Warm up your relationship this winter

I ALWAYS hate winter. I get fat, depressed, fight with my husband and pray for summer. This year I want it to be different. Can you give me some tips on how to keep my relationship happy during the winter blues?

You're not alone - winter can be a tough season on many relationships.

But you can keep things sizzling, or at least warmed up by following a few of these ideas.

Be unexpected. When you were a new couple getting to know each other, you were in the exciting discovery process, learning new things about each other every day.

When you've been together for a while, it can feel like there is no excitement or surprise left. So get out of that predictability and create some unexpected experiences and spontaneous exhilaration together. Don't let the early darkness and cold nights stop you from surprising your partner with dance lessons or an afternoon picnic in the winter sun. Surprise them at or right after work and go for a hot drink together - steal a bit of time when and where you can, to show your partner they are a priority, no matter how unwelcoming the weather outside.

Touch. A lot. Don't be covered all winter, get between the sheets, hit a spa together, take a massage course, entwine in a hot tub or heated pool, just get naked and share some sensual skin on skin time. Touch releases oxytocin which gives us that lovely bonded feeling. Enjoy more of that this winter and feel warm from the inside out.

Kiss. Everything else may be covered up but your lips aren't. Make this the season you kiss every day. In long-term relationships kissing, especially passionate kissing, can all but disappear. Don't allow your passionate relationship to be reduced to just a quick peck; re-introduce the regular pash.

Take care of your lips in winter, not just with balm, but with love. You'll feel more connected to your partner if you just kiss more.

Did you know that your lips are the most sensitive body part you have? Give them some loving attention and feel the pleasure from your luscious lovely lips - everywhere.

Plan a holiday. Maybe winter is when you get away or maybe it's when you hibernate. It's a great time to get a deal on a trip, or start planning your next destination.

Build anticipation for a fun, exciting future together. Dream about a sunshade for two in a bright, hot, exotic locale. Avoid the winter blues by dreaming and planning your next fun adventure. Keep your relationship moving forward by making a project of picking your place and sharing your ideas.

Take up a never before tried activity together. Try something so new it takes you out of your comfort zone so you need to rely on one another as a team.

Reaffirm your couple bonding with one another by re-establishing the trust and admiration you have for one another. For the less adventurous, you don't have to be physical to try something new, although keeping fit during the winter has benefits for your health as well as your libido. You can take a cooking class together or start a new hobby - art class, writing, bridge, dancing, singing, or yoga.

Even if it's not something organised, choose a book to read together and discuss. Or you can even make a game of choosing a new activity to share. Collaborate as a team to brainstorm ideas and make a wish list. Whatever you do, if you do it together, you'll see each other through new eyes and that will excite and warm any heart.

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