Just like any plant, a romantic relationship will wither without the proper nourishment and care. Yes, I know I sound dramatic, but it’s true.
I used to meet and speak with new people on a daily basis. My favorite was when I met an older couple (older meaning older than me 😆) who was clearly very content with each other. Have you ever witnessed that? An elderly couple holding hands? Or a middle-aged couple laughing together? I would often ask these couples: what is the secret to a happy marriage? There was one answer that really stuck out to me “Just be kind to each other.”
Kindness is something we tend to take for granted once we know someone is “stuck” with us (you know, marriage or even a long-term friendship). Your partner – assuming you have a healthy relationship – probably knows you better than anyone else. You spend the most time with each other, you see each other at your worst and at your best, you plan your lives together. That’s a big deal! And we are so blessed when we find someone whose values align with our own. So it’s important (vital, even) that we let that person know that we love them.
Personally, I think the best way to show someone our affection is by extending kindness to him/her. So here are several ways to nurture your love fern and not let it die 🪴
- Share what you love about each other
- Offer at least 15 minutes of your day to sit down and listen with no distractions
- When you listen, really listen
- Discover your love languages with each other*
- Ask how you can support each other in achieving your goals
- Engage in each other’s hobbies (e.g. buy them supplies or lessons, ask them to teach you something they’ve learned)
- Respect each other’s space and boundaries
- Consult each other on big decisions, whether they are joint or separate
- Surprise each other with coffee, tea, or a favorite meal
- Encourage proper rest and self-care
As a bonus (not necessarily related to kindness), try something new together. This is excellent for boredom and staleness in a romantic relationship.
Remind yourself of the kindness factor regularly until it becomes habitual. Nurturing relationships takes place beyond Valentine’s Day or your anniversary 💞
*If you don’t yet know your love language, not to worry! You can take a free quiz here. Knowing your own and your partner’s love language is one of the best things you can do to understand how to make your partner feel loved.