All relationships go through hell, real relationships get through it.
In the previous article, we’ve discussed the 10 pillars of a healthy relationship. Now It’s time to know how to keep our relationships strong and healthy.
It is no secret that it takes more than just love to keep a relationship strong and healthy. Obviously strong feelings for each other is a necessity, but with the many responsibilities of life, fitting in quality time with your significant other can definitely take a backseat.
Falling in love is easy, it’s staying in love that matter the most. By taking steps now to preserve or revitalize your falling in love experience, you can build a meaningful relationship that lasts—even for a lifetime.
Many couples focus on their relationship only when there are unavoidable crises in their lives. Once the problems have been fixed, their attention is back to their careers, kids, or other interests. However, relationships require persistent attention and commitment for love to blossom.
If your relationship is important for you, it’s going to require your attention and effort. And fixing those minor issues in your relationship now can help you prevent them from growing into a much larger one down the road.
Here are 4 tips to keep your relationship healthy:
1. Spend Some Quality Time Together
Remember the time when you fall in love with each other. You adored looking at and listening to each other. If you continue to look and listen in the same attentive ways, you can maintain that falling in love experience over the long term.
Those date nights, meet-ups were so exciting, isn’t it? Many couples find that the face-to-face contact of their early dating days is gradually replaced by hurried texts, emails, and instant messages. Sending a text or a voice message to your partner saying “I love you” is great, but if you rarely look at them or sit down together, they’ll still feel you don’t understand or appreciate them.
So, no matter how busy life gets, it’s important to carve some time out to spend together. Devote some quality time together regularly. No matter how busy you are, take a few minutes each day. Put aside your electronic devices, stop thinking about other things, and really focus on and connect with your partner.
Find a way!
Find something that you enjoy doing together, whether it is a common hobby like gardening or painting, dance class, daily walk, or having a cup of coffee in the morning.
Start dating again!
Schedule one night each week that is your night with your partner. Just the two of you. Dress up well. Go to a nice restaurant, see a movie or go for ice cream. There are countless opportunities to have a fun, romantic date night that you both deserve.
Have fun together!
One of the common problems among most couples is that they are often more fun and playful in the early stages of a relationship. However, this playful mood can sometimes be forgotten as life becomes more challenging.
Keeping a sense of humour can actually help you get through tough times. Think about playful ways to surprise your partner, like bringing them flowers or unexpectedly booking a table at their favourite restaurant. Playing with pets or children can also help you reconnect with your playful side.
Never make the one you love feel alone, especially when you are there.
2. Keep The Spark Alive
An affectionate contact boosts the body’s levels of oxytocin, a hormone that influences bonding and attachment. While sex is often overrated in a committed relationship, it shouldn’t be the only method of physical intimacy.
Tender touch is important!
Frequent, affectionate touch—holding hands, hugging, kissing, cuddling—is equally important. Even if you have workloads or young children to worry about, you can keep physical intimacy alive by carving out some regular couple time, whether that’s in the form of a date night or simply an hour at the end of the day when you can sit and talk or hold hands.
Say “I love you” with action!
Well, as they say, – Action speak louder than words. Why not try it? perform little acts of kindness for your partner that let them know you love them. It can be anything like-Bring home their favourite food, get up a few minutes early before she does so that breakfast is ready when she walks into the kitchen or get them a little surprise gift while shopping.
Tell your partner often why you love them
The initial stages of a relationship are filled with butterflies and verbal affection. But, as time passes by, those butterflies fly away and so do the “I love you”. Of course, it is normal to not be as “lovey-dovey” as when you first met, but don’t leave the warmth.
Tell your partner you love them, every now and then, and tell them why you love them. Whether it be for taking the kids to the park when you need some relaxation time, bringing you flowers one random evening, or simply for being them. Whatever it is, say it loud!
"I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close."
— Pablo Neruda
Appreciate your partner’s efforts!
There is no better form of encouragement than being told by your partner how much they appreciate the little things you do. And reminding yourself of the awesome things your partner does for you will certainly refresh your relationship to a whole new level. Be it, working for long office hours for the family, taking care of kids and family or cooking meals.
We can improve our relationships by leaps and bounds, if we become encourages instead of critics.
3. Communication is the key
Communication plays a significant role in a healthy relationship. Whether it’s verbal or non-verbal communication. Good communication leads to a positive emotional connection with your partner, you feel safe and happy. When people stop communicating, they stop connecting well. So as long as you are communicating, you can usually work through whatever problems you’re facing.
Talk it out!
I know, It’s not always easy to talk about what you need. It can make you feel weak, embarrassed, or even ashamed. Why should I tell him, he knows me for so long. Couldn’t he feel my needs?
If you’ve known each other for a while, you may assume that your partner has a pretty good idea of your needs or what you are thinking. But, your partner is not a mind-reader. While your partner may have some idea, it is much healthier to express your needs directly to avoid any confusion.
Moreover, people change with time, and so do their needs. So instead of letting misunderstandings or anger grow, get in the habit of telling them exactly what you need.
Notice the unsaid!
While verbal communication is the key to any relationship, we can not forget the importance of non-verbal communication.
Nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, tone of voice, posture, and gestures such as leaning forward, crossing your arms, or touching someone’s hand, communicate much more than words.
When you start noticing your partner’s nonverbal signs, you’ll be able to tell how they really feel and be able to respond accordingly. For a relationship to work well, each person has to understand their own and their partner’s nonverbal cues.
As Victor Hugo said-
When a woman is talking to you, listen to what she says with her eyes.
Be a good listener!
As I always say- Listening is the utmost respect you can give to anyone. If you can learn to listen in a way that makes another person feel valued and understood, you can build a deeper, stronger connection between you.
Mind you, I’m saying listening not hearing. When you really listen, you’re engaged with what’s being said. You’ll feel the emotions they’re trying to communicate. Being a good listener doesn’t mean you have to agree with your partner or change your mind. But it will help you find common points of view that can help you to resolve conflict and connect emotionally.
In a relationship, when communication starts to fade, everything else follows.
4. No Relationship is All Sunshine
It’s important to understand that there are ups and downs in every relationship. life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Sometimes one partner may be struggling with an issue that stresses them, such as the death of a close family member, job loss or severe health problems, which can affect both partners and make it difficult to relate to each other. Different people cope with stress differently, and misunderstandings can shortly turn to frustration and anger.
But don’t take out your problems on your partner. Life stresses can make us short-tempered and it might seem easier to vent your anger on your partner, initially it may feel like a release, but it slowly poisons your relationship.
Find other healthier ways to manage your stress, anger, and frustration. Remember that you’re a team. This is your journey and you have to move forward together on this rough patch of life.
No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.
Maintaining your relationship can often be viewed as just another task on our never-ending tasks. It’s not a task, it’s the small, consistent habits that keep your bond strong over the years. Give your partner and relationship more value, you may realize that your relationship is stronger than you think.
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