7 great ways to keep a relationship alive
credit: summer luu
I’m happy to say I finally feel like I’ve worked up enough credit to be able to speak on this topic (after 13 years of marriage), and aside from some ups and downs in the first couple years, I’m also pleased to say that things really have gone well overall!
I’d be a fool to believe that it’s all plain sailing now even after years have gone by, and it’s with this in mind that I reflect on some of the things I’ve learned (often through trial and error, mishaps and regrets!) along the way.
So here are some of the greatest ways to keep your relationship alive, make you appreciate your partner more, and ultimately stay happy!
1. Go the extra mile.
By this, I’m talking about going out of your way to do things for your partner. If you’re tired after work and sitting on the couch, hop up and help her with dinner for a while. Drive out to the shop and grab the bread she forgot to buy earlier. The small sacrifices you make will do wonders for your relationship: showing the person that you care enough to take action is far better than being all talk.
2. Compliment your partner.
I’ve spoken on the value of compliments to your co-workers, friends and acquaintances recently, and the same holds true for close relationships. If I want my wife to continue to look great and spend time looking after herself, complimenting and encouraging is really important! The same holds true for me also: I’m a lot more inclined to spend time on not just personal grooming and appearance, but also trying to be a better person if I’m hearing encouragement and getting support. Complimenting each other will certainly draw you closer.
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3. Factor in some alone time.
This is really hard to do, especially if you’re like me and lead a fairly busy life. Throw in shift work and kids into the equation, and you start to forget who your partner is! It’s really important to make time for each other. You can do this by delaying other tasks that are not as important – if you have an hour free, go out for coffee together! This is something I’ve really tried to step up over the last year or so – we try to go out for breakfast together on a semi-regular basis now, and at the very least devote some alone time with each other when we’re able to.
4. Speak kindly.
You’d think this one would be obvious, but the first year pet names of “lovey, honey-pie, snookums!” often become a distant memory the longer a relationship is together. Even if you don’t call your partner pet names so much anymore, don’t forget to treat each other with respect. Speak kindly! Don’t put the other person down.
5. Address problem areas.
One area of mine that I (still!) need to work on, is being tidy with my clothes. I love nothing more than to get changed and toss my old clothes into a corner of the room. This works great when you’re living with your parents or at college, not so great in a marriage! If something’s irritating you about your partner, talk about it (not scream!), tell them how it makes you feel. Don’t get defensive, work on addressing problem areas in your own life – it will make your relationship a whole lot better!
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Have you ever met a perfect person? Sometimes some people seem this way when you first meet them, then you discover they snort when they laugh, they have anger management issues, or maybe they can’t hold a conversation that’s not about themselves… There are plenty of things we find out about each other the longer relationships progress. Letting little things get to you can put your whole relationship in jeopardy (I’m sure you’ve heard of a divorce that started over a toothpaste tube argument!).
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And for what purpose? So you can get with someone else who seems ‘perfect’, until you discover their flaws? Instead, use the opportunity to think about yourself – what little things are you doing that might be irritating your partner?
7. Stay friends.
Probably the best contributing factor (and my favourite) in my own relationship, is my friendship with my wife. We really actually do enjoy each others company! Don’t turn into a boring stiff just because you’re getting older – laugh! Muck around! Have fun with each other, and stay friends. This is a great key to a relationship that is lasting and meaningful.
These are some of the best things that I’ve learned (and continue to work on!) What have you found works well for you?