Courting is far more than flirting, although it can have flirting as a component. It involves a deeper desire to show love and appreciation for your partner. Courting and wooing your partner requires effort, creativity, and a true desire to make your partner feel wanted, loved and important.
One of the most common misconceptions that a partner in a long-term relationship can have is that they no longer need to court their partner. I hear from couples in my office regularly that the reason they’ve come to therapy is that they are feeling stuck, taken for granted, or that they’re treated as if they don’t matter in their relationship. What a sad situation when you feel that you are no longer important to your spouse or partner!
What can happen over time is that we become complacent. Everything is familiar, known and can even be comfortable. It’s hard to be pushed out of our comfort zone. Often couples feel like they don’t need to “try”. They’ve already won the object of their desire so why do they need to bother? They stop putting their energy into the relationship. If you or your partner is feeling this way, I urge you to reconsider.
You DO need to try. The consequences for not trying may be the loss of the love you thought you had in the bag. Everyone needs to feel loved and important. If your partner is not feeling this from you or you from them, you need to be making some changes. The good news is, the changes are fun, positive, loving, and sexy changes that can make your life and relationship immensely happy and fulfilling.
I have several strategies that I outline for my couples to help get them back on track with courting each other. None of them are difficult in the least, and once you get started you may find that you’re having a great deal of fun and loving interactions with your partner that just may inspire you to do even more along the same lines. This is why I offer a subscription service called Stuart’s Daily Notes. In these emailed videos I talk about more ideas and strategies. Subscribe here: https://www.thecouplesexpertscottsdale.com/stuart-daily-notes/
The first one seems like a no brainer, however, you’d be surprised at how often people have an “aha moment” when I suggest this.
Work on personal hygiene. Clean up, dress up and show up.
It seems superficial, but it is important to look attractive to your partner. Yes, they may have seen you at your worst; morning breath, hair a mess, worn out and sloppy, but you don’t have to live that way 100 percent of the time. Be yourself, but be the best version you can be. It’s not always possible, but it does make an impact when you make the effort. Would you want to be with someone who is slovenly and unkempt? Some couples state that these things don’t matter to them; but to others, it’s a source of disappointment that their partner doesn’t bother to “fix up” for them anymore. If your partner says it doesn’t matter to them how you look? Don’t listen to them, DO IT ANYWAY!
I also recommend regular date nights for my couples to get them in a neutral environment away from kids and the household pressures, just to get out and enjoy each other. There are some ground rules for this. No cellphones, no shop talk, and you have to change it up. One partner picks the date, then the other partner, so that everyone gets to do what they want to do. The art of compromise is at play here. You learn to do things you may not want to do, simply because your partner wants to. That’s part of courtship; learning your partner’s likes and dislikes. You may think you already know, but you might be surprised at what you learn about your partner through these excursions.
6 ways to court your partner
Speak to them in love languages – Learn your partner’s love language and use that to court them. Whatever it is that makes your partner feel loved and important, do that. There’s nothing wrong with asking them what they want, what they need from you. It would be smart to pay attention to these answers then work on meeting these needs and desires.
Give them emotional support – Be a safe haven, be a rock. Let your partner know by your words and deeds that you are the one person in this world that has their back. They can count on you in the little things and the big things. Be a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear. Avoid the temptation to be a “fixer”. Sometimes your partner will want advice, and other times not. Be sensitive to that and only help when asked. Just be there for them.
Don’t make it all about sex – Courting and flirting is a way to bring you emotionally and physically closer, but it’s not all about sex. There should be mental and physical intimacy. When you can be completely vulnerable in the presence of your partner, stripped down to the purest emotional level and you can feel safe and protected, that’s powerful. Sexuality is even more potent when it’s in this context. When flirting and wooing organically lead to sexual encounters, you know you’re on the right track.
Be a cheerleader not a critic – Long-term couples can become overly critical of their partners, resentments build over little things that become big things, and then they can escalate. When you’re courting your partner, you are their biggest fan, their staunch supporter, and you are on their side rooting for them to win. Gone is that critical perspective that has caused so much pain. You want your partner to win, to succeed and you show that more than anyone in their life.
Do things to make life easier for them without being asked/told – Courting your partner means sometimes going out of your way to do something nice just “because”. Do a small favor before you need to be asked. Do what it is they need done and surprise them with your forethought and kindness. This is a wonderful way to woo your partner. Sometimes the simple things can have a huge impact.
Give them a break – It’s normal to have high expectations for your partner, but realize that life and circumstances can sometimes get in the way. Cut your partner some slack. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Prop them up when they’re tired and discouraged. Don’t nag or fuss about things that are out of your partner’s control. Do what you can to ease the burden your partner carries. Together you make a wonderful team. Stay on the same side, and work together towards your common goals.
These are only half a dozen ways to court your partner. You are only limited by your creativity and imagination. Send greeting cards in the mail; buy flowers and small tokens “just because”. Observe your partner and their likes and hobbies. Buy them gift certificates, send love letters. Small thoughtful gestures that are done regularly show your partner that you’re thinking of them when you’re apart.
Never miss a kiss! Take every opportunity to show love to your partner. Tell them in every way you can find how much they mean to you.
Courting your partner creates connection and a bond of love and commitment between you. Show your partner regularly how much you value them, how much you appreciate them and all the good things they bring to your life. Your world would not be as rich in love and beauty if it were not for your partner.
Let your partner know how important they are to you. It’s more than saying, “I love you”, though that’s nice to hear. It’s WHY I love you, what we are to each other and how you make my life better, is what they need to hear, see and feel. Courting is crucial and wooing is winning.