Fifty ways to rekindle your relationship

Dear Dr. Karyn,

I’ll be honest, I really look forward to reading your column each month, and what I love the most is that you give simple little ways for us as families, parents, and couples to reconnect! Each year, I set goals for myself and my husband to be closer, but as the weeks go by in the new year, I find myself going back to old patterns. Do you have any simple ideas for what couples can do to refresh? Reboot? Rekindle? Any tips are appreciated! Life is so busy, so any simple suggestions would be great!

Thank you for your honesty, and yes, a lot of readers I’m sure can connect with what you are saying! Yes, relationships require work and time! The average couple spends only four minutes of connecting each day — that’s simply not enough! Just think about when you were fully engaged with your partner. How did it change your mood? Communication? Parenting?

As a relationship expert for nearly 20 years (and being a wife myself for nearly 14), I see it! When we invest in our relationship (and it is truly an emotional and time investment) — there are huge returns. We are more relaxed, patient, happier, loving, productive, encouraging, playful, and overall the best version of ourselves!

So how can we move from a “surviving” relationship to a thriving one? My number one recommendation is to focus on small baby steps! There are thousands of ways to start making progress, but here are 50 suggestions compiled from dozens of men and women (from Twitter, Facebook, friends, and clients) summarizing what they have done to rekindle their relationship!


• Make family dinners together (and eat together)

• Never stop trying to woo your partner

• Don’t stop dating. Set aside a night

• Family activities

• Trips

• Have a sense of humor

• Spontaneity with family outings

• Play hockey together

• Support each other in everything

• Sing along while cooking dinner

• Have fun together

• Laugh

• Sacrifice

• Be active as a family

• One annual vacation without kids

• Give each other time off to do your own hobbies

• Fun (and sexy) text messages throughout the day

• Put little notes in each other’s lunch bags

• Reminisce about fun times

• Go on short holidays together

• Talk about everything

• Fight and make up (that is the fun part)

• Be a happy face for each other to come home to

• Pick and choose your fights

• Sex, sex, and more sex

• Talk and listen

• Surprise gifts

• Forgive easily after a fight

• Help each other with chores

• Go out for coffee and date nights (even if it’s just 20 minutes)

• Give each other free time

• Retire together

• Have the kids move out

• Go for long walks

• Join a club or sport together

• Spend time with friends

• Relax together (cuddling, watching television)

• Always speak kindly of each other (face-to-face) and behind each other’s backs

• Hire a sitter, so you can enjoy a quiet night together

• Daily compliment

• Get back in shape after kids

• Communicate about day-to-day events

• Take care of yourself. (Look good)

• Make an effort with the in-laws

• Be comfortable with the other doing their own things

• Be honest and open, even though it may hurt

• Be unplugged (without technology)

• Praise

• Hold hands

• Be curious with one another.

Dr. Karyn Gordon is one of North America’s leading relationship and parenting experts. She is a regular contributor to “Good Morning America,” founder of dk Leadership, best-selling author of “Dr. Karyn’s Guide To The Teen Years” (Harper Collins), and motivational speaker to a quarter of a million people. Visit her at www.dkleadership.org and on Twitter: @DrKarynGordon.