You want to lose 10 pounds. In order to do that, you will do multiple things like work out, eat right, etc. Same way, in relationships, we will have to work at it too if we want to have a healthy relationship.
Since a relationship involves two people, its health depends on the amount of effort that both of you put in. It means the little things you do for each other every day. And that would need the commitment to yourself and to the relationship.
What is effort in a relationship?
Effort in a relationship means paying attention to your partner’s needs. It is about being present in the relationship and doing your best to keep the relationship going.
To put effort in a relationship goes far beyond material things. It is more about making your partner feel loved and valued with your involvement in the relationship.
Effort is relieving your partner in times of pain.
Making an effort in a relationship is a sign of a healthy, happy, and sound relationship.
Why is it important to put effort in the relationship?
I have a question for you- how committed are you in your relationship to put in your energy and efforts to make it long-lasting? Or do you think it will just ride on its own?
When you meet someone new, you give all your attention and make efforts to impress your love interest, but what happens over time?
You slow down and take it easy. Do you put gas in the car only a few times and expect the car to run forever? And to maintain your car to run smoothly and last longer, you do constant checkups, clean, do the oil change.
Similarly, if you want your relationship to thrive and flourish, you will have to work at it constantly, or else, it will slowly digress. And I don’t think you would want that. Don’t get too much into your comfort zone despite the length of your relationship.
There are two types of people in a relationship:
“Those who actively want to be there, and those who’re simply along for the ride.”
Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert and love coach.
So, why is effort important? The goal here is to make each other feel special and wanted forever.
Check with yourself and see if you are putting in enough effort in a relationship or not.
15 Signs you are not putting enough effort in the relationship
Are you feeling a lack of effort? Here are some signs to look out for that you are not putting enough effort in a relationship:
Your partner is always the one who initiates the conversation and not you.
You are not communicating like before.
You are not going out on dates.
You stop noticing little things about your partner, like a new outfit or a haircut.
You stop caring about your own appearance.
You are not interested in talking about how your partner’s day went by.
You stop showing your interest in your partner’s life. Even though you think you know your partner very well but don’t forget, people keep evolving and progressing, so you have to keep up with that.
You only agree to see your partner if it fits into your schedule.
Selfish during sex.You make them do all the work, and you do what feels good for you.
Just the thought of putting effort in a relationship leaves you exhausted.
You don’t care anymore about creating memories and connecting.
You forget the important dates.
20 ways to put effort into your relationship
Do you feel at times ‘I put more effort into the relationship than my boyfriend or girlfriend.’
Well, sometimes, when we look at other happy couples from outside, we wonder what their secret sauce is.
There is no one size fit all strategy. Every relationship is unique. But what determines the quality of a relationship is how much effort are you willing to put in and how strong is your desire to make your relationship work.
All relationships go through ups and downs. It is the tough times that you need to give yourself fully and see how you can get back on track.
Don’t give up at the first signs of friction: only through clear communication, flexibility, and willingness to adapt can you find a relationship that will weather the storms of life.
There are so many things you can do as a couple to maintain a healthy relationship. Remind yourself of all the things that you did at the beginning of a relationship.
If you think your relationship is not fulfilling, see if you are devoting your time to your relationship and doing the following things.
At times, the partner may not cooperate, but all you can do is your part. You will feel good about it that you are being a good partner. Take good care of yourself. It would be worth it.
How to put effort into a relationship? Let’s find out:
Talk to your partner about everything and be there to listen to them lovingly when they have to say something, even when you are tempted to cut them off.
2. Show affection towards each other
Not just within the four walls of your place but also in public, depending on your partner’s comfort level.
3. Go out and do things together
Instead of or in conjunction with watching TV, find a common interest and have some new experiences together. When we spend time together in happy activities, we strengthen our relationship.
4. Encourage and Believe in each other
If your partner is working towards accomplishing a certain goal, help and encourage them to succeed. Support their dreams and ambitions.
5. Give Compliments frequently
Don’t stop givingcomplimentstoyour partner. Let them know how good they look. Compliment how smart and hardworking they are. Compliments and praise can do wonders.
6. Give Surprises
You don’t have to spend too much money. Just a simple gesture would serve the purpose.
7. Resolve issues together
Instead of pushing problems under the carpet, work towards resolving them together. It will take your relationship to a higher level, strengthen the bond and build trust.
8. Listen to your partner’s needs
It is not always about you. You need to make an effort in a relationship to listen to your partner’s needs and follow them through.
9. Be thoughtful
Do things without being asked to. Be thoughtful while showing gestures to your partner. It will be a sign of effort in a relationship and make your partner appreciate you.
10. Be considerate
Be considerate of your partner’s feelings or interests when you are doing or planning something.
11. Show interest by asking questions
Such as asking about your partner’s day. If your partner is looking unhappy or stressed out, talk and ask how you can help.
12. Give your undivided time and attention
Keep your phone down, turn off the tv, and put your entire focus on your partner. It shows how important they and the relationship are to you.
13. Don’t stop being romantic with your partner.
We tend to start taking it easy when we are with someone for a long time. Say “I love you” every single day. It may sound simple, but these three words make a lot of difference.
14. Don’t hold yourself back saying “I’m sorry”
These are another three magical words that can do wonders. When you own your behavior, express it. Let not your ego come into your relationship.
15. Engage in self-growth together
By working on yourselves together, the two of you will learn how your individual strengths and weaknesses can work together. Stimulate each other intellectually, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
After a while, it becomes predictable, and some of you may feel stagnant. Break up the routine. Not only will it heighten your partner’s curiosity about different possibilities, but it will also increase your sense of excitement. In the video below, Caitlin shares ways to spice up your sex life. She shares various ideas that can add a zing into the sex life of couples:
17. Don’t give up on your appearance.
Regardless of how long you have been together, do not neglect yourself and how you look. Push yourself to maintain your physical health by exercising, eating healthy, grooming, dressing well. Both of you will gain from it.
18. Don’t forget date nights
You need to take some time out of your busy schedule to meet each other for a date, whether you are in a dating phase or newly married, or been together for a long time. It is not easy, and that is why it needs effort.
19. Share your opinions and reactions with your partner
For instance, you read some article online that makes you sad, or angry, or frustrated, and share your thoughts with your partner. I know we share a lot with our friends and family but try and share it with your partner first.
It will make your partner feel important that you are giving them a priority.
20. Confide in your partner
Confess if you have to– small or big, whether it is about cheating on your diet or some embarrassing moment. It shows your trust in your partner.
We live in a fast-paced world now with so many things happening around us with so many things demanding our attention. Doing so, many couples lose their focus on their personal relationships. At the same time, they have high expectations for a fulfilling relationship.
What happens then?
Rather than putting in their effort in a relationship to make it work, they leave. That’s an easy route. No matter who you are with, there would always be some challenges, what you can do when you are not sure where to start from.
Pause for a moment and take a good look at your relationship honestly and objectively.
It is important to find out what kind of changes you can make to resolve your issues or give your relationship a little notch.
If you feel that you are not doing enough, then work on that. And if you feel that your partner needs to make more effort in a relationship, then let them know in a loving and non-judgmental way.
If you can’t do it by yourself, be open to reaching out to a professional who can guide you through your difficult moments.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sonali Kukreja is a Certified Relationship & Life Coach, Psychologist, Visual Artist, Writer and an Ordained Minister. Her Ph.D research studied Marital Adjustment as she was always interested in working with intimate relationships. Being divorced herself, she made her a mission to help others by presenting thought provoking questions and spreading awareness about relationships. Born and raised in India she currently lives in South Florida, United States.