Whether you’ve been in your current relationship for a few months, a few years or a few decades, it never hurts to work on strengthening it. With all of the pressures of modern life — work, children, family, finances, health, maintenance, social obligations, and more — it can be easy to let your focus on your relationship slip away.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Instead, find out nine great ways you can start strengthening your relationship today.
1. Treat Your Relationship With Importance
To have a strong relationship you have to nurture it and treat it with importance. You cannot put your relationship on autopilot and expect it to flourish. This means that you have to put effort into your relationship every single day. From telling your partner that you appreciate him to unexpectedly doing something that’s normally your partner’s chore, there are countless ways to show that your relationship is a top priority.
2. Don’t Expect a Perfect Relationship
No matter how well you both get along, there is really no such thing as a perfect relationship. And that’s okay. You can expect disappointments. It’s how you deal with them that makes the difference on how strong your relationship is. Choose to focus on the positive rather than dwell on the negative.
And don’t be afraid to seek help, even before things get bad. According to Alan Behrman Associates, P.C., a firm for couples counseling in Alpharetta, “Couples therapy can help partners regardless of their relationship status. It is not just for those that are unhappy or struggling.”
3. Always Be Willing to Stop and Listen
If your relationship is important to you, then you will be willing to do what it takes to make it work. For example, if your partner comes to you while you’re watching television or working on a hobby, stop what you’re doing and listen. Never ignore your partner or try to stall having a discussion. All that will do is create bad feelings.
4. Accept Responsibility for Your Actions
Some people find it very difficult to admit when they are wrong and will never apologize. Don’t be one of those people. And don’t blame everything on someone else. Instead, take a long, hard look at your actions and accept responsibility for them, no matter what. By doing so, you’ll represent yourself as someone who is humble and worthy of respect.
5. Avoid Arguing When You’re Angry
If you’re angry, you should step away from any potential arguments or arguments that are already in process. It’s okay to tell your partner that out of respect for your relationship, you think it best to postpone your discussion until you’ve calmed down. You can even say that you don’t want to say anything that you might regret later. Remember once you say or do something hurtful, you cannot take it back.
6. Accept Your Partner
It’s true that everyone has room for improvement, but most people will ask for help if they want it. Otherwise, you must assume that your partner is happy and resist the urge to try and change him or her. By loving and accepting your partner, you may inspire him or her to change.
7. Take the Time To Appreciate Your Partner
A key thing to do routinely is to take a few minutes out of your day to appreciate your partner and what he or she brings to the relationship. Allow yourself to feel the feelings you felt when you first became attracted to your partner or when you knew you were falling in love. Periodically reliving these moments in your mind, however briefly, can serve to strengthen your relationship.
You can also include your partner in your appreciation by taking a walk down memory lane together or by offering praise.
8. Do Things You Don’t Really Want To
Unless you’re extremely lucky, your partner is going to have some interests that you don’t really share. For example, perhaps your partner likes outdoor activities, but you don’t really. Instead of refusing to go on a hike or a fishing trip, why not try it? You may find that it’s more fun than you thought.
And if the situation is reversed, try your best to make the experience as pleasant as possible for your partner. For example, if you like hike and camp in a tent overnight, don’t expect that your partner will like this also. Instead, try hiking first and see how it goes. Then, later, you may want to introduce the idea of camping.
If you know a tent won’t work, consider renting an RV or cabin at a campground that offers hiking trails. The point is that both of you need to be willing to do things you wouldn’t normally do to make the other person happy.
9. Be Willing to Let Go and Forgive
Granted, some things may be unforgivable, and that is up to you to decide. But for things your partner has done that don’t really matter much in the grand scheme of things, you should be willing to let go of them and forgive. If you don’t, you’ll soon find that these petty things add up to a mass of grievances you may not be able to overcome.