14 things you can do for your relationship

What a lovely reminder is St Valentine’s Day on 14th February for those in a relationship! The day’s a reminder that we should be thinking daily about what we should be doing for our partner.   

Leading relationship expert, Dr John Gottman, says “Small Things Often”:

“It is the small things often, more often, which make a relationship be fulfilling and the couple connected.”

Some of my favourite Gottman quotes:

“The greatest gift you can give your children is a strong relationship between their parents.”

“Great relationships are built on a deep friendship, mutual respect and enjoyment of each other’s company.”

“What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.”

So if it’s the small things daily and not just the biggest box of chocolates, a romantic (often expensive) dinner out, a bunch of flowers, a new shirt, tie or CD…what is it that we can do to show our partners that we are living our love intentionally?

Here is a few ideas to get you thinking of how you can do “small things often” and turn towards your partner to show them you are loving them intentionally. This in turn will add to your “emotional bank account deposits” to create a stronger bond in your partnership.

  1. Kiss like you mean it (remember your dating kisses and now, due to busyness, a peck on the cheek is the daily routine); always kiss hello and goodbye on the lips
  2. Ask your partner what ‘a great night in’ is and plan it as a surprise after work one night or this weekend;
  3. Take over one of their jobs or responsibilities for the next week or two.
  4. Ask your partner his/her favourite meal and cook it on the weekend.
  5. Break routine – go out for breakfast during the week before you both head off to work.
  6. Show an interest in your partner’s world by asking questions and listening and then asking more questions about the topic, ie stay
  7. Compliment your partner − often.
  8. Play a board game.
  9. Suggest an evening walk after dinner to buy ice cream or coffee.
  10. Take a packed dinner to the beach or park.
  11. Ask your partner often, “What do you need from me right now?”
  12. Buy the book 7 Principles of Making a Marriage Work and read it together.
  13. Never stop saying ‘thank you’ or being polite to your partner.
  14. Write a list of the things you love and admire about your partner and hand it to him/her on St Valentine’s Day with a credit note saying, ‘How can I help you today?’

So that doesn’t sound too hard − some would say not that’s not very exciting − but it is these small gestures which help you stay connected and ensure your partner feels s/he is your priority.  

If you are planning a wedding, come along to one of our upcoming Marriage Education courses, 'Before We Say I Do'. Course dates below, bookings essential, phone (02) 4979 1379.

  • COURSE 2: 25 March & 1 April Morpeth
  • COURSE 3: 13 & 20 May Newcastle
  • COURSE 4: 22 & 29 July Newcastle
  • COURSE 5: 9 & 16 September Singleton
  • COURSE 6: 4 & 11 November Newcastle

Have a great St Valentine’s Day – for me a reminder day – what should we be doing more often?

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Robyn Donnelly Image
Robyn Donnelly

Robyn Donnelly is Co-ordinator, Marriage & Relationship Education.

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