New and shiny always seems so exciting – a new bike, a new pair of shoes, a new house. What about relationships? They start out new and shiny too. And over time, relationships can have their ups and downs just like everything else in life and the shine can wear off. So how do we stay connected in our relationship with our partner, and weather any storms while sailing the sea of life? I call them the ‘Seven Cs’.

1. Commitment – if things get tough, we can remind ourselves that we chose to be with our partner through thick and thin. This attitude can help to put things in perspective

2. Communication is also important – talking through issues, sharing our dreams.

3. Combined goals – helps to bring you together on projects, share planning, anticipation, excitement and time.

4. Caring – so important to be thoughtful and meet each other’s needs – little gestures can make a big difference in a relationship. Use idearly app for ideas and to receive prompts that will help you show your partner you care.

5. Compromise – sometimes we might feel like it’s ‘my way or the highway’ – being flexible and willing to compromise makes for less conflict in a relationship

6. Courage – to fight for your marriage or relationship, to take the first steps, to be vulnerable and bare your soul for, and with, your partner

7. Cuddling – I’m referring to any form of physical touch, intimacy, sex – being intimate with your partner goes a long way to keeping a relationship fun, flirty, sexy and keeps those little butterflies alive in the pit of your stomach