so focused on the tasks of each day that you forget to just take time to make that physical connection.
Find a time in your day where you can make the time to cuddle, it might be that you set your alarm 5 minutes early and cuddle, or spend time cuddling before you go to sleep or even set an alarm on your phone to go off every day with a reminder to cuddle. Whatever you need to do to make it happen.
2 – Say ‘I Love You’
I heard someone mention the other day (not my husband thankfully) that they didn’t need to say ‘I love you’ because it was implied. Uh, no. It doesn’t work like that people! Yes, you probably know your husband loves you (well, I hope you do) but nothing compares to hearing it.
There are hardly any barriers to saying ‘I love you’. It doesn’t take much effort, it doesn’t take much time, you don’t have to go out of your way, you can even text it if you’re not going to see each other that day… but it makes such a big difference.
3 – Text Each Other
Speaking of texting each other… do it! Maintaining communication with your partner during the day is such a nice feeling, especially when your phone buzzes and you see that it’s from them. You don’t have to have big, lengthy conversations. A simple ‘hey honey, hope you’re having a good day’ can be the pick me up you need.
Just knowing you’re thinking of each other makes you feel so loved and connected. Some days it’s not possible and that’s okay. But just a little effort can go a long way.
4 – Make The Coffee
One of the simple gestures my husband and I do for each other is making the coffee. If he gets up first (which is rare, I’m up at 5am most mornings) he will make a coffee for me, so when I get out of bed it’s there waiting for me. And I do the same for him.
If I happen to be going out that morning before he is up (I promise he isn’t lazy, he works shift work) I’ll lay out all the supplies for his coffee including a mug and make sure there’s enough water in the kettle. I’ll also leave a little note and just have it all there ready for him.
It takes just a few minutes but it means he knows I was thinking of him and it makes him smile first thing of a morning.
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5 – Turn Off The TV
Really, just turn it off. Even if it’s just for one night each week, and do something together instead. Play board games, talk to each other or even just sit and read together.
Sitting and watching TV becomes part of that routine we were talking about, where we do things without even realising. Some nights there’s really nothing interesting to watch, so switch it off!
6 – Hold Hands
Do you hold hands when you are out together? Or even when you’re sitting together on the lounge? It makes my heart so happy when I see couples walking together in public and holding hands. It’s like a display that you’re proud to be with the person you’re with, and a way of keeping that connection with them all in one.
Again, it doesn’t take much effort to do but makes such a massive difference.
7 – Spend Time Together – Alone
I get it, date nights are hard to come by when kids are involved, and sometimes even before then – when you work opposing rosters or have other commitments. But time together, alone, is so important.
You don’t need to go all out, even being intentional in the time you spend together when the kids are in bed (as in… turning off the TV and focusing on each other) can sometimes be just as good as getting out together.
But, if you do manage to wrangle some time where you’re really alone, make the most of it. Do something you both want to do, go to lunch or go to dinner, take a picnic to your favourite spot, go on a walk together or simply go and lay on a blanket under a tree somewhere. It’s so refreshing spending time alone together.
8 – Leave Notes
There’s something incredibly sweet about finding a handwritten note by the one you love. Even when my husband adds ‘I love you’ to the grocery list, it makes my heart all fluttery. I mean, I love text messages for their convenience and ease, but handwritten is just next level sweet.
Plus, they don’t take a lot of time to do. A simple note attached to the fridge, under a coffee mug or on a pillow can be such an incredibly sweet little gesture.
9 – Surprise Them
Remember when you first started dating and you’d do little things to surprise your partner all the time. Because you simply wanted to make them smile. Don’t stop doing that! We’ve already mentioned some of the little surprises like leaving notes, sending messages or making the coffee… but think about what you know will make them smile.
Maybe it’s buying their favourite block of chocolate, or renting their favourite movie to watch together (do people still rent movies?). It doesn’t have to be a big grand gesture, remember it’s the little things that make all the difference.