For a relationship to survive and remain healthy, it has to have a strong foundation. But how exactly do you manifest a strong relationship? After all, life isn’t a romance movie, and we need to adjust our expectations accordingly. Here are the best (and most realistic) tips to build a stronger relationship.
Talk to each other! It might seem obvious, but this is one of the biggest secrets to being happy within a relationship. Most of the time, people are upset with each other because they don’t feel like they can say how they really feel. Being completely honest with each other and communicating on a daily basis will stop resentment from building up and keep you both in the loop.
We have a tendency, as humans, to get defensive and see things mostly from our own perspective. But developing good listening skills and really hearing your partner out can help you see things from their side of the fence. Don’t interrupt or plan your next response. Sometimes, you just need to fully listen to someone articulate their thoughts, even if it’s hard for them.
3. Be vulnerable
To be strong, we need to be vulnerable. Sharing your