Many courtships start because of attraction and lust, while genuine feelings and emotional intimacy in relationships grow over time. The passionate beginning of a relationship is filled with fireworks, but if you really want your marriage to last you and your partner need to be friends as well as lovers.
When you think about doing your favorite hobby or sharing a secret, do you think about doing these things with one of your girlfriends/the guys, or with your husband/wife?
Having a spouse as a best friend is something most partners dream about when looking for their soulmate. But, after many years of marriage, you may start to feel like you’re losing sight of the friendship you used to have.
If you want a long-lasting, healthy relationship, you need to learn how to bring friendship back in your marriage. We’re looking at 7 ways you can rekindle a friendship with your spouse.
- What Makes a Good Friend?
Before creating a deeper bond of friendship with your partner, you must consider what actually makes a good friend. Some common qualities people look for in friends include:
- Having fun together
- Showing support
- Good communication skills
- Shared interests
- Ability to work as a team
- Shared Values
By narrowing down the most important qualities of friendship you will have a better idea of what areas you excel at and which areas you need to work on as a couple.
- Create Common Interests
It’s healthy to have separate hobbies and interests than your spouse. It’s what makes you unique. But, is there a point where separate hobbies become separate bedrooms?
As drastic as that sounds it drives home a strong point: relationships are about doing things with someone you love. This, of course, covers living together, sharing in your daily routines, as well as other naughty aspects of marriage. But, it also means sharing hobbies, passions, and interests.
Many couples enjoy taking classes together, be it language, cooking, or dance. Love rollercoasters? Why not get a season’s pass for a local amusement park, or head out to the local jazz club and spend a night of romance hearing some local musicians over a glass of wine?
You can help deepen your emotional intimacy in relationships by developing mutual interests with your spouse.
- Date Night
Have you heard enough about the importance of date night, yet? Well, here’s one more reminder. Date night can do wonders for couples communication, romance, friendship, and sexual chemistry in your marriage. If you aren’t making date night a regular part of your week, you ought to.
Scheduling a weekly date night is an excellent opportunity to work on communication, to express appreciation for one another, to woo one another, and to bring romance and friendship back together.
- Laugh Together
Want some romantic ideas that will deepen emotional intimacy in relationships? Laugh together! Studies show that laughter, as well as giving many health benefits, can also do wonders for your relationship.
In one study, 71 couples told the story of how they met. The couple’s laughter that occurred during the storytelling process was recorded and analyzed. The results show that the proportion of the time spent laughing simultaneously with their spouse was positively associated with the relationship quality and closeness.
Simply put: Laughing together makes for happier, closer relationships.
- Take an Interest in Each Other’s Passions
One of the main things that make couples friends as well as lovers is that they take an interest in each other’s passions, hobbies, and interests.
If your partner enjoys sports, why not sit down and watch a game with them or ask them to teach you about the sport? You can also attend a sporting event together or go out and play it yourself. Even if it isn’t your usual cup-of-tea, your spouse will appreciate that you took an interest in their passion.
And who knows, it may just be your new favorite hobby!
If your partner loves the water, schedule an aquatic activity together such as jet-skiing, surfing, or take scuba-diving classes as a couple. If your partner loves art, go to your local art museum. If they like outdoors, go hiking. Does your spouse love music? Learn an instrument so you can create your own musical duo.
Taking an interest in the things your partner is passionate about will make them feel special. It shows them that you both like and love them enough to spend your time doing the things they enjoy.
Reminiscing is a fun way to spend your time together. You can look back fondly on how you met, what each of you felt during the courtship process. You can talk about your proposal or relive fantastically dirty times together. But most importantly, you can remember what it is that made you click in the first place.
Consider why you started pursuing one another. What were the common interests and hobbies that made you friends in the first place? Once you discover these you can make an effort to rekindle that friendship. Go back and recreate your first date or pick up an old shared-hobby that used to make you both happy.
- Be Nice
Some of the most romantic ideas are often the simplest. If you want to deepen your friendship with your spouse, be nice.
People often feel they can be more comfortable with their partners and therefore, do not use manners and niceties as much as they would when out in public or with someone new. But, why should you give your spouse less of your kindness than you would to the barista at your morning coffee house?
Don’t be overly critical of your spouse, cheer them on in their goals, compliment them, express appreciation, say “Please” and “Thank you”, and go out of your way to look for ways to be helpful, romantic, or loving to them.
Remember how excited you use to be knowing that you got to spend the rest of your life with your best friend? Don’t let that fire go out. By changing your perception, working on communicating, creating a weekly date night, and taking an interest in each other’s hobbies you can make your partner your best friend.