6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship
Even the healthiest of relationships have room for improvement. You can always find ways to improve your relationship. Even if you’ve been with your partner for a long time, your relationship has room to grow and become even healthier.
As people learn and grow, what they need and what they can offer changes. Taking time to acknowledge this and continue working on your relationship shows commitment.
If your relationship has been through a rough period or a major life change, you may be wondering what you and do to improve your relationship to get it back to a healthy place.
Read on for 6 simple (or not so simple!) ways you can improve relationships-
1. Seek to understand your partner
Working to understand your partner — who they are, what they are interested in, what they are going through — is key to improve relationships. Especially in long-term relationships, we can assume we know all there is to know about our partner, and vice-versa.
Rather than assuming, spend time listening to your partner. Listening to understand rather than listening to respond not only gives you valuable insight into your partner’s thoughts, but also helps to affirm that you value them and what they have to say.
2. Show empathy for your partner
Empathy is the practice of imagining yourself in another person’s position. Rather than sympathy, which is more about understanding someone’s pain from outside, empathy encourages you to see things from your partner’s perspective. When we practice empathy, we build a shared understanding with our partner.
We may also realize that some of our assumptions and perspectives are in fact quite counter to those held by our partner — which can be a source of conflict.
Learning to see your partner’s perspective may help avoid conflict and build intimacy.
3. Practice gratitude for your partner
Never underestimate the value of saying “thank you” to your partner. Sometimes we forget to thank our partners for mundane, everyday things like cooking, doing the dishes, taking out the trash.
But expressing gratitude in the moment for even these quotidian things can help improve your relationship.
When partners thank each other frequently, they feel valued and affirmed in their relationship.
This can be especially powerful if your partner has expressed feeling taken for granted or unappreciated. Let them know that you see even the small things that they do, and that you value them.
4. Know yourself
Learning about yourself — your emotional triggers, the impact of past traumas, even your learning style or love language — might be one of the most valuable things you can do to improve your relationship.
Knowing yourself allows you to self-soothe instead of taking out negative emotions on your partner.
It can also help you name your feelings in the moment so that you can ask for what you want or need, resolve a conflict more effectively, and be less reactive.
All this can help defuse conflict and promote harmony.
5. Make time for your partner
Make time for your partner — and be intentional about it to improve relationships.
When we live with someone, we can assume we spend “lots” of time with them. But it’s important to invest in (to use a cliche) quality time. Plan date nights regularly, even if that means agreeing to pizza in front of a movie at home once the kids are asleep.
Date night doesn’t have to be at night, either — what’s important is that you are spending time with just your partner doing something that’s not daily household tasks (though running errands together can be a fun date if you are intentional about it).
Find things you both enjoy, or try new things together. And don’t forget to make time for intimacy too.
While scheduling sex sounds boring, setting aside a dedicated block of time for intimacy that could result in sex if you both wanted it ensures that you both get much needed touch and connection.
6. Be present — figuratively and literally
When you’re spending time with your partner, be present.
Put your smartphone down. Actually engage with your loved one so that you can connect.
Listen carefully to understand, rather than to respond or jump in with advice. Also be present physically for your partner.
Show up for events that are important to them. Trust them to show up for you when it’s important, too.
It makes a huge difference to the quality of your relationship.
All of these tips are not only great for improving your romantic relationship but also for improving relationships in general. Just adapt them accordingly but make sure that these principles are all there and watch all of your relationships soar, not just your romantic ones!
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