Hanukkah is upon us, and there is no better gift that you can give to your partner than to improve your relationship. Sometimes, both people in the relationship need to change together, but in many cases, one person can begin by changing a behavior and cause a positive ripple effect in the relationship. So, here are eight priceless gifts that you can do to better your relationship – one for each of the days of Hanukkah.
Day 1: Give Something Kind
After a couple has been together for a while, the familiarity and comfort with one another can lead to less thoughtful behavior. Breathe consideration and attentiveness back into your relationship. On Day 1, identify one meaningful or helpful thing that you can do for your partner that you know that they would appreciate. It can be something as simple as running the errand that they never seem to be able to get to.
Day 2: Give Something Nurturing
A couple’s tendency to do something nurturing for one another can often fall by the wayside with hectic lives. At the end of a hectic day, it feels hard to give. Surprise your partner with a selfless act of pleasure. Give a foot massage or back rub or set up a warm bath with candles and music for them. Many couples fall into the pattern where they only show physical affection when they want sex, and there is a loss of touch being associated with kindness and affection. Let your partner relax and lose themselves in the pleasure of the experience.
Day 3: Give Something Romantic
Add some romance back into your life. Romance is often forgotten when relationships become settled, secure and comfortable. On Day 3, send flowers, write a love letter, share a glass of wine by the fire or sit outside and watch the sunset. Just let your partner know that you were thinking of them in whatever way calls to them best.
Day 4: Give Something Supportive
It may have been a long time since you patiently listened to your partner talk about themselves, their day or the things that they are interested in. Take the time to emotionally connect with your partner and to be curious about how they’re feeling. Being attended to by an engaged and attentive listener feels good to your core.
Day 5: Give “Me Time”
Life is busy, and people so rarely get a chunk of time for themselves. So, cover for your partner (doing their chores or errands) and encourage them to take the time to do whatever they want. Having separate time is gratifying for the individual, plus it helps the relationship. Having your own identity, hobbies and interests allows you to come back to the relationship and share this part of you.
Day 6: Give Gratitude
It always feels good to be appreciated and acknowledged by someone you love. Go ahead and notice the big things as well as the little. Maybe you compliment their great coffee that they make each morning, how great they look in an outfit or recognize something nice that they have done. In addition to making your partner feel great, showing gratitude can also work as positive reinforcement – the more you give, the more you get.
Day 7: Give Affection
There is nothing like a little physical contact to reinforce a partner’s connection to you. A stroke of the hair, a squeeze of the hand, a hand on the knee and a hug are a few tender ways to show affection.
Day 8: Give A Novel Outing
Are you growing tired of your date nights that either involve dining at the same restaurants or watching Netflix on the couch? Research shows that couples who engage in novel activities report being happier than couples that do mundane, repetitive things together. Find an exciting show, a sporting event or festival and set a date for the future.
At the end of the Festival of Lights, you not only will have a happier partner, but you also may discover a renewed sense of connection with your partner. Heck, you may decide to implement your Festival of Love year round!
You may also be interested in The Holiday Relationship Test: Sharing Your Hanukkah Traditions