In order to add depth to any relationship, one must act with intent to do so. What does it mean to deepen your love? How do couples grow closer? Adding depth simply means finding something that causes you and your partner to appreciate each other more than you already do. Whether you have been together one month or thirty years, there is always room to deepen your relationship. How? Below, I have listed 10 ways that any couple can, and will, add depth. Here’s the catch: You actually have to do these things for them to work!
1. Compliment your mate! For many, compliments flew freely during the early stages of the relationship. Over time, complimenting your mate may have gotten lost. Both of you do so many things periodically throughout each day. This poses a wonderful opportunity to appreciate all that your mate does for you, for self, for the world around. By giving a compliment, especially for things expected of your mate, you are acknowledging how important their role is. Who doesn’t want to feel important?
2. Ask a question! No, I don’t mean ask if the garbage has been taken out. I mean, stop whatever you’re doing and ask something different like, “What was your favorite game as a child?” Or, “What is something that you would love to learn about?” You may be surprised of the conversation such a question may spark and you may learn something new about the one you love. Ask something you don’t already know. This will give reason for your lover to pause and think about a pasttime and it demonstrates to them that you care to understand them even more. If you want, make it into a conversation night (see below #8) by having a question where you both ask each other questions about the past. Show your appreciation for the repsonses by thanking them, especially for answering tough questions. Also, make sure that you only ask questions that you won’t mind the responses to.
3. Take a walk! Every day is filled with things to keep the both of you busy. So, instead of keeping busy separately, take your lover’s hand and suggest going for a walk. Couples need to create more opportunities to just be together and leave the routines behind. You can pick the routines back up when you return, they will be waiting. Having time together helps to free the mind and allow for ‘other’ things to enter, such as feelings about things.
4. Start a hobby together! Too often, couples will part, going in separate directions, when it comes to taking up a hobby. Why not start a hobby that you both can participate in as a team. There is no question that team building is an important component in relationships. This is something that will also give you both a common topic to discuss outside of bills and workdays. While team building, be a positive support role and compliment your partner as they move through the various stages of learning. Let them know that you would like their positive support too.
5. Discuss your relationship! Did you ever wonder how you are doing in your relationship, through your partner’s eyes? Asking your mate “How am I doing as your lover?” is a great way to safely open the communication lines and learn a bit more about yourself and how your are viewed by the person who cherishes you most. It can be uplifting, encouraging, and may help you learn about areas that you can improve on. Then, have your mate ask you the same question and keep the feedback equal to theirs.
6. Give a massage! If there is anything that deepens a relationship, it is intimate touching. Touching without sex can be incredibly intimate and send the message that you deeply care. Don’t ask your mate if they want a massage. Instead, tell them you are going to give them a massage. Why? Your mate knows you are tired and will most likely say “No thank you,” so you don’t exhaust yourself. Do it when they don’t expect it. Or, schedule an appointment for the two of you to get massages but don’t tell your partner that the massage parlor is in your bedroom and that you both will be giving one too. Or, plan it together.
7. Play a game together! As kids, we played games all of the time. It is a fun way to be interactive and strategize against each other. Yes, going head to head with your lover can be exciting as long as there are no sore losers. Make it more interesting by giving a prize to the winner. Before the game begins, both of you can decide what you will award the other if they win. After the game, ask your mate how they think you did. Engage them in describing what you did right and what you could’ve done better.
8. Pour some wine and talk! There is nothing greater than a couple that makes time to sit down with each other and talk. There doesn’t have to be an agenda either. Whether you talk about world events or things closer to home, a conversation with your mate is priceless. If you are not accustomed to conversing about things other than work and bills, write a list of questions (see above #2) to help you get started. One of my favorites is, “Do you remember…” Something magical occurs when couples reminisce about their own experiences together. It is a shared bond and should be discussed later on in life. Those are the good times and talking about them still emits feelings associated to the event.
9. Write a short story! So many people rely on greeting cards to say things for them. I suggest that you write something yourself. Why? When it comes from you, the recipient attaches more meaning to it. Write something endearing such as what you appreciate about your mate, or, write something funny such as how they have changed since you first met. This allows you to reflect and appreciate the change just as much as they will when they read it or listen to you as you read it to them. If your mate doesn’t like to write, ask them to tell you how you have changed over the past. Make sure to set the boundaries and make it only about positive things.
10. Hug! As stated before, intimate touching is a great way to add depth to any relationship, young or old. Take the time to hold your sweetheart and they will feel loved and appreciated. As the hugger, you will also feel a greater sense of appreciation. Be the first to make hugging a part of everyday life and you will soon be the one receiving the hugs. Sometimes, it takes one person to get things started. The more consistency there is with the act, the better your chances of having the act reciprocated.
Appreciation for your loved one is something that is often lost in the wind of daily happenings and routines. There is never a better time to break old routines, and start new ones, then the present. A trail in the forest is great for walking upon and only seeing the things near the trail. However, if you turn off of the trail and go deeper into the forest, you will see so much more that you didn’t even know was there. Don’t allow your relationship to become a beaten path. Instead, turn off of the trail of routine and go deeper!
Jaymes Ian Woode