Building a strong relationship takes time, commitment, and both party’s willingness to work for it. While every relationship is different, but here are some basic ways that can be used to improve your relationship.
When it comes to how to build a strong relationship and make it more resilient, there are literally hundreds of things you can do. But since you likely don’t have oodles of time (who does?) – this article focuses on two key points – time and attention.
While they may sound obvious, they’re often sorely ignored. This is because it can be difficult to find the time or give attention to more than one thing. But what you find the time to nurture is often what thrives.
Let’s take a look at these factors – and a few things you can do together to practice prioritizing them.
Put Aside Time For Your Relationship
With loads of laundry and emails to be answered, it’s easy to let our relationship fall by the wayside. In fact, a lot of us view time for our relationship as a luxury, and not a given. But the fact is if this attitude is sustained year in and year out, and you don’t do anything actively to devote some time, you risk growing apart.
Basically – it’s all down to switching priorities. For some this is easier, for others, harder.
Regardless of how the idea of prioritizing your relationship makes you feel – see if you can challenge yourself. If it feels like a huge effort, think about why that might be.
Maybe you’re worried the house is going to fall apart if you don’t get a grip on the laundry? Or you may think your children are going to miss that after-school activity if you use the time for your relationship?
Regardless of why it feels like an effort, you might find it’s worth giving it a try. Remember – just because you decide to change your priorities for a few weeks (or only one week!), it doesn’t mean it has to change forever. But part of how to build a strong relationship is trying out new ways of keeping your connection alive.
And the thing is, if you put your relationship first from time to time, you’ll be building a relationship buffer together, which may come in handy when things get tough. Like when one of you falls ill, has far too much to do, or if a close family member passes away.
What you do today doesn’t only affect today. It also affects tomorrow, and all the years to come.
What You Can Do When You’ve Got Little Time:
1. Rather than vacuuming the house, set aside some time to talk.
A quarter of an hour here and there, where you can talk about things that aren’t practicalities – can do wonders. Focus on an emotional topic or something that’s dear to you.
2. When you’re sitting on the sofa watching Netflix – don’t sit far apart!
Hold each other’s hands or lean towards each other. This is a pretty straightforward strategy and one you can take advantage of in other situations too, like when you’re having a cup of coffee together.
3. Look them in the eyes
Rather than multitasking – such as scrolling on your phone or replying to a text when your partner’s telling you about their day – look them in the eyes. This acknowledges them, their feelings and fosters connection. And this truly is one of the best ways of how to build a strong relationship – through validating your partner.
Couples who actually look one another in the eyes, and give the other person their full attention, tend to be happier in their relationships.
In the words of political activist Simone Weil: ”Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” See what happens when you practice this over time.
What You Can Do When You’ve Got More Time:
1. Rather than polishing off three episodes on Netflix – celebrate something together!
My personal opinion is that we celebrate way too seldom in life. But in all honesty, my opinion here isn’t what counts. What does count, however, is that research shows that celebrating is important for your relationship to last over time.
And, celebrating doesn’t have to be a big thing. It’s enough that the one who’s got some good news to relay is met with joy and enthusiasm by their partner. Open a bottle of wine, make some tea – or just share some sweets together.