Your relationship plays a key part in the structure of your life and your emotional well-being. To keep love strong, build it up with the following ideas for relationship reinforcement.
Don’t Settle for a Roommate
Peace and stability are admirable goals for any relationship. Just be careful not to sacrifice true connection and growth along the way.
- Quality time: You’ve heard time and time again the importance of dedicating meaningful time to your relationship. Quality time isn’t cliché; it’s true! There’s no better way to become closer than to spend time learning and relearning each other’s hopes, dreams, and desires. Regularly scheduling time to talk, share experiences, and connect on the key concerns or issues of your lives builds a bond in a way that simple co-existence cannot.
- Play: Humor and discovery are vital for keeping your relationship fresh and fun. Try new things together, get reacquainted with activities you enjoyed before responsibilities, careers, and outside relationships assumed so much of your time. Intentionally keep laughter and lightheartedness in your interactions. Try not to take life and love so seriously all the time. It’s good and healthy to relieve stress with secret smiles, an inside joke, and a little silliness.
- Be Lovers: Enjoy the fact that you are more than housemates. Taking advantage of that physical connection is an important aspect of your relationship. Turn up the heat between you with loving, anticipatory touching, hugging, and kissing early in the day. Celebrate your affection with attentive, mutually satisfying communion at night. Learn to see intimacy and physical touch as a bonding, necessary part of your relationship, rather than something to be put on the back burner.
Value “Me” Time
Avoid pressuring your partner to meet all your relational needs. It’s healthy and invigorating for your connection to foster outside interests and build appropriate relationships with other people.
Individual pursuits also encourage new perspectives, insights, and adventures to be shared with each other later. It is better for both of you to view each other as interesting, vibrant, social people. Separately, you can open new worlds for yourselves, prevent boredom, and still do wonders to energize your relationship.
Respectful, truthful, direct communication is an invaluable part of your union.
Couples must learn to safely and comfortably share themselves with their partners.
Keep these communication tips in mind:
- Communication cues are critical: Attune yourself to your partner’s emotional responses. Communicate that you understand his or her stresses and concerns with a hug or gentle word of support. Encourage connection and rapport by asking engaging questions or reflecting body language. Keep assumptions and accusations to a minimum and avoid resentment. Be aware of the cues you’re sending verbally and nonverbally as well.
- Fight “meaningful” fights: Winning is not the objective. Understanding and resolution are much worthier goals. These objectives keep the health of your relationship the priority and keep damaging issues like retaliation, disrespect, and resentment to a minimum.
- Don’t fight change: A strong relationship is one that can safely navigate life and respond in a committed, flexible way. Finances vary, children are born, locations alter, and relationships shift. Keep your connection healthy and team-oriented by resisting the urge to blame each other, isolate from your partner, or ignore problems as they arise.
A strong relationship is worth the work.
If you need help building a strong foundation or simply wish to remodel key areas in your partnership, don’t wait until things are crumbling, do the repair work now.
A couple’s therapist is equipped to provide you with effective relationship tools.
He or she can help you take on the task of building the love you want and deserve.
by Laura Olson