7 Tips to Spring Clean Your RelationshipDating Advice
The first signs of spring are upon us and hopefully, the warmer weather and early blooms inspire a sense of renewal. As you spring clean your homes, garage, offices, and car, it’s also the perfect time to spring clean your relationship in order to gain greater clarity and embrace new beginnings – no matter how long you’ve been together.
We’ve curated our favorite relationship spring cleaning strategies below and encourage you to adapt them to suit your specific needs:
Schedule a relationship check-in. Set aside 20-30 minutes to talk about how you’re feeling in your relationship. You can speak freely allowing the conversation to flow or you can use these four questions to get you started:
What is going well in your relationship?
How have you been feeling for the past week?
What would you like to do differently in your relationship?
What can your partner do to support you?
And while you’re at it, check in on your sex supplies to ensure that your condoms aren’t expired and your lube hasn’t passed its best before date (Not every lube is stamped with an expiration date like ASTROGLIDE®, but I recommend you replace it at least once every two years). If it’s time to replenish your lube, consider leaving it out on your bedside table as a reminder to put the slippery stuff to use in the next few days.
Flirt more often! When you first met, you likely used your body language, eye movements, tone of voice and facial expressions to subtly and playfully convey your interest. The renewal associated with spring offers is the perfect reminder to revisit these old habits. Flirting not only strokes your partner’s ego, but it can boost your self-esteem and will likely lead to more physical affection and connection.
The next time you see your partner cleaning or cooking in the kitchen, approach them from behind with a full-body hug and plant a few kisses on the nape of their neck. When you’re in the car, go out of your way to roll your fingers around their thighs or hold their hand at stoplights.
Change your greetings (and goodbyes). First and last impressions can make or break a relationship, so get inspired by your dog and change the way you greet your partner every day for the next week. Stand up, look them in the eye and slather them in hugs or kisses when they walk in the door. Take a moment to really admire them and look them up and down. Be generous with your compliments and let your eyes meet for a few extra seconds each time you greet and depart.
Decompress at the end of your workday so that you don’t bring your work stress into your home. Before you walk in the door after a long, hard day, take a break and remind yourself that all the baggage from work has nothing to do with your loving partner at home. Take a minute or two just to scan your body and release tension. Look for other ways to manage your work stress (e.g. talking to a therapist, setting boundaries, taking breaks) so that you don’t dump on your partner every night when you get home.
Start your day with seven deep breaths. Rather than reaching for your phone, turning on the TV or stumbling into the shower, set aside two minutes every morning for the next week to breathe while lying next to (or spooning) your partner. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth; pay attention to how you feel in your body and allow each muscle to relax into the mattress for a moment before you get up and start your day. You’ll likely find that your morning routine becomes less stressful and you’ll likely feel more in the moment and connected to your body. This is not an invitation to have sex, but you may find yourselves feeling more connected and in the mood after a few days of this practice.
Change one thing about your sex routine and stick to it for two weeks. You might ban sex in the evening so that you have to sneak in some morning sex or afternoon delight. Or perhaps you want to make a rule that you can’t have sex in bed so that you explore other areas of your home like the shower or the balcony. Get creative and push yourselves out of your comfort zone so that this year’s spring routine sets you up to roll into a summer of love.
Revisit the way you manage household, family and financial chores. When you perceive division of labor as imbalanced, it tends to leave to stress, friction, and resentment. Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling when it comes to your workload. Ask what you can do to support them or if you can take anything off of their plate. Let them know if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Be specific when making requests for them to assist or support you. If you tend to fight about household labor, consider making a list of all the tasks you complete on a weekly basis so that you can better understand one another’s workload, needs, and expectations. This isn’t about keeping score, but it will give you the opportunity to consider their perspective with greater accuracy.
We hope you’ll get started with one of these strategies today and if you have your own seasonal rituals, please chime in in the comments below.