Being with the person you love most in the world is the best feeling ever. The problem is, once we’ve found them, it can be easy to forget the effort it takes to maintain that love.
No relationship is perfect and every couple has their own problems, but most relationship issues stem from similar places. So whether you and your sweetheart have been together for a week or 20 years, we’ve created a list of tips on how you can better your relationship ASAP.
1. Never stop showing your appreciation.
Your partner may always do the dishes or take out the trash, but when was the last time you thanked them? These daily routines can be taken for granted, but giving a simple “thank you” every once in a while can do wonders. It’s small acts like this that show your other half that you appreciate them!
But don’t just thank them for all the things they do for you. Remember to remind them what they mean to you — and how grateful you are that they’re in your life.
2. Ask new questions.
When you talk to your partner at the end of the day, you may find yourself asking the same question like, “How was your day?” Asking that same question over and over again will likely not lead to the most interesting conversations.
Instead, try asking more specific ones like, “What was your favorite part of the day?” And don’t forget to ask follow-up questions that can help them expand on what they’ve already said.
3. Give more hugs and kisses.
It’s sweet to develop a routine of a kiss before heading to work, but small acts of physical affection should also be spontaneous. Hold their hand while grocery shopping, lean your head on their shoulder while watching a show, or simply give them a peck on the cheek out of the blue. Random acts of affection like these are great reminders that you love and think about your partner.
4. Listen for and remember the small things.
It’s amazing what gifts and surprises we can give to our partners when we take note of things they say to us in passing. From buying the perfect birthday gift to bringing them a treat they’ve been wanting from the store, there are so many ways we can show the person we love that we not only listen to what they say, but we also care about what they’re saying.
This story originally appeared on InspireMore.
5. Learn and respect each other’s boundaries.
You and your partner might be the perfect match, but that doesn’t mean you have the same needs and boundaries. That’s why it’s important to have honest discussions when it comes to wants, needs, expectations, etc. Without talking it through, misunderstandings are likely to happen, all from not being on the same page.
Just as important, though, is not crossing your partner’s boundaries. If they say they need to process a tough day with some alone time, then actually give them that time. That same courtesy should, of course, be extended your way as well.
6. Periodically “check-in” on your relationship.
It may seem silly at first, but scheduling a time to communicate with each other on how your relationship is going is 100 percent worth it. Oftentimes, fights stem from unspoken little things that build up until one day, something that wouldn’t normally upset you sets you off. If you take the time to stay on top of problems both big and small, you can avoid unnecessary arguments.
Plus, check-ins aren’t just for airing out grievances. They’re a great time to let your partner know what has been making you happy in the relationship!
7. Learn to fight.
As much as we’d like to always be on the same page, disagreements are inevitable. But those disagreements don’t have to turn into unhealthy fights that only leave the two of you upset.
There are lots of ways to become better at having difficult conversations, but some good starters include: watching your tone, thinking before you speak, and listening to your significant other to understand rather than to reply.
8. Regularly go on dates.
The business of life can make it difficult to spend quality one-on-one time together. That’s why it’s important to go out of your way to schedule and follow through with date nights. If you can pull off a weekly date, great! Once a month will do the trick, too.
9. Be spontaneous.
In addition to scheduling time together, it’s important to find ways to shake things up. You can go big like taking a spontaneous weekend trip to somewhere you’ve never been, or you could do something smaller but just as unexpected, like making breakfast at midnight.
10. Make time for yourself.
We want to be around our partners as much as possible, but having alone time is equally important. Not only does this allow us to have our own space, which is something we all need, but it also ensures that we bring our best selves to our relationship when we are with our partner.
By taking some time apart, whether it be spent on a hobby or with friends, we become happier and more confident in ourselves. Plus, time spent apart helps us to better appreciate the time we do have together — and can keep a relationship from feeling stale.
Maintaining a healthy, happy relationship takes effort, but when it’s with the right person, it’s more than worth it. At the end of the day, it’s all about communicating and remembering what’s most important: the love you have for each other.
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