Working on romantic relationships, even ones that are doing well, is always a smart idea.
If you’ve received relationship advice in your life, chances are it went something like this: relationships are hard work. Or perhaps you heard the classic flower garden analogy where you’re told to “water” it in order for it to blossom.
But whether or not that sage advice was given with a smile, it is certainly true. No relationship can thrive without effort from both parties.
Even relationships that are completely stable and happy can always use work. After all, it’s much easier to make an effort while things are great than to try to pick up the pieces after they’re broken.
Are you curious how you can strengthen your relationship at any stage? You’re in the right place.
Keep reading to learn all about seven relationship strengthening tips for any couple!
Let’s get started.
Stay Away from Comparisons
Comparing any aspect of your life to others’ is a sure fire way to end up feeling bad. And this is especially true for relationships.
For example, let’s say your friend’s partner always takes them away on lavish trips and vacations. And your partner has never even mentioned going away together.
Allowing this comparison to make you feel upset will only cause pent-up hostility toward your partner, and for no reason. Just because another relationship is different to yours does not mean it’s better.
Your partner does many unique things for you that no one else experiences. Discover what those things are and focus on them.
Stop comparing your life and relationship to other people’s, and you will be much happier.
Work on Something Together
Finding something that you and your partner can achieve together as a team may be easier than you think.
If you have a project you’ve been thinking about diving into around the house, for example, make it a fun opportunity to work together. Whether it’s some gardening, or interior design, taking on tasks together will give you some major relationship strengthening.
Learn About Love Languages
Do you and your partner speak the same love language? And if you don’t, what do you do about it?
Well, firstly, make sure that you are educated on the five love languages in order to understand where your partner is coming from. And if you’re not, here’s a handy list:
- Physical touch (hugging, kissing, etc.)
- Quality time (time that you spend together)
- Acts of service (doing something helpful or kind for one another)
- Words of affirmation (verbal compliments and loving words)
- Gift giving (physical manifestations of love)
So, what does all of this mean? Well, that depends on the couple.
For example, let’s say that your partner very rarely says “I love you.” As hard as it may be to grapple with, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t. Some people prefer to show their love than tell it. Therefore, their love language is through “Acts of service” rather than “Words of affirmation”.
The point is that different people express their feelings in different ways. Being aware of these different “languages,” however you define them, will help you to better understand and communicate with your partner, and even appreciate your partner more in ways you hadn’t realized before.
Talk about relationship strengthening!
A Date Night Can Work Relationship Strengthening Magic
After a long day (or week) at work, it can be super tempting to just curl up on the couch in your PJ’s and watch TV. But, once in a while, resist that urge and plan a date night for you and your partner.
Pick out an activity that you both enjoy. This can be a dinner date, or something more involved, like playing a sport together.
The key here is to ensure that you can spend quality time together and are able to talk. A date at the movies may not be the best call for relationship strengthening.
Nostalgia Can Rekindle Old Flames
If you’re looking to reignite some old flames, taking a trip down memory lane may just do the trick. And why not make a night of it?
Pour some wine, pull out some photo albums, and think back on the good times with your loved one. Reminiscing will remind you both of everything you’ve been through together (good, bad, and hilarious).
This nostalgia will not only bring back old memories but also old feelings. Spend an evening honoring your past with your partner and feel the flames of love reignite.
Therapy Doesn’t Mean Failure
If you and your partner decide to embark on a journey into couples’ therapy, that in no way means that you should feel like a failure.
It can be argued that any relationship, no matter how strong or weak, could benefit from therapy. Through these appointments, you will learn more about each other, how to communicate better, and how to kick dysfunctional habits to the curb.
Any couple can experience relationship strengthening by visiting a therapist regularly. The stigma that couples who enter therapy have already given up on each other is just that – a stigma.
In fact, both people in a partnership showing the willingness to visit a therapist, and therefore the willingness to change and grow together, is a great sign of progress in itself. If your partner expresses the desire to go to couples’, don’t dismiss them right away.
Don’t Forget Your Partner
This tip goes out to all lovebirds with kids. If you have little ones, then you know how it goes.
Before they come, everything is lovey-dovey and all about your partner. But when your life is filled with the constant wants and needs of a child or children, your partner’s needs can fade into the background.
And although it can be a difficult balancing act, don’t let this happen. Make time for your partner and don’t forget about the relationship which you have with them.
Just think – when your children are all grown up, do you want to be left with a loving partner or someone who you’ve neglected for years? Relationship strengthening will prevent the latter from happening.
Follow These Tips to Stay Strong
Although relationships take effort, it won’t feel like effort if you’re with someone who you truly love. All you need to do is learn their love language, work to rekindle old flames, make time for each other, and stay away from comparisons.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll experience a strong, healthy relationship for years to come.
Dr. Carissa Coulston is a clinical psychologist who has written extensively on relationship psychology on top of her 30+ publications in significant medical journals. She is the main author of relationship articles for The Eternity Rose.