Did you know that it takes more than just mere “love” to make a relationship work? More so, make it stronger?
Every couple wishes that they’re the ones for keeps. And of course, you’re no exemption. But while you entered a relationship because you love your partner, it’s not all it takes to make the setup work. A lot of couples fail to make their relationship work despite being so in love with each other, and this is something you wouldn’t want to experience. So yes, if you want your current relationship to last, you and your partner must know how to make it stronger.
Here are 13 ways that you can start with when aiming to strengthen your current relationship:
1. Learn to accept that there’s no such thing as perfection.
We all treat our relationships as the perfect kind, and that no other couple can beat us on that spot. But hey, it is also important to keep in mind that you are enjoying a good relationship because you and your partner are hands-on in making it work. It is also a must that you learn to accept each other’s flaws and shortcomings, as these come with the package. Your relationship may not be excused from encountering problems big and small, but the key is for you and your partner to overcome these together.
2. Appreciate your partner’s efforts.
Even the best of intentions could go wrong, according to a popular saying. But given so, you must learn to value the effort done by your partner in trying to achieve something that was intended to benefit you and your relationship. Give him or her a pat on the back, or a kiss on the cheek, as these gestures show that no matter what happens you’re with them.
3. Practice the 3-day time off.
Like any other setups, couples in a relationship need time away from each other too. It’s not that you’re going to break up, but the time off allows you to focus on your needs as separate individuals. The distance gives you the space to think about ways to improve yourself and your relationship, and it also makes you miss each other too.
4. Problems are dealt with the word “we.”
When in a relationship, you should always keep in mind that you are doing things together, and that includes solving issues jointly. Hence, when problems arise, you may want to begin with the discussion using the word “we,”. This pronoun serves as a reminder that the problem happened because of the two of you, and it can be resolved through your joint action. Using the pronoun “you” may only aggravate the issue, as it entails blaming each other for what has happened.
5. Discuss the things you are thankful for with your partner.
Gratitude is also a key element in a strong relationship. It’s because being thankful for what your partner has done or is doing reminds him or her that you see through their efforts all the time. You may want to write simple notes expressing your gratitude, or say the words “thank you” before you two go to bed.
6. Novelty. (Sweet nothings)
This may be a bit corny for some couples, but maintaining the sweetness helps the relationship grow fonder. The sweet nothings, like random love letters, cards, or even serenading each other, remind you and your partner that your relationship is meant to be celebrated even in the simplest ways possible.
7. Have fun together.
Laughter lights up the atmosphere, and it does the same with relationships. In this aspect, it is also a must that you enjoy quality time together, by sharing jokes or sharing new experiences. Laugh at each other’s fumbles, listen to each other’s stories, and enjoy quiet moments that only the two of you can fully appreciate. These instances allow you, your partner, and your relationship as a whole, to breathe and relax especially when you are going through serious issues together.
8. Respect the space.
When your partner asks for space, give it. Respect it. It only means he or she needs time not away from you, but from the cloudy situation you two are currently facing. Space helps your partner think and make better decisions regarding your situation. And yes, the same applies to when either of you has to attend to other matters, such as school or work commitments. Not respecting the space means that you cannot fully respect your partner as a person too.
9. Daily physical affection.
Daily physical affection doesn’t necessarily mean packing on the PDA (public display of affection), but rather being more direct as to how you show your love. You may want to hug and kiss before leaving for work, or do the same when it’s time to part ways after spending time together. A good morning or good evening text message would also count, so better start including it in your daily routine.
10. Apology, affection, and action.
According to psychologists, lasting relationships are those that practice the three A’s: apology, affection, and action. These have been observed heavily in older couples, as unlike today’s relationships, theirs were devoid of technological conveniences, thus giving them the urge to be more committed to their partners. So yes, when facing a problem, you may want to immediately apologize if it’s your fault, be affectionate about your explanation, and provide a solution that you can act upon, or a resolution that you and your partner could jointly do.
11. Focus on the positive things.
It’s normal to see through the mistakes and shortcomings of your partner. But you don’t necessarily have to spell these out to his or her face outright. You may want to twerk your criticisms a little bit by focusing on the positive side of the situation and how else they could improve it. This way, the shortcomings are transformed into areas of opportunity, and the more motivated your partner feels to change for the better.
12. Be supportive.
This can be one of the most challenging things to do when in a relationship, as oftentimes we tend to be each other’s devil’s advocate. But what’s the point of being pessimistic when all your partner wants is to improve for the sake of your relationship? You may not always agree with his or her ideals, but it is important not only to respect whatever decision your partner arrives with, but also support them all the way.
13. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. (no stonewalling)
Lastly, when facing challenges within your relationship, allow yourself to be vulnerable. You cannot solve everything on your own, and nor can your partner. It is thus a must that you do not stonewall your partner, i.e. shutting them out whenever you’re facing a problem. Allow yourself to be weak and vulnerable, because that would be the best time for your partner to pick you up and help resolve your problem.
Making a relationship stronger is never easy. But the bigger question is, are you up for the challenge? If so, then let these abovementioned tips be of help.