Some consistency can be nice in a relationship, but variation from the everyday routine is important to make things more fun. If you are in a monogamous relationship, that variety needs to come from within your partnership. While it would be wonderful for you two to get away to some exotic island where you could spend days sipping coconut-flavored drinks on the beach, you also want to have some ways to electrify your relationship during your normal days.
Physical touch is key to a significant relationship. Give your partner a hug, rub his back, hold her hand, offer a massage. Pretend as if a camera is following you around every time you interact with your spouse except when you are having X-rated time. How would you want to act if you knew you were being watched by others? Now act like that every time you are with your partner.
And yet, so often we justify these actions, to ourselves and our partners. This can lead to resentment and defensiveness—not the ingredients for a happy relationship. Next time you mess up, admit your mistake and move on. It will help your partner feel closer to you. This is for you and your partner. For example, when women feel good about their body, research shows they are 19 percent more satisfied in their marriage. Just taking steps to feel good about yourself can be helpful to you.
It makes me feel important. Listen to your partner. This tip is multifaceted. First, it is important to listen—really listen—to your partner. Ask him about his day and then actually be interested.
If you find it tough to be interested, you might want to practice some empathy skills training. She just complains about hers. Another reason to listen to your partner is because your partner is telling you what he or she wants from you.
What kinds of things does he say or do to tell you that he loves you? And when I started telling him that I was proud of him, I could tell that he felt really loved from me. This ties into Love Languages , which I highly recommend you and your partner identify and use on a daily basis. Have outside support and interests. Your partner cannot meet your every need—best friend, stress -manager, mentor, conflict-resolutor, chick-flick watcher, sporting even spectator.
It is important that you have additional sources of support in your life. This will take pressure off your mate to be your everything. Join our Facebook community to hang with other positive, uplifting people. Even better, pursue your own interests. But you also want to respect your own areas of interest and follow those passions. If going to Target is the most exotic thing you tend to do on weekends, it's time for a change.
Choose to do something fun together. This could be watching a funny movie, going for a hike, trying a new restaurant, learning something new by taking a class together, volunteering, working out together … Anything new and positive can help boost the happiness in your own relationship. Stop your need to be right. Instead, they focus on win-win. That means being willing to compromise, admitting when you're wrong, and focusing on being happy instead of being right.
Reunited and it feels so good. When your partner comes home, for example, stop what you are doing within reason and devote just a few seconds to being completely present with her.
Give her a hug or kiss, look her in the eyes, and ask her how she is. Put down your phone, pause the TV, turn down the stove… do whatever you need to focus even just a short amount of time on your partner. You both will feel much more connected. John Gottman is a pioneer on research about the longevity of marriages. In fact, in a longitudinal study, he was able to predict with 93 percent accuracy which couples would eventually get divorced.
He has identified what he refers to as the four horsemen , which are predictors of relationship problems—criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. The quick antidote for these is to simply be respectful.
Rather than criticize, openly communicate without criticism. Ditch the defensiveness; it is important to take feedback so you and your relationship can improve.
Learn to communicate even your disappointments with respect. This one takes an open mind. This is a great way to meet needs that you may not have even realized your partner had. Abide by the 5-to-1 rule. This means that in order to have an overall positive feel about your relationship, you need to have at least five positive encounters actions, statements for every negative one. Spend more time telling and showing your partner what you love and appreciate about them, laugh more, and spend more fun time together.
When you do, the tough times are easier to get through. Stop expecting your partner or yourself to be perfect. Instead, accept where they are. Be assertive by communicating your needs and wants in a respectful manner. Above all, be hopeful. Relationships, like life, have ups and downs. If you are in a downward slope right now, have faith: Things can get better. Put some time, energy, and love into your relationship.
Focus on being the best partner you can be. Get help if you need it. And see the positive in your partner and your relationship.