We live in a busy world where work, kids, bills, and other everyday stresses make it hard for many couples to find time to spend together.
That’s why it’s so important for couples to make the most of their alone time, even if it’s only for 10 minutes or an hour. We asked experts about relationships what happy couples do before bed to keep their relationship healthy. Check out what they said below.
1. They tell each other, “I love you.”
“No matter how hard the day has been, how annoying your partner is, or how bad you feel about the day ahead, make the effort to let your partner know you love them. And instead of just letting it out with your last sigh of the night, say what you mean.” —Psychologist Ryan Howes.
2. They try to go to bed at the same time.
“Too many couples go to sleep at different times, which means they don’t talk to each other in the evening after being apart all day.
Happy couples, on the other hand, make a point of getting back together at bedtime, even if it’s just to brush their teeth and get under the covers. Going to bed together brings people closer together and gives them a chance to get closer.” Kurt Smith is a counsellor who specialises in helping guys.
3. They stop using their phones and other gadgets.
“We live in a wired world, and most of the time, this cuts into the time that couples could spend talking, touching, or being close. Also, when your partner is on their phone, you feel like they’re not in the room and are somewhere else.
In my therapy practise, when partners realise how much their phones are getting in the way, they sometimes make rules like ‘no phones after 9 p.m.’ or ‘no phones in the bed’ to stop these dopamine-inducing but oxytocin-suppressing habits. This can make a couple feel close the whole next day.” Kari Carroll, a marriage counsellor.
4. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to them.
“Even though this isn’t very romantic, getting a good night’s sleep promotes good mental health, which in turn makes people more emotionally open during the day.
If you have trouble sleeping, talk to a professional about how to develop good sleep habits. Therapist and author of Divorce Busting, Michele Weiner-Davis, says:
5. They spend a few minutes a day being thankful.
“It has been shown that being grateful makes people feel and think better, so why not share that with each other?
Share something you’re thankful for to end the day on a good note. It could be something you like about each other or a good thing that happened that day. ― Howes
6. They don’t try to solve problems that are hard to solve.
“It might not make sense, but happy couples don’t really work out their problems before bed. We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t let the sun set while you’re still mad,” but it’s not what it seems.
It’s not smart to try to talk about hard topics, especially ones you don’t agree on, at the end of the day when you’re tired and short on patience. Too many couples make the mistake of getting into fights at this time of day when they should be trying to get closer to each other instead. ― Smith
7. They made time to talk about their days and share how they felt.
“The happiest couples talk about what’s going on outside of their relationship and let their partner vent often. This doesn’t mean being negative all night, but it does mean taking 15 to 30 minutes to relax and lean into your relationship by supporting your partner’s other relationships and experiences.
In my practise, I help couples listen to each other’s problems without feeling like they have to fix them. Their partner is usually glad to have this chance, and just feeling understood gives them the strength to deal with the worries of the next day. ― Carroll
8. They don’t let the kids in the bedroom.
“Your bedroom should be a place where you and your partner can feel safe. Children might climb into bed with you if they have dreams or are sick, but if you want to be close and get to know them, tell them to stay in their own rooms. To stay together, couples need space and limits.” ― Weiner-Davis.