Article By Susan Hicks
~ FEBRUARY 2022 ~
Valentine’s Day is over, but if you’re looking for ways you can show your partner how much you love them every day of the year, we have some top tips from relationship expert Anna Swoboda.
Anna, who is founder and principal matchmaker of personalised offline dating service HeartMatch, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that at the famous Gottman Institute they have studied thousands of couples in the Love Lab.
The results offer some insight into relationships and why they fail or succeed.
“They can predict with over 90% accuracy a couple‘s likelihood of divorce from one thing; the balance of contempt vs fondness and admiration in the couple’s conversation,” she tells us.
“One surprising thing that comes out of Terri Orbuch’s landmark research on hundreds of long term couples is how appreciation from his partner is so highly correlated with a man’s relationship happiness. Apparently women get appreciation daily from many sources like girlfriends and women on the street (I love your shoes etc…). Men don’t get that so crave it from their partners. So celebrating and appreciating your man daily is a simple yet powerful way to build intimacy and happiness.”
This doesn’t mean men should stop complimenting their ladies, though.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
5 tips to keep the Valentine’s romance alive all year long
“Where the focus goes, energy grows,” explains Anna. This is the secret to long term relationship success. “Turn towards each other. Create little connections and appreciation rituals. Love is not something you fall in and out of, it is something you do. Many little things often.
1. Continue to date each other
Do something romantic and fun together at least once a week.
“My partner and I have ‘loved up Fridays’,” Anna says. “We always have a Friday date. Incorporating a weekly date is a great way to keep the relationship curious and fun. It’s also a great time to have meaningful conversations.
The date doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. It just needs to happen regularly, and be a dedicated time for each other.
2. Have a daily stress-reducing conversation
Spend 30 minutes a day having a “how was your day?” talk with your partner. “The purpose of this conversation is to connect. Make sure you share how you feel and listen actively.”
3. Exercise together
A great way to connect with your partner is to make a joint physical fitness goal.
Go to a yoga or pilates class every Saturday morning or take a post dinner walk with your partner. You could add a little novelty and excitement by trying new activities. Studies show that sharing exciting experiences can bring couples closer together.
5. Share a six second kiss
It’s time to pucker up!
“A daily six second kiss will increase your emotional physical intimacy,” Anne says “Physical contact releases the bonding hormone oxytocin. This can improve your mood and help you stay calm.
Holding hands, hugging, touching and kissing can reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, and increase your sense of relationship satisfaction.”
5. Eat meals together – without screens!
“Turn off your phone, iPad, computer and TV when you eat together”, Anna advises.
“This way you can take more time to truly connect.”