Before I had my first real long term relationship, everyone around me always had a habit of letting me in on know how relationships work. They require hard work, a ton of energy, constant arguments, and more than a few sleepless nights.
You can guess what that did to my sense of commitment…
But, you live, and you learn, and you realize that other people’s relationship status does not dictate your own.
If you’re ever lucky enough to find that one person to dedicate your life to, you’re going to realize that you will need constant maintenance to keep your connection secure and healthy. From what I’ve learned, maintaining a relationship is very similar to planting a seed. You will need to continually take care of it, provide it with enough nourishment, and love in order for it to grow.
With that being said, there are numerous ways (countless really) to keep a relationship sturdy and robust.
Start Your Day The Right Way
It sounds simple enough, right? That’s because it truly is.
If you live with your partner, then you know that some nights, we tend to fall asleep furious at each other. It could be the result of any circumstances that might have triggered you both during your day.
In an interview with Kyle Benson, psychologist Susan David explains how “When people bottle, they are pushing aside their emotions, and their partner can often feel that they aren’t present—that they aren’t authentic or vulnerable in the relationship.” It’s commonly understood how unhealthy bottling emotions can be, primarily when it’s between two people. By starting your day with intimacy such as sex, cuddling, pillow talk, the bond linking two people strengthens.
The Little Things Matter
It’s incredibly common for lust and passion to wear off as a relationship elongates. It’s the brutal truth.
In the beginning, it was everyday sex, chocolates, flowers, date nights, and so much more. Now, this is not to say it dies off completely, but there’s a noticeable difference. Of course, several factors are involved when it reaches this point. Therapist Daniel Tomasulo explains how “the demise often involves thwarted expectations that, over time, erode the connection. Love that was once flourishing becomes unrequited, resulting in less engagement, simulation, and satisfaction.”
So how do we avoid this? Well, for once, it’s healthy to keep the element of surprise present in the relationship! For example, flowers on a random day, date night at your favorite restaurant, trying a new sex move, or even bringing home a new Pyrex pan for your partner!
Hey, worked on me.
Tell Them About Your Day
That’s it. That’s literally it.
You sit with your partner wherever they may be. You’re drinking a hot cup of chocolate, it’s snowing outside, The Office is playing on Netflix, you’re wrapped up in a blanket probably designed by Martha Stewart, and your partner is curled up under your arms. So take this time to ask them how their day was, or tell them about your day. Tell them about a new book you found, a show you’re interested in, or a recipe you’re excited to try out.
Observe. And learn.
I appreciate your cooking. I appreciate your presence. I appreciate your love, your care, your humbleness, your generosity, your smile, your laughter, your messages, your calls. I appreciate you.
But it’s not just stating your appreciation, it’s showing it. It’s taking care of your partner, showing them how much you love them, and reminding them how much they mean to you. Easy, right?
Affection is not only based on your sex life. There are several ways to show love that include physical, verbal, and emotional. The forms of affection include hugs, touches, massages, listening, and so much more.
Marriage and Family therapist Gabrielle Applebury says how “Showing affection in your relationship is an important aspect of maintaining intimacy.” It’s always the little things that make the most significant difference.
Hit The Gym
Couples that workout together stay together. I personally stand by this statement. The benefits of exercise and the science behind how it affects the human mentality are endless.
And yes, you guessed it, it’s an excellent habit to create, especially with your partner. You get the chance to plan your workouts together, stay healthy, and meet your fitness goals!
Set New Goals Every Day
Speaking of goals…
Think of how to better not only your relationship but your life together in general. Think about how you are going to propel towards that goal with your significant other. Talk about it, dream about, always discuss it.
Emotional Fitness therapist Barton Goldsmith explains how “This alignment is critical for creating harmony and allowing you both to reach your dreams. Once that alignment is secure, there is no limit to how much you can accomplish together.” Forming a goal is a lifetime commitment. By building it with your partner, it strengthens your attachment with each other.
Share Your Thoughts
I do mean the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are not always going to have healthy thoughts, and that’s ok. The most important thing is to talk about it with your partner. Share everything you think because communication is vital in any relationship.
Share what you’re contemplating, have your partner share, discuss, and talk about how you feel towards it all in the end.