5 ways to get closer to your partner this Valentine’s Day

Mr M and I are so busy these days that it can be difficult to make time for each other in and around our general daily ‘life tasks’ – working, commuting, cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills…Throw kids into that mix and it’s easy for us to get to the end of a week without really spending any quality time together.

ways to get closer to your partner

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I’m a bit of a romantic at heart and have personally always been a fan of Valentine’s Day. Yes it’s super cheesy and yes, it’s just another way for businesses to make money out of us. But I think it’s great that for one day of the year we get to indulge in our relationship, thank our other half for everything they do and feel a little bit special ourselves.

But it isn’t all about grand gestures and lavish outings. According to the experts, it’s small, everyday actions that really count when it comes to those relationships that stand the test of time. Here are five small gestures that can make a big difference and help you to get closer to your partner.

1. Take an interest in their day

Apparently ‘How was your day?’ is just not good enough! I’m so guilty of asking this and thought I was being a good wifey…But according to relationship experts, a boring question will pretty much always yield a boring answer such as ‘Fine, how was yours?’ This does nothing to improve your connection and instead can actually damage it because you’re losing the opportunity to regularly connect in a small way. Instead we should mix it up with open questions such as ‘what was the best bit?’ or ‘what challenges did you face?’  This will open up more avenues for decent conversation with the added benefit of gaining added insight into your significant other.

2. rid yourself of distractions

When are we ever truly present? Not in the physical sense, but actually mentally tuned in to our surroundings and the people we’re with? I for one am guilty of sitting on my laptop of an evening, or scanning social media on my mobile. Mr M also finds it difficult to leave work matters at the office. But apparently for a happy relationship we should all be mastering the art of wearing the ‘relationship hat’. This means that we are fully present when we’re with our mate and truly hear what they’re saying (not just pretending to listen, who does that?) This can be pretty hard when the only chance I really get to catch up online and the blog is on an evening after Taylor’s in bed, but I have found that setting aside certain nights to blog, and other nights to switch off completely and spend actual quality time with the hubby (wearing my relationship hat), is the way forward.

simple ways to get closer to your partner

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3. compliment each other

It can be so easy to get caught up in our own lives and our own hectic schedules that we take our other halves for granted. But small compliments go a long way in helping you to get closer to your partner. Apparently, sandwiching a request within a compliment is also a great way of getting something done (*ahem* getting your own way) So if, for example, you want to get out the house for a walk, you could say: “I always feel so much better after talking to you, I would really love it if we could go for a walk and talk”. Hmmm, I wonder if, “You’re so much better at cleaning the house than I am…” Maybe not!

4. apologise like you mean it

My hubby is not the first person in my life to tell me that I’m stubborn. I disagree of course 😉 but if we imagine for a moment that I am, my apologies would probably go something like this: “I’m sorry that you see it that way” or “I’m sorry that you feel that way” . Luckily, we don’t have disagreements that often in our house, which is a good job as I’m really rubbish at arguing, and even more rubbish at apologising! Apparently that’s because I try and argue a feeling, which you can never legitimately do successfully. The best thing is to acknowledge that you’ve hurt your partner and apologise for that, regardless of your perspective on what you did or didn’t do.

5. get creative with dates

Over on the #UsAfterYou guest post series, Chloe shared some of the fun dates she and her partner went on to reintroduce the spark into their relationship following the birth of their daughter. This got me thinking about some of the things I’d like to get out and do with Mr M this year (babysitter anyone?) The experts concur and say that in order to get closer to your partner, we should all be switching off the TV and starting to get creative with our time together; ditch dinner and a film for something more exciting. Check out my post 6 things to do with your husband on the evening (other than watch TV!) for more inspiration.

