Relationships are hard work and at times you hit bumps in the road or find that you’ve lost the spark of years past.
Never fear – even the happiest and most romantic of couples hit rough patches now and then. What makes relationships survive long-term is how couples overcome the hurdles and work together to improve their relationship.
Even small choices you make every day can dramatically affect the status of your long-term relationship.
Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
1. Let the small stuff go
If your partner is messy, squeezes the toothpaste in the middle, or some other minor annoying habit, just let it go. Consider how fortunate you are to have your partner and what a small price it is to pay to be with the person you love.
2. Be there
We live in such a busy age with tons of distractions. Cell phones, computers, kids, neighbors and work seem to soak up most of our time. One of the most important gifts you can give to your partner is your time. Respond positively when your partner reaches out to you, even if you aren’t feeling your best. People in happy, healthy relationships stay focused on the here and now as much as possible, instead of dwelling on things of the past or worrying about the future.
3. Show more affection
As couples become comfortable with one another, they tend to be less affectionate. Every day, make an effort to show your partner affection. A simple touch, holding hands or an affectionate brush of hair off the face can mean so much. A hidden love note in an unexpected place, a casual photo of you two tucked into a purse or wallet, a surprise flower, gift or dinner are great ways to show affection.
4. Help with the chores
Couples argue over many things and housework is no exception. If your partner tends to do most of the housework, surprise him or her by cleaning up without being asked.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the events of your day, sharing random thoughts, dreams and wishes or even being a sounding board for your partner; communication is vital to a happy and successful relationship. Not every talk has to be on a serious topic, but regular communication is a must.
6. Work on developing a deeper friendship
If you talk to couples who are in long-term relationships, they’ll tell you that not only are they partners, they are also friends. Spend time doing things you both enjoy while working towards deepening your friendship and you can’t go wrong.
7. Compliment one another
It takes no effort to tell someone how beautiful, smart or talented you think they are. Compliments don’t have to be mushy; they just need to be truthful. Be free with your compliments and you’ll both be glad you did.
8. Agree to disagree
Accept that relationships are not perfect and sometimes you will disagree. During these times, have an open mind and hear your partner out even if you disagree on the subject. By listening without interruption, you are showing them that you care.
A relationship is like a two-way street where both partners have to share in making it grow and become deep-rooted. Even the smallest gestures can make a big difference when you approach them with an open mind and a loving heart.