There’s lots to love about the cooler weather—like wearing your cuddly jumpers and snuggling up around a fire with a cup of hot chocolate.
But one thing you don’t want to get cold over winter is your romance. According to clinical psychologist Gemma Cribb, relationship break-ups aren’t tied to any particular season, but they are more common during or after periods of intense stress.
“As such, if you work in a career which gets busier mid-year you might find that your relationship suffers also at this time,” says Cribb.
“Similarly, people can find themselves less motivated to go out and stay active in the colder months.”
She notes that exercise is a natural stress reliever, so not maintaining exercise during winter could put your relationship at risk. This could be compounded if you withdraw from other activities and relationships.
Relationship and dating expert Louanne Ward reiterates that people tend to become lazier in winter, but may be more likely to “begin things at the start of spring when the days start getting longer and you feel invigorated to get out and enjoy life.”
Keeping the flame alive
To help keep your relationship thriving through winter, Cribb recommends maintaining your health and fitness routine, regardless of the weather.
“Similarly, keep prioritising time to spend with your partner. Whether it is a romantic dinner in, or something new and fun out of the house, making time to connect is essential for the health of any relationship,” she says.
“Get creative with fun indoor activities (karaoke anyone?!) but don’t discount going outdoors—Australian winter is fairly moderate so it’s okay to brave the cold!”
Ward recommends rugging up and heading to the bush or beach.
“You’ll have the beach to yourself; the fun things that wash up in winter provide conversation and it is impossible not to laugh when you get caught in the rain, running for shelter,” she says.
Another idea is to buy a small fire pit for your backyard. “It’s fun to snuggle up together under a warm blanket, watching the flames and toasting marshmallows.”
Ward notes that winter is the perfect time to wind down and nurture yourself and your partner. “Enjoy the opportunity for hot baths, Sunday sleep-ins and your favourite old movies,” she says.
She adds that TV and movies have their place, “but time to talk with your partner is an important component of connection and the success of any date, so make sure you’re not always falling back on these easy options.”