You can view all 27 expert tips to get closer to your partner here.

get creative with dates


Disclosure: This is a collaborative post



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36 Comment

  1. MMT
    February 4, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    This is a simple but true reminder. I am mega guilty of being short with Mr g at the end of a tough day. Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub x

  2. Robyn
    February 5, 2016 at 1:29 am

    I think I (we!) could benefit from this… we have not been particularly good at making time for each other since we became a family of three and there were suddenly less hours in the day for ourselves, let alone each other. No. 2 is a bit close to the bone, probably the first thing we should work on!
    Robyn recently posted…MOBILE PHONE DETOXMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Oooh I see from your recent post that you’ve made a good start on that! I so need to take heed of that one too x

      1. Robyn
        February 9, 2016 at 8:42 am

        Ah, well, it was an accidental ‘detox’ after I dropped my phone for the hundredth time! I’m not prepared to ‘drop’ my laptop, so it’s a matter of swings and roundabouts on that front 😉
        Robyn recently posted…BEST BITS OF THE WEEKEND – 6,7 & 8 FEBRUARYMy Profile

  3. Debbie
    February 5, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Hi Natalie, my husband is a great user of the line ‘you are so much better than me at…’ and it really doesn’t work! Taking time to focus on each other in the evening is a biggy, but also a tricky one as like you said, it’s the time of day when we can freely do our online stuff. I also find it easier to step away from technology when it comes to my children, but not so easy when it comes to hubby. Probably because his focus is elsewhere too.

    I can’t believe it’s so close to Valentines Day already! Where has January gone?

    Debbie recently posted…Roasted Red Pepper And Fresh Tomato Soup RecipeMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      You are so right – I feel so guilty looking at my phone when I’m with Taylor and make a point of not looking at it whenever she’s around – but the hubby is definitely a different matter! xx

  4. Beauty Baby and Me
    February 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    This is such a lovely post and so true. I am proud to say when my hubby comes home I do always say what was the best bit of your day and what was the worst part of your day! It gets us chatting about more than just “my day was fine” as you say. I know hubs appreciates me showing an interest and I am genuinely interested in his day. Xx #KCACOLS

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Huge wifey points for you! I’ve started to do this the last week and have definitely got responses that are a lot more interesting! xx

  5. Educating Roversi
    February 7, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    So many lovely ideas and easy to do too. I reckon we’re all guilty of not having our relationship hat on. Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      It’s so easily done isn’t it? I do try and not take the hubby for granted but life does just get so busy some weeks that it can be difficult to really stop and make time for each other x

  6. Helen
    February 7, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Lovely post. I’m taking note of the 1st 2 in particular. I am now shutting my laptop and will compliment my husband 😉 #KCACOLS

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Ha, brilliant. I so need to do this too – like right now! 🙂

  7. Nikki
    February 7, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Natalie, I really need to work on number 1, I always ask my husband how his day is, and yes I thought I was being a good wife just for asking too. But I rarely stopped what I was doing to really listen to his answer. And then I find myself scrambling to show him that I was listening, and it’s very apparent that I wasn’t. In the past I have been upset with him because I felt he wasn’t listening to me, this is one area I really need to improve on.

    Valentine’s Day to us is just another day on the calendar, our daughter’s birthday is the day after, and my husband’s is at the beginning of the month, so we tend to celebrate on his birthday. For us that happened to be last night we went out for a nice dinner just the two of us and then met friends for drinks, it was perfect. But we need to remember to do it more often.

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Ah that sounds like the stuff dreams are made of! We so need to get a babysitter soon and go out for a dinner date. Sounds like you had a great night! Yep it can be so easy to slip into just asking the usual questions as I’m always busying myself making dinner when the hubby gets in from work – but I need to take that advice too x

  8. Laura @dearbearandbeany
    February 8, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Some good advice! It’s hard to find the time, but really important that we do! I think it’s so easy to get into a routine and feel like we have ticked the right boxes! x
    Laura @dearbearandbeany recently posted…Feeding the ducks…The ordinary momentsMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      So true! We have got into such a routine recently and really need to make some time for each other – that’s not on the sofa! x

  9. Laura @ Dot Makes 4
    February 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

    This is lovely post. I’m definitely taking note of number 1 and 2!
    Laura xx
    Laura @ Dot Makes 4 recently posted…Trampolining- Not just for kids!My Profile

  10. Mini Travellers/Mini Ventures
    February 8, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Such a lovely post and you’re right it is so important to listen to each other and work out what has been important in their day as well as your own. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

