Does your relationship become so stale and boring? Or did something bad happen before that the connection between you two is no longer strong?
Before calling it quits, you need to make sure that both people have actually tried their best to make it work.
Remember, that stepping out of the door can feel good for a while. But down the road, you might wonder,
“why didn’t I try harder?”
These habits I’m about to tell you to seem small. They won’t bring significant changes if you do it for a week.
However, I know they work because I applied them in my own relationship.
1. Spend uninterrupted time for at least 20 minutes a day
No phone. No TikTok. Nothing.
Just you and your partner sitting down and talking about your day. This is best to do when both of you are finished with your work so there’s something to talk about.
Daily checks in doesn’t seem to matter much but on a grand scale of the thing, it helps the connection stay strong because you still know each other.
Just like bestfriends.
People like to make excuses like, “oh well, we’re going for a vacation anyway next month and there, we’ll be together 24/7”
20 minutes a day to connect with your partner is still a lot better than twice/three times a year for some fancy vacations to Hawaii.
2. Be comfortable with hurting each other’s feelings — in a good way
Honesty comes a long way.
A dating coach, Mark Manson in his famous article says that being honest is always the best way to go and say things your partner might not want to hear rather than sugarcoat them.
It hurts the relationship in the long run because it shows how uncomfortable you’re with telling the truth to your partner.
I used to be upset that my boyfriend would comment on how thick my makeup is or that one outfit that made me look like a 17-year-old girl.
I didn’t like his comments because they hurt my ego. I thought if he could praise how beautiful I am in everything and never say a bad thing, then our relationship would be all good.
It’s the other way around. It goes stale and no one’s actually growing because both people are too scared to hurt each other’s feelings.
3. Make decisions together
One of the best things that I love about my relationship is that we’re good at making big (or small) decisions together.
From choosing a new place to stay, planning road trips, and traveling abroad, to anything related to financial decisions.
High compatibility is what determines whether a couple would last long or not.
You can test it by seeing how you and your partner decide on practical things together.
Because just knowing that you love each other so damn much isn’t enough.
It doesn’t matter how sexually attractive you’re to your partner if you aren’t on the same page on many things in life then it’s not going to work out.
4. Focus on building real friendships — rather than focus too much on the romantic feelings
You probably have read the most popular relationship book by John Gottman “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”.
He and his team have done numerous research on what makes a relationship actually healthy and long-lasting.
One of the factors turns out to be how they treat each other. Those who are in a successful relationship make sure they put themselves as a best friend too, not just a lover.
They help each other, be good listeners and go out of their way to be there when needed — just how best friends acts.
The main reason is that romantic feelings don’t last forever. The honeymoon phase will fade away by the time you hit the 2 years anniversary.
A licensed psychologist, Shauna H Springer Ph.D. also highlights the importance of being a reliable partner.
“Having your partner’s back means expecting the relationship to change as you progress from the cocaine-rush phase into the testing phase and setting your expectations of your partner more realistically.” — Shauna H Springer Ph.D.
So if you don’t like your partner and see them as your best friend, this will be hard to maintain the relationship just solely depending on romantic feelings.
5. Get a little surprise here and there
Don’t wait until Valentine’s Day is coming or the anniversary of your relationship.
They are great too but having a habit of giving your partner a small surprise here and there will keep the spark alive.
Most times, it’s not about how much is the gift but your thought that counts.
My boyfriend likes to get me flower plants randomly or take me out on a nice road trip without telling me before.
It doesn’t take much to make your partner love you, really. When they feel appreciated, it makes the relationship a lot smoother and drama free.
6. Know when to stop arguing and come back to each other
Sometimes our ego takes over.
We say something we don’t mean and before you know it, your partner is sleeping on the sofa for days in a row.
I learned from my therapy session today that we all have the choice to stop our ego from blowing up our relationship.
It’s understandable that it’s extremely hard to care or see how our partner feels when we’re also hurting.
We feel like we have the need to hurt them back — just to make them feel our pain. But notice how many times making that move has made your relationship better.
Is it worth arguing and not talking for days?
It’s the unnecessary heartbreak that many couples go through just because they don’t know how to fight fair.
So the next time you’re in a fight and your partner ends up apologizing, take it as it is and move on. There’s no need to explain yourself further so they would understand how hurtful you’re.
You can save your time and energy by making up and rekindling the relationship instead.
So for a recap, here are some small habits you can implement to change your relationship for the better:
- Know when to stop arguing and learn how to fight fair instead
- Get your partner a little surprise here and there
- Focus on building real friendships — rather than focus too much on the romantic feelings
- Make decisions together — big or small
- Spend uninterrupted time for at least 20 minutes a day
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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