On Valentine's Day, new couples may be brimming with anticipation and excitement, but many long-standing couples feign indifference to the holiday of romance. Being comfortable with each other is no excuse for being boring, however. Romantic getaways, intimate homecooked dinners, and extravagant gifts aren't the only ways to show affection. These 10 cheap or free ideas can help keep the love alive.
Partners who spend more time laughing together are more satisfied in their relationships, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And using humor to diffuse conflict is a positive step toward resolution. Arguments aside, whether it's a silly joke just between you two or a comedy on Netflix to watch together, laughter leads to closeness.
If you've been kissing the same person for years, it may be getting a little monotonous (or not, if you're lucky). Regardless, shun the low-effort, lazy lip graze and go in for a real smooch each time you kiss. Keep it up after Valentine's Day, too.
A common complaint among couples: One partner always seems to be the person who does more of the work around the house. A simple way to fire up the relationship is to share the duties more equitably. This can help reaffirm your commitment to each other and to responsibilities you share, whether child rearing, a home project, pet duty, or taking out the trash. Certain chores can also help burn major calories.
For just one hour in the evening, turn off the phones, hide the laptops, and shut down the TV. It's amazing how disconnecting can help you reconnect. Psychology Today recommends making the dinner table a phone-free zone. Banning electronics from the bedroom can have benefits, too.