If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re at least somewhat Internet savvy (good for you! In today’s world, the more knowledge of the World Wide Web you have, the better). But too many hours spent online surfing, combing through your Facebook feed, and Twitter stalking your celebrity crushes can really take a toll on your relationship. Whether you’re the one who responds to tweets at 3 a.m. or your other half’s fingers seem glued to his phone, there are steps you can both take to turn up the heat…offline. Here are 10 ideas to help you get started.
1. Leave a handwritten note.
How many times have you sent him a lovey-dovey Facebook message or text? If that number lies somewhere between 1,000 and too many to count, consider investing in some cute stationery and leaving your beau a sweet, handwritten note. I’ve hidden notes in my fiancé’s jacket pockets, drawers, and books (without telling her). Each time she pulled a new one out, it’d brighten her day –and she still has all of the notes!
2. Schedule a daily technology-free hour.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in that new episode of Criminal Minds or your best friend’s wild status updates –even when your loved one is trying to tell you something important. When you’re constantly multi-tasking, you can’t fully engage (it happens to even the best busybodies). An hour a day completely void of computers, television shows, iPods, and phones can help you forge a stronger bond with your partner. Wondering what to do when you hit those off buttons? Try talking, giving each other massages, taking a bubble bath, or getting it on.
3. Stop checking your work email after you leave for the day.
Have you ever responded to your crazy boss’ late-night email only to be bombarded by several more and a text message and a phone call? By constantly checking and responding to your emails after hours, you give the impression that you’re always available. Take back your life (and your relationship) by setting clear boundaries with your boss. A healthy work-life balance means that you won’t dread heading to the office every morning…and your beau will appreciate those dinner dates when you don’t have to step outside to take a call for work. And remember, you should expect him to make the same effort.
4. Get involved in your community…together!
There’s nothing like joining a club or volunteering to see how much you can accomplish as a team. During the Christmas season, my fiancé and I volunteered at Sanctuary for Families, a non-profit in our city that aids domestic violence victims. We sorted through gifts and even put a stroller together. Still stuck on ideas? Check out Meetup.com and VolunteerMatch.org to get started on finding a group or volunteer opportunity near you.
5. Take it outside.
Spring is the season to enjoy the great outdoors. Take a hike (literally), go camping, overhaul your garden, or plan a picnic. My fiancé and I recently took on a job walking two friendly, energetic rescue pit bulls. The job allows us to earn some extra cash (always a good thing!), walk through New York’s scenic Central Park, and enjoy each other’s company. To really get away from it all, leave your phone off or on silent and make a no-Facebook promise.
Up next: Crafts for couples, game night ideas + more!