This article was originally published on Completed Thoughts.
Not long ago, a female acquaintance was walking with my wife and I and said, "You need to tell me what your secret it is. You two are so sweet with each other. I thought you were newlyweds!"
Our "secret" isn't really a secret, and it is easily explained and illustrated. I am more than happy to share it, and here I will also share a few simple, yet powerful things we do to continuously enrich the love and excitement in our relationship.
My wife and I are extremely close and, in my eyes, we have the greatest connection in the universe. At the risk of sounding too cliché, she is my sun and my world revolves around her. She is my life.
People remark that we are lucky to have such a relationship, and I smile. But it isn't luck.
It is true that we were extremely fortunate to have found each other, especially since I am from Iowa, she is from a small town in the Philippines and we met in a bar in China.
However, we both know that a relationship is a living, evolving thing which must be nurtured and cared for, or else it will become stagnant and die. We both compromise and give, and that is the reason we are so "sweet with each other".
My father always told me that, "maintaining a relationship is not easy," and I never really understood that until a few years ago. He didn't mean that it is hard, grueling work, but that love is an art.
Everyone is unique and when two people join together there is no precedent for how to succeed.
You can listen to other people's advice and experience, but because you are a completely new and unique combination, your relationship will blossom only through trial and error.
When my wife and I were together, we had our share of disagreements and arguments (especially since we came from two different cultures and language backgrounds), but we always resolved to solve and find common ground.
Today, we rarely argue or have any friction because we have "worked" for years to learn about each other, understand each other, compromise with each other and, most importantly, give to each other.
And, along the way, we have learned six very few powerful ways to greatly enhance our relationship.
6 Powerful Ways to Connect With Your Partner
Here are a six things that my wife and I do which, while they may seem simple, are extremely powerful and effective at strengthening our bond and deepening our connection.
1) Touch foreheads
You're probably thinking I am nuts, but give it a try. Touch your foreheads to each other for a minute or two. There is something very powerful that happens, which I cannot express well in words. You will understand the feeling after you try it.
2) Gaze into each other's eyes
Again, this is simple but very profound. When is the last time you two simply gazed into each other's eyes? There is a reason that this phrase is cliché. Set a timer for 3 minutes and just look into each other's eyes for this time. You will be amazed.
3) Hold a hug
Most of the time, when we hug, it is quick and one person (or both) is in a hurry. Take at least a full minute to hug each other. Hold them tight and just be present in the moment.
4) Say please and thank you
Some people say that if you are in a relationship, you shouldn't have to say please and thank you because the other person already knows you appreciate them. But, who doesn't like it when someone shows them appreciation? This is an excellent way to give to your partner. Treat them with absolute respect by, as much as possible, saying thank you for all the little things they do and saying please when making a request.
For example, I try to always remember to thank my wife for every meal she cooks. And why not? I do appreciate it, so why not let her know? It makes both of us feel good. Being grateful to your partner will usually prompt them to be grateful back and this alone can transform a relationship.
5) Ask your partner to marry you (or be your boyfriend/girlfriend) every day
This one I learned from my father. He asks my mother every day if she will marry him. Before we got married, I would ask my wife everyday if she would be my girlfriend. And now, I do my best to remember to ask her every day to marry me. It is a simple way to remind your partner that you love them and are committed to them.
6) Always find time to be alone, to talk and to be together
Saturdays are for us. We don't do work and spend the day together. Often we go out to get away from distractions like the computer and TV or just take a walk. Also, we make sure that, no matter what, we spend some time together every evening, even if it is for a few minutes.
This is perhaps the most important of all of those mentioned here. Make your partner your priority. Yes, life is busy with work, kids, friends, etc., but there really are few things as important as simply spending time with your partner. And it is one of the keys to keeping a relationship strong and healthy.