It's Valentine's Day! Love it or loathe it, it's hard to avoid. Mr Finch and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day, but recently we've been thinking and talking a lot about relationships. So I thought I'd may as well write about it, too!
As you know, slow living is all about appreciating the best things in life, and my spunky hubby, Mr Finch, is totes one of those! But slow living has also helped me with conflict resolution, togetherness, listening, and understanding. So, after much debate, Mr Finch and I have put together a few tips to help you slow your relationship.
1) Cook Dinner Together Every Night
It really doesn’t matter who is the better cook or who gets home from work first, cooking dinner is a daily chore that is much more fun when done with a loved one. It’s also a great time to chat about the day and work as a team. Make sure you turn off the TV and put on some music instead. And a glass of wine (or two) makes the experience even better.
2) Share a Project
Planning and achieving a small project together – be it gardening, doing a puzzle, updating a room in the house or learning a new skill – is a great way to share interests and spend intentional, quality time together.
3) Never Rely on ‘Date Night’
I personally hate the idea of a designated ‘date night’. It seems a bit contrived and could quickly become a chore. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t set aside time together, but a lot can be said for spontaneity (that’s always harder when you have kids, I get that. But a bit of effort goes a long way!). Keep tabs on your favourite bands, comedians, movies, plays, sports games or gallery openings. Do things whenever an opportunity arises, not just because ‘it’s the second Tuesday in the month.’
4) Have a Screen-Free Bedroom
That means no TV and no phone or tablet in the bedroom. Brooke and Ben McAlery from Slow Your Home have recently completed a month-long screen-free experiment and described it as “a game changer” for their relationship, intimacy and health. Mr Finch and I have not yet mastered this – we both love watching Sci Fi TV series in bed – but it’s certainly something that we’re striving for.
5) Appreciate ‘Slow-Time’ Apart
We all know that absence makes the heart grow fonder. But time alone to do quiet activities (like reading, sitting in the sun, listening to music) also helps you recharge, pursue personal goals and be a better you. Never deny each other that precious time alone.
Mr Finch and I in NY: circa 2014. This is as close as he'll allow me to get to putting a picture of him on the Gingerfinch blog. Beggars can't be choosers. ;-)
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day no matter what you're doing and who you're doing it with (having a Girl's Night on VDay can be even more fun).