Newswise — Whether you’re seeking ways to win over a new Valentine or reignite the passion with your longtime love, reviewing your relationship habits might be in order. Building a healthy relationship could be as easy as a few simple steps, says Carter Rakovski, professor of sociology at Cal State Fullerton.
Rakovski, whose current research focuses on “Working the Romance: Gender and Occupations in Romantic Films,” says all couples can benefit from these five habits of healthy relationships.
1) Make time for yourself. Reignite or maintain desire in your relationship, by making time for passions, hobbies, and parts of yourself that you enjoyed before the relationship started. When a long-term partner sees her beloved in her element, doing the things she enjoys, she remembers that initial attraction.
2) Feel the love. Spending time together in a pleasant setting is important to a healthy relationship. Familiarity increases positive feelings. The more time we spend with someone, the more we tend to like them. When in a positive setting, such as a restaurant or beach, those positive feelings we have about the environment can transfer onto the person sharing those experiences with us.
3) Be creative. People can fall in love when sharing an exciting, thrilling experience with an element of danger or surprise. Especially in online dating, first meetings at coffee shops can feel like an interview and become monotonous. Make that first meeting memorable.
4) Think small for a big impact. Frequent small, gestures are more important than one grand gesture. Bringing home your partner’s favorite food or sending a caring text can sustain someone daily and make them feel appreciated. That said, remembering and celebrating holidays also is a good excuse to be caring.
5) Make something together. Humans have evolved and survived because of our relationships and groups. We feel close to others when we have a common goal or project. What is something you can commit to as a couple? A DIY project or cooking together create unity through a joint purpose. Some couples commit to only watching their favorite shows when they are together.
Professor Rakovski earned her bachelor’s degree from Rollins College and master’s degrees in sociology and statistics before earning her Ph.D in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She teaches courses in social interaction, social behavior and organization and the American drug scene. Her expertise and research areas include romantic love, internet communication, gender, and employment and health.