  11. Amanda
    February 8, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Its the simple things that make the difference isn’t it? Just making time without distractions, and social media can be a big distraction. Great post.
    Amanda #kcacols

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      It can be so hard, I’m terrible for always being on my phone and on social media. It’s so difficult to switch off from everything on an evening x

  12. Becky at PinksCharming
    February 8, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing this on #KCACOLS it’s given me a lot of food for thought! We have totally fallen into that trap of both sitting on our phones with the TV on pretty much every night! Yikes! Becky x
    Becky at PinksCharming recently posted…How to declutter with a Swishing Party: Ours was in aid of Tiny TickersMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Yep, we are so guilty of this! It’s so hard when you have kids and all you want to do in the evening is get on the sofa and watch a box set! But it’s good to have a little perspective every now and again and come back into the ‘real world’ with whoever we’re sitting next to x

  13. Guilianna McGinniss
    February 8, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Loved this post, Natalie! Your advice is wonderful! I’m looking forward to this Valentine’s Day. It’s the first one I’m sharing with a valentine. Do you have any suggestions to as gift ideas? No clue what to get him! Looking forward to your future posts! X


    1. Mum in Brum
      February 8, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks so much Guilianna, glad you enjoyed it! I’m pretty rubbish at gifts to be honest and tend to just get a card for the other half and we go out for a meal or something. Although I fully expect a bunch of flowers of course! 😉 x

  14. Mummy Fever
    February 10, 2016 at 8:26 am

    We have four children and we have learnt that we can’t wait for the ‘right’ moment as something always happens or someone needs something so we have to grab moments in between the chaos to say something nice or do something nice as if we wait until everyone has gone to bed you can bet your life there will be a crisis to fix and it will never happen. We also try to keep things very lighthearted and joke if something doesn’t happen the way we want it. #sharewithme
    Mummy Fever recently posted…A, B, C; 1, 2, 3My Profile

  15. An imperfect mum (Catie)
    February 10, 2016 at 8:39 am

    It is so easy to get caught up in the every day. These are great tips and a good reminder. I am a great believer in the small kindnesses making a difference rather than big gestures e.g. Buying him a treat in the supermarket of his favourite chocolate. #sharewithme

  16. Katy
    February 10, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Such simple advice, but things that we let slip so easily and without noticing so often. I know we’re guilty of having dinner and then just crashing in front of the tv rather than having real quality time together. It’s hard when you’re tired but it’s so important to make the effort. #ShareWithMe
    Katy recently posted…22 MonthsMy Profile

  17. mummyandmonkeys
    February 10, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Great tips, we try to make evenings where we both put down the laptops etc and put a film on. I might try the cleaning complement haha! Thanks for linking to #PickNMix
    Eilidh x
    mummyandmonkeys recently posted…The guilt that creeps up on you – Gone to bed guiltMy Profile

  18. The Speed Bump
    February 11, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I love this, some really great tips and I think all relationships could do with this every now and then! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday Xx
    The Speed Bump recently posted…Clothes Shopping (Or, Feminist Hell)My Profile

  19. Mummy and the Mexicans
    February 13, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I like the apparent simplicity of these ideas (cheap, too!), but I know they’re not that easy to achieve in the reality of everyday life! Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 17, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      I always have such good intentions – I’ve forgotten what I’m supposed to be doing already and I only wrote the post last week! 🙂

  20. My Petit Canard
    February 13, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I love this, so many simple things, but so true. Just little tweaks to do some of these things could really make the difference im sure. Im going to give a couple of these a go and see what happens ;-). Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      I really need to make some tweaks too and do some of these things more often. Although I did ask the hubby what his biggest challenge had been at work that day and he just looked at me like I was an idiot. Haha x

  21. Jenny
    February 17, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Oh I absolutely love this and it was hard to pick which post I liked more of yours last week. Great writing thank you so much for joining in Share With Me. Loving your blog keep them coming lovely. #sharewithme

    1. Mum in Brum
      February 22, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks so much Jenny, glad you enjoyed both posts 🙂 x

  22. […] other night we had some friends around for dinner. We got on to the topic of Valentine’s Day and what we had done for each other to mark the […]

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