We’re celebrating the month of love, and so should you. We’ve put together a list of ways to deepen your love, commitment, and understanding of your partner — while having fun along the way too.
1. Travel together
There’s more to traveling as a couple than you’d think — couples who travel together have stronger relationships than those who don’t. Being stuck with one person for days on end is a learning experience that has the potential to go very much go awry. Traveling together tests your compatibility, pushes you to be more communicative, and builds trust and vulnerability.
It’s easy to get stuck in the same old routine, and travel is an exciting way to break out of it. Spending time alone away from home with your partner is a must-do, and it can be as extravagant or as low-key as you want it to be. Escape city-life for a weekend without having to go far; book an Airbnb somewhere quiet and beautiful for some R&R, or maybe head towards your nearest ski resort for a winter wonderland getaway. If you’re craving the sun’s rays and itching for mojitos and warm sand, find a week you and your partner can both take off and head south of the equator. Point is, travel will give your relationship the TLC it deserves and allow each of you to spend time together free of life’s usual hassles.
2. Try new things
One of the amazing pros of being in a relationship is that you get to know the person you love really well — but that shouldn’t take the excitement out of being in love. Not only is it thrilling to be adventurous with your person, it’s scientifically backed that couples who try new things together are happier together. Playfulness is what keeps love alive, and being vulnerable together in less familiar situations will only make you closer. No need to go soul searching — adding novelty to your relationship can be as easy as trying new restaurants for date nights, or throwing date night out the window altogether and opt instead for trying something new in the bedroom (yep, we went there).
Take a cooking class together, or save a few dimes and buy a cookbook to try out new dinner recipes with each other (even on a weeknight). Get your heart racing (literally) and try a new workout together (Barre? Kickboxing? Rock climbing?), or visit a museum you both have never been to. If you really want to get closer, get involved in each other’s favorite hobbies. Whether your passion is painting, photography, running — one of you is already an expert, so why not play teacher?
Your options are endless. The honeymoon phase doesn’t have to end if you don’t want it to, and being spontaneous and getting out of your comfort zones will keep the spark ignited.
3. Learn each other’s Love Languages
As much as we want to dismiss the concept of love languages as a sham for self-helpers, there’s a lot of truth to it that can make or break a relationship. Dr. Gary Chapman developed the psychological idea that people express and receive love in different ways — five, to be exact. If you’re not familiar, the five love languages are: acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, and physical touch.
Knowing each other’s love languages means that you’ll both know when the other is expressing love, and how they interpret being loved. If you’re the kind of lover who likes frequently being verbally reminded how loved and appreciated you are (words of affirmation), and your partner expresses their love by easing the weight of your responsibilities when you’re stressed about work (acts of service), that could potentially lead to a lot of miscommunication. By knowing each other’s love languages, you’ll know that it’ll make your partner feel extra loved if you offer to do the dishes after a bad day at work, and your partner will know they should make the effort to say “I appreciate you” (or even just “damn, you look good”) more often.
4. Learn to love each other in another language
Maybe you and your boo are high school or college sweethearts — in that case, taking it back to your scholarly days is a blast from the past that’ll keep your love toasty and take you to higher places together. Even if you’re not, learning a language with your lover as your study buddy is an awesome way to keep each other motivated. You can practice together, keep each other from slacking off, and have fun learning how to communicate with each other in another language. There’s a lot of utility that comes with it, too: take it on a trip abroad together, use it during your weekly date night, or with each other’s family (if one of you is bilingual).
It’s a surefire way to…¿cómo se dice?… “spice things up”.