10 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship as a Couple
No matter how attracted you were to your partner when you first met or how much you looked forward to spending every minute you could with your special someone, those feelings evolve over time. It’s not that you aren’t still attracted or that you no longer love your significant other — it’s just that you may have fallen into a rut of sorts.
The truth is that relationships take a certain amount of work to keep them functioning at peak levels. Just like you wouldn’t drive your car without stopping to maintain and care for it everyone once in a while, you also must have the same considerations when it comes to your relationship. To help, here are 10 ways to strengthen your relationship as a couple and keep the spark alive in your relationship.
1. Be Accepting
It’s not uncommon for the people you love to have habits or mannerisms that grate on your nerves. But if you’re planning to be in your relationship for the long term, then you need to learn to accept your partner’s flaws. At the same time, your partner needs to accept your flaws.
Instead of focusing on the things you perceive as negative about your partner — such as cluttering the house or talking too loud in public — focus on the positive. You can also try understanding why your partner engages in the behaviors you find annoying and try to help out.
2. Trust Each Other
Trust is one of the key foundations of a relationship. If you don’t trust your partner emotionally and physically, your relationship will not be able to evolve to the next level. If you’re currently in a situation where you have lost trust in each other, then you should take steps to rebuild that trust. Sometimes, it’s helpful to work with a outside party, such as a couples counselor to help resolve these types of issues.
3. Make Meaningful Communication a Daily Priority
With the busy nature of our lives, it’s easy to push meaningful communication to one of the lowest of our priorities. But it’s important to be mindful about communicating in this way to strengthen your relationship with your partner. To communicate meaningfully and mindfully, you need to eliminate distractions, so you can listen intently and make eye contact. Instead of watching television or spending time on your phone, why not cuddle on the couch or sit on the porch or patio and talk about your day?
4. Be Willing to Compromise
If you’ve ever heard the expression, “pick your battles,” then you know what compromising is. Even when you want things to be a certain way, is it worth alienating your partner or causing lasting hard feelings just to get your way? Unless the issue at hand is something that will physically or emotionally damage you, find ways to compromise the majority of the time. And remember, compromise applies not only to you but to your significant other, also. So, don’t hesitate to ask your partner to meet you halfway on important issues or decisions.
5. Be Honest
Just like trust, honesty is one of the building blocks of a successful relationship. And you should be able to express how you feel to your partner without fearing retribution. This doesn’t mean you should offer blunt opinions in an attempt to be honest. Instead, always consider your partner’s feelings and communicate yours honestly but respectfully.
6. Seek Out Opportunities to Spend Quality Time Together
As years go by and you settle into your relationship, it’s easy to focus on your friends, your interests and your hobbies. This is especially true if your partner is okay doing the same. For the good of your relationship, however, you should seek out opportunities to spend quality time together. Think about your shared interests, such as the things that originally brought you together. Then, try to do those things as much as possible.
7. Value Your Commitment to One Another
Always think about your shared commitment to one another and value it. Consider everything you’ve invested thus far. If you find that your relationship and commitment are still struggling, make plans to attend a couples workshop where you can receive hands-on training, helpful tools and a plan to put into action to strengthen your relationship.
8. Be Willing to Admit When You’re Wrong
When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. Be able to recognize these moments and admit it. Then, offer a heartfelt apology. If you don’t, you risk resentment from your partner, which will only weaken your relationship.
9. Show Gratitude
Although it’s easy to take simple things for granted, don’t. No matter what your partner does, such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, lawn care, repairs or maintenance, say thank you. Kind words and a hug can go a long way in making a relationship strong.
10. Don’t Forget About Romantic Gestures
You don’t have to dig in your wallet to be romantic. There are other ways to show your love for your partner without buying expensive flowers or booking costly romantic getaways. Small surprises like a note on your significant other’s pillow or a sweet middle-of-the-day text can kindle romantic feelings. For larger gestures, get takeout and add candlelight, while the kids spend the weekend at their grandparent’s house. The next day, make breakfast in bed and, while you enjoy it, plan activities that you can do together as a couple that you will both enjoy.