Before you read this list, understand this important truth. Relationships is a practice. None of us get it right all the time. Practice love. Practice Relationship. Just practice … Now for the Tips!
1. Most squabbles, confrontations, fights, and disruptions are just that. People can say really awful things to each other and even to others about their beloveds, when they are in the heat of things. Even people who really love each other and want to be in each other’s lives. Really. It’s just human. Does it have to be a deal breaker? Can you walk out the door, slam it and come back again? Sometimes we lose ourselves and no one knows how to hurt us, like the ones that love us the most. What if you choose your relationship and each other over the disagreement, no matter how big and hot and awful it was? Can you love each other anyway and just leave it? People who love each other longer than a week can do this.
2. Never underestimate the value of kissing someone good morning or good night. Or asking how your partner’s day went. Yes, I know – it’s so traditional, right? But these simple loving gestures speak volumes to each other. You are precious to me; and I care. I want to listen to your day. I want to kiss you when I open my eyes. I want to hold you for a minute before we sleep. No matter what happens between you during the day; there will always be this.
3. Understand that with relationships come expectations and commitments. You might really need to go that dinner that you don’t want to go to. Try to smile. You partner may really need you to do certain things for them so that they feel loved, adored and cherished. You might not love it all or feel like it. But if you want in; you may need to offer each other gifts that are not always comfortable or fun for you. You might even have to give up stuff for each other. Get over it; relationships come with obligations and it’s so worth it.
4. Give presents. Do the unexpected. Surprise each other. Is it the loving sexy text during the day? Or maybe buying his favorite cookies at the store? Surprises do not have to be big to be fabulous. It’s amazing how offering up a bit of loving surprise can keep the heat burning.
5. Say “I love you” a lot and often. No one gets tired of hearing that. And if you lover asks you if you love them; that is a real red flag. Asking if you are loved is a really vulnerable act. No one wants to ask. Use your words. Or pass a note. Try endearments. Sprinkle that sugar everywhere. The days are long and life is challenging. Sometimes you can even end a disagreement with these three words.
6. Don’t pick on each other in public. Don’t make each other the butt of a joke on front of people. When we use the phrase “at each others expense” that is real. Every time you turn someone into your punch line, you are paying out of their self esteem. Don’t do it.
7. Help each other. Whether it is taking on some work, or simply cheer leading. How can you help each other when one of you gets overwhelmed. Try “I love you” or taking on some of the work. Yes, do the dishes.
8. Have each other’s backs. Do not tolerate people talking badly about your partner – ever. I don’t care how small it is; this is a zero tolerance zone. If your partner can’t count on you to defend them – who can they trust?
9. Respond to communications. If your partner texts you, calls you or sends up smoke signals; please respond. Hit reply. If you don’t’ have time to really respond; let them know! That takes a minute! There is nothing worse than writing to your significant other and not having them acknowledge you in any way. Selective ignoring doesn’t work either. Talk about a drama builder. And if you partner needs you; they should come first.
10. Offer gratitude. Do you say “Thank you” and can you say “Thank you” in a more loving way than “Thank you”? Love and relationship maintenance often needs more than simple niceties, but if that is all you have in that moment – do that. But how can you offer gratitude to your partner for their love, attention, and commitment? Do you offer appreciation for their efforts to support your life? Do you ever offer love tokens publicly? Take inventory in how you acknowledge each other’s effort. Appreciate each other privately and publicly.
11. Share your extra-curricular plans with your significant other. Don’t hide stuff like meeting an old flame for a drink, a business trip, or even meeting a friend after work for dinner. Sure, you should do all these things, but if you don’t share your plans how can they make plans of their own? When you don’t share your plans it can feel like “sneaking around” and that can become a “trust issue”. And if you don’t come home as expected, maybe they might worry that aliens have abducted you!
12. Do not be one of those couples fighting in the hotel lobby and spitting at each other on a cruise. Just don’t fight or talk about difficult stuff when you travel together or take vacations. Travel and vacations are filled with unexpected stress as it is. Nothing ever goes as expected. Leave it and love it each other through it. Don’t talk about the taxes, the funky business deal, or the old flame. No blaming over missed airline connections. Keep distractions out. If you feel the big fight coming on – walk away from it and instead say: “You know I love you, right?” and bring out the “I’m sorry”.
13. Kiss a lot. Deep kisses, kisses on the forehead, little pecks on the lips. Hold hands when you walk down the street. Wait for each other even if your significant other is taking too long and you are getting restless. Don’t walk ahead. Open doors.
14. Celebrate each other. Did one of you score a big one at work? Did something better than nice happen in their lives? Call it out! Congratulate them! Do a happy dance! If you don’t cheerlead them; who will?
15. Notice each other. Did your significant other dress up? Say something! Offer a whistle! Did their smile look beautiful when you opened your eyes in the morning? Mention it. “Hello, Sexy!.” A well-placed ass pinch can be a very good thing between lovers.
16. Have sex. Make love. Touch each other. Make room for intimacy. Go on a sex adventure. Build sexual anticipation. Flirt with each other. Do this a lot.
17. Give each other your attention and presence. Don’t text with friends or play with social media when you are having a date or special time together.
18. Choose love.
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