All relationships go through highs and lows, and there may be times when it feels necessary to make a conscious effort to work at strengthening the bond between you and your partner. Thankfully, doing so is as simple as doing these 8 things.
Focus on understanding rather than immediately reacting and/or becoming upset.
When your partner is speaking to you, listen with the intention of understanding first and reacting second. Of course, there are certain things that your partner might say that are impossible to avoid becoming upset about, but for the most part, try and make a conscious effort to understand where your partner is coming from before you react to what they’re saying. Feeling understood will make it easier for them to confide in you, and that will strengthen your relationship.
Be present when you’re spending time with your partner.
Get off your phone and social media when you’re spending quality time and actually enjoy being with your partner. It might seem like no big deal to be on your phone during date night or while your binge watching a show together, but it will make a big difference to your S.O. if they have your full attention. Plus, you’ll probably not only enjoy your time together more but feel more connected to them too. Being fully attentive and present in your relationship is a simple way to help strengthen it.
Pay attention to what your partner says and check in about any worries or stress they mentioned at a later time.
It feels good when someone you trust and confide in remembers what you tell them. Making an effort to ask about any stress or problems your partner mentioned to you will show that you not only care but that you want to be involved in their life. Sometimes our relationships feel disconnected because we don’t feel heard, so making a conscious effort to remember what they say to you, even if it’s just casual venting, will mean a lot.
Tell your partner when they do something that you appreciate, especially the little things.
Did they buy your favorite wine without you having to ask or bring you a coffee to work? Sometimes the little things mean the most, but when we get comfortable in a relationship, we forget to express our appreciativeness for those simple gestures. Appreciating your partner will help strengthen the relationship between the two of you because he knows you’re not taking them for granted.
Make healthy sacrifices for the sake of your relationship.
For example, if you feel like your relationship has been strained, skip a night out with your girls and spend a night in with your partner. Another way to do this is to give your partner’s interests a chance, even if they’re things you would typically be uninterested in, like action movies or sports games. Hopefully your S.O. has no problem doing the same for you! Doing something because you know your partner will enjoy it and appreciate you giving it a chance will also help to grow the bond between you.
Show signs of love and affection.
You and your partner may have different love languages, but make an effort to show how much you love them. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to let day-to-day activities and being busy get in the way of showing affection to your S.O. Never be too busy to say “I love you” or give your partner a hug before you rush off to start your day. This will go a long way towards keeping your bond strong.
Be completely open and honest about your feelings and thoughts with your partner.
If you feel yourself editing what you’re saying to your partner, you’re doing your relationship a disservice. By being completely open and honest, you’re creating a healthy, safe and secure space for them to do the same. By being completely transparent, you’re also being vulnerable. The trust in your relationship will increase, thereby strengthening your relationship.
When considering making a decision, ask yourself whether it’s good for your relationship, not you or your partner individually.
Will this decision strengthen your relationship or weaken it? You’ll probably know the answer fairly quickly. Anything that is secretive, sneaky, manipulative or hurtful is an obvious no-no. However, try to keep your partner in the loop about any decisions you have or want to make. That way, they don’t feel blindsided or like you were trying to make a decision without involving them.
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