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Suggestions For Helping Your
Relationship Thrive

By Jade Pulman

Every relationship requires work and, if you don't put in the effort, you may find the lines of communication breaking down. There's no one right way to keep your relationship healthy and you and your partner will have to discover what works best for your situation. If you're unsure what to do to keep you and your mate from growing apart, try implementing some of these suggestions.

Reignite Old Passions

There are probably more than a few activities that you and your partner enjoyed doing together, when you first started dating. Do you still do them? Probably not all of them. Try incorporating those activities back into your lives. You may find that you're rediscovering things about each other that caused you to fall in love, when your relationship was young.

Express Your Desires

After you've been together for more than a few years, you may begin to assume a little too much. Couples tend to expect their partners to instinctively know them as well as they know themselves, but that's not always the case. Instead of getting frustrated, tell your partner what's bothering you. If you want him or her to do something differently, don't be afraid to ask. They won't know what you want, if you don't tell them. You may even find that they share your feelings or interests.

Don't Expect Your Partner to Change

Suppose you develop a bigger interest in healthy living. You can't expect your partner to feel that same ambition to change, no matter how deeply you care about him or her. You can certainly ask your partner to join you in starting a nature cleanse, but you should also be willing to accept "no" as an answer. While you should feel welcome to express your interests to your partner, expecting them to change may lead toward hurt feelings and unpleasant conversations.

View Conflicts as Opportunities for Personal Growth

Often, couples get into arguments for reasons that they think are obvious, but which don't address the real problems. When you're angry with your partner, take a moment to look inwards and ask yourself why you're really angry. When people take the time to do this, they often find the reasons for their anger aren't quite so obvious. Recognizing the source of your anger can help you resolve the conflict much sooner.

Take Time to Express Your Inner Feelings

Partners often feel alienated, if they get the sense that their partner doesn't understand them. Instead of asking your partner how their day was, take an interest in their deeper thoughts. Ask about their dreams or career goals. Encourage them to express their fears or their hopes for the future. Opening up on a deeper level in this way can help you strengthen the bonds of your relationship. It may also give you insight into how you can help your partner feel more satisfied with life.

Make Your Partner Feel Desired

While sex is certainly important in your relationship, other types of affection should also be pursued. Kissing, hugging, and just holding hands are all great ways to express passion and love for your partner. You can also show affection by doing something special for your partner, such as taking them to their favorite restaurant or sending them a gift. Experts recommend doing something special to honor your partner every day.

Every Relationship Has an Off Day

Just as every individual can have a bad day, the same is true of relationships. If your partner expresses a need for alone time or doesn't feel like talking, don't press them. Give them the day to relax and get through whatever feelings may be bothering them. In the morning, things will likely be brighter and your partner may feel grateful for the space you gave them.

Keeping your relationship strong and healthy requires each partner to work at it on a daily basis. It won't always be easy or pleasant, but getting through the hard times will actually help you grow closer. As you bond and each realize that you have the support of the other, you'll find that you can get through anything, when you work as a team.

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