Relationship is work, and this cuts across all types of relationships. If you want your relationship to grow or last, you have to put in the work.
One thing I have realised is that many of the relationships that broke up did not break up because one or both parties were toxic or because they were not meant to be, but because one or both parties did not put in the work.
And then there are others that are merely hanging by a thread when all they need is the right information to apply to improve their relationship.
I have been there and I thought to share what I have learned.
I am hoping, if you can relate, that you will get the right inspiration and ideas to improve your relationship.
Communicate Openly And Honestly
One of the ingredients for a healthy relationship is effective communication and communicating effectively is really not rocket science. You can learn to communicate effectively with your partner.
A relationship without open and honest communication is headed for the rocks if the partners don’t do something about it.
One of the few things to learn is that there is a difference between answering a question and offering information; the latter is lacking in many relationships and it is important.
Tell your partner ALL they need to know; don’t assume they don’t want to hear it. If they need to know, then tell them.
Also, be willing to listen to your partner, especially, when they are communicating a grievance. Listen to understand and not to speak, so you can get where they are coming from even if you don’t end up agreeing.
On the other hand, tell each other even about the seemingly unserious topics; tell them your first nickname, the name of your first dog, embarrassing moments; anything really. That’s how you get to know each other.
Communication in a relationship is not only important when there is an issue; it includes when you see a funny video online and send to them.
Don’t Shy Away From Confrontations
One of the biggest mistakes many people make in their relationship is shying away from confrontations because they want to keep the peace.
Of course, nobody wants to be around a troublesome nag; that is not what I am saying. But don’t keep quiet if something is bothering you.
You should learn to tolerate people and let certain things go, especially if they don’t matter. But don’t hold on to things that matter and not tell your partner.
If it is an issue; your partner should know. And remember, “it is not how you say it but how it is said.”
Sit your partner down calmly and state your case without insults or accusation and be willing to understand their part as well; it may be simply a misunderstanding.
Spend Quality Time Together
A lot of people pass time together with their partner but don’t spend time together. It is even worse in this digital age where both parties are focused on their phone and not each other.
Any time you are with your partner, you can make a rule to keep your phone away and focus on each other.
Talk about everything and anything and make memories together. When you are with each other, make sure you are actually with each other.
Tell And Show Your Partner You Love Them
A lot of people make the mistake of doing one or the other – telling or showing their partner they love them – when they should be doing both.
The truth is that while some of us regard words over actions and vice versa; we all need both. Tell them you love them and show it through your actions that your words are not empty.
ALSO READ: CREATIVE WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU
Appreciate Each Other
“Thank you” always goes a long way in making someone feel acknowledged. Your partner wants to know that you appreciate their presence in your life or that you appreciate the things they do for you or the effort they make into making you feel special.
Apart from the usual ‘thank you’ that follows a good deed, once in a while, when they least expect it, affirm and encourage them. It encourages them to do more and it makes you feel good.
Apologise When You Are Wrong
It is toxic behaviour to wrong anybody at all and not apologise. Apologise when you are at fault, even before your partner demands it.
No matter how calm your partner is, nobody will be able to handle that kind of behaviour forever. And even if they don’t voice it out, it will create cracks in your relationship.
Forgive When Offended
A good relationship is between two forgivers. If you cannot forgive, you cannot have a relationship with any human because we will always offend one another; it is inevitable.
Besides, it is dangerous to you holding unto grudges and offences; it messes with your physical and mental health.
Forgive, for your sake, if not for the other person.
Do The Little Things
One of the ways to improve your relationship is to keep doing the little things. Don’t take each other for granted and don’t stop ‘pursuing’ each other.
Those little things that you were doing at the start; going on dates, the little random touches, exchanging gifts, writing love notes, they will always be important. Don’t let life get in the way and make you forget.
Keep Other Relationships And Interests Alive
To live a full and wholesome life, you need to have a life outside of your partner. Don’t cut off everybody else because you are in a relationship.
Keep your interests and relationships alive. Once in a while, you can include your partner but enjoy those things regardless of whether your partner is involved or not.
On the other hand, encourage and support your partner in having other relationships and interests; don’t stifle them.
Basically, the difference between friendships and romantic relationships is that a romantic relationship is a friendship with romantic feelings while friendship is without romantic feelings.
You and your partner are friends with romantic feelings, but most times, we try to downplay the friends part for the romance part whereas it is the friends part that is the most important.
Not to say that the romantic part is not necessary as well but make sure not to undermine building friendship.
Talk to each other, make jokes, laugh, cry, smile, be there and encourage each other. Don’t just focus on physical intimacy, make sure to be emotionally intimate as well so much so that you know what the other person is thinking just by looking at them.
It is possible; we do it with our friends, we just don’t bother so much about it in our romantic relationships when we should.
In conclusion, as I said earlier, relationship is a lot of work but it is not impossible as far as you are ready to put in the work. This list of ways to improve your relationship will surely help you build a long-lasting and healthy relationship.