If your love life is feeling dull, stuffy, or just needs some refreshing, it might be time for a spring cleaning.
Psychotherapist and relationship counselor Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed, LPC has five tips that she believes everyone should do to breathe new life into their love life—from established couples to singles looking for the real thing. Spring is symbolic of a new start and making room for the new, and there’s no better place to start than your love life.
1. Stop comparing yourself to other couples
This was fifth on Rapini’s list, but we thought it deserved the number one spot for your spring-cleaning to-do list. It’s easy to forget, but social media is a small window into other people’s lives. Social media documents what others want you to see and not often the hard or boring stuff. When it comes to relationships, it’s easy to believe the one you have or don’t have compares to the supposed exciting ones it seems everyone else has on the internet. Instead, Rapini says, “Focus your attention on creating a relationship you love with your partner. Your relationship doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s to be the perfect relationship for you.”
2. Plan lunch and breakfast dates
It’s a simple idea, but shaking up the typical date night for an afternoon or morning date can feel refreshing and new. Inviting a match on your morning walk with your pup, with coffees in hand, is a low-key way to get to know someone—and a great start to the day. Need some ideas? Here are six dog-friendly breweries that would make the perfect spot for an afternoon meet-up.
3. Take a class together
Any class is a great class to take together! Learning something new with a love interest is fun and exciting. If you both have dogs, try out a joint obedience class. Or leave the fur kids at home and hone your skills at cooking. Whatever it is, Rapini says classes help couples both learn and play together—the fundamentals for a fun and successful relationship. My hubby and I took a ballroom dance class together years ago, and I still have silly fun memories of it! It was significant in bonding us.
4. Plan a trip
Do experts recommend baecationing? We’re not entirely sure, but Rapini says that vacations are integral to the health of any relationship. She also recommends not feeling guilty about leaving the kids behind. We’ll assume that she does recommend taking your WingPet. If you’re looking for ideas, check out these pet-friendly hotels across the U.S.
5. Check in with each other
No, a “you up” text doesn’t count. Perhaps reserved for more established relationships, Rapini says to get rid of lingering issues by scheduling a weekly check in. Between busy schedules, sit down to really ask, listen, and brainstorm on new or lingering feelings in the relationship.