But you have to date. You have to be deliberate in making time for each other to discover and rediscover each other. You have to put as much effort into fostering your relationship as you do your career. You have to continue to court each other.
So many people become quite satisfied with what they know. Like a real-life Bilbo Baggins, the individual – or pairs of individuals – resists adventure and opts for the comfortable and known. They like this kind of music, this kind of food, this kind of vacation, this kind of movie, this kind of… Ask them to try something new or different and they will have a litany of reasons why it simply will not do. And again, cops are no different and may be even more reserved and staid than most.
If you happen to be an adventurous type, good for you! If you are not, we understand, but consider trying at least a little adventure in your life. Try a new look, take up a new sport, get a little loose and sing karaoke, book a vacation somewhere you have never gone (or dreamed of going), become nerdy tourists in your own city, or accept an uncomfortable challenge. Better yet, lay down that challenge to your partner and see where it goes.
You might be surprised just how invigorating adventure can be to a relationship.
Develop shared rituals
Rituals are sort of the opposite of adventure but still very important for couples. These are the shared experiences that help cement relationships. Perhaps they are how you spend your holidays, or celebrate birthdays, or how often your spouse does a ride along with you. For us, they are often silly (each night before I work, when I go to bed I tell Althea, “See you in the morning” and she always replies, “You’ll see me!” – you see, I get up at 0430. She’s not stirring at that time. And then she always adds, “Be safe tomorrow, and have fun!” – I can’t fall to sleep until I hear those words. Okay, we’re dorks).
Rituals are relational glue and extremely important for the long-term health of relationships. Figure yours out, or create new ones, and celebrate them.
Although very good ideas themselves, we’re not talking about going to the gym or taking up racquetball together. Both excellent couple’s activities that we strongly endorse, by the way! But no, what we’re talking about here is… well… is sex.
Strange and conflicting schedules, job pressures, kids and school activities, the responsibilities of keeping our heads above water, and the resultant preoccupations they bring all conspire against us in the bedroom (or wherever you weirdos like to do it) and make sex (or lack thereof) one of the biggest relational stumbling blocks most couples face at some time or another.
Most couples find years into a relationship that the passion and easy spontaneity of early attraction has cooled. Synchronizing libidos is difficult, so most couples have to take on a more deliberate approach, wither in terms of being willing to find that lost spontaneity in order to accommodate each other when the mood strikes one of them, or even setting aside prearranged times for intimacy. Others may seek out books or other resources, even going so far as to hire professional (trained, licensed, and completely legal!) specialists to guide them through intimacy issues. No matter what you do as a couple, do something; physical intimacy is, for most couples, an important or necessary component of emotional intimacy.
Do frequent “check-ins” with each other
One of the best - and simplest – ways to make sure you stay close and maintain intimacy is to do frequent “check-ins.” Ask frankly, “How do you think we are doing with ______? How am I doing as a husband/wife? Is there anything I can do better or different? Am I being supportive of you and your needs?”
These check-ins do three things: First, and most obviously, they provide the opportunity for direct and timely feedback to which you can instantly respond by either seeking clarification or enacting change; second, they demonstrate concern and awareness for the feelings and needs of your partner and; third, they automatically create intimacy merely by being voiced.