Whether you’ve been dating your partner for six months or have been married to him or her for five years, relationships are created from commitment and are continued due to mutual respect and effort. To say your connection is special would be an understatement—and to not wish to enhance it would be unfortunate.
While every relationship is different, no relationship is perfect. By doing these 10 things to improve your bond, you’ll ensure a quality relationship with your partner, and also prove you’re determined to work for one.
1. Ask your partner something new
Communication is the determining factor of success for every relationship. It’s nice to ask how your partner’s day went, but it’s boring when you ask over and over again. Enhance your conversation by putting in the extra effort to question your significant other on something more specific. Through this adjusted approach, you avoid falling into routine and begin holding more meaningful discussions.
2. Designate a monthly date night
Amid your busy schedules and nonstop responsibilities, the foolproof way to guarantee you make time for each other is to set a night every month dedicated to doing just that. Regardless whether you’re looking to spice up your relationship or wanting an activity that doesn’t include Netflix, the commitment to go on a date is one night—but the happiness that comes from it will last much longer.
3. Express your appreciation
The comfort that a relationship brings is the reason we tend to overlook what our partners do and treat their acts of kindness with expectation instead. To put it honestly, your partner doesn’t have to fill your gas tank or buy your favorite ice cream—he or she chooses to, and your acknowledgment of this effort will reinforce your partner to be thoughtful and remind you to feel thankful.
4. Tweak your schedule
We know—you’re independent and don’t plan on stopping your life for anyone (and you shouldn’t have to). Even though you have commitments outside of your relationship, it’s a kind gesture to compare schedules to see if it’s possible to spend more time together.
Maybe your partner can go to the gym a little earlier and join you for the movie premiere you want to attend, or maybe you can wake up earlier to get your projects done so you can make it to your partner’s intramural game. While you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your life to satisfy your partner, your ability to compromise should be enough to make him or her happy.
5. Remember the small things
Another way to add meaning to your conversation is to truly listen to what your significant other is saying—and talk about it in the future. If your partner mentions a conversation he or she wants to have with a manager, take note on your calendar and remember to ask about it the day of. Referring back to topics and details your partner spoke about will touch him or her. Overall, it’s the little things that mean the most, and there’s no better way to show this.
6. Let go of the past
What happened in the past doesn’t always stay there—and it’s difficult to move forward in a relationship when you’re still thinking about it.
If you find yourself continuing to dwell on the past, it might be a sign to take a step back and consider why—are you naturally less forgiving or is what happened something you can’t seem to forgive? By focusing on the reason for this recurring feeling, you’ll find clarity within yourself and what you want from the relationship with your partner.
7. Show your affection
Along with expressing your gratitude to your partner, actions show how much you care about him or her. From grabbing your partner’s hand at a restaurant to going to bed together at the end of the night, you know how you feel about your partner, and he or she should be able to witness it as well.
8. Learn your partner’s boundaries
Does your partner wish to be left alone when he or she is upset? Does he or she mind that you want to text throughout the day? These questions are simple, but the answers to them will help you understand boundaries—and stop you from crossing them. Overall, your partner’s sense of privacy is most likely different from yours, and knowing his or her boundaries is the best way to respect them.
9. Know when to apologize
Sometimes being right isn’t as important as being compassionate. Whereas conflicts with your significant other will vary, not every argument is a challenge that needs to be won. Don’t get us wrong—we aren’t telling you to take blame for everything, but to decide which battles are worth fighting for. Although there’s glory in knowing you’re right, there’s maturity in apologizing during an argument that isn’t as important as the person you’re arguing with.
10. Make time to focus on yourself
How we feel about ourselves is how we’ll act in a relationship—for example, if you lack confidence in yourself, you’ll look for assurance in your relationship. To prevent any toxic behaviors from happening with your partner, it’s essential to have a strong sense of self. Invest in a new hobby, make plans with some friends, and take steps to discover who you are as a person. By falling in love with yourself, you’ll naturally be your own best version for the person who happens to be falling in love with you.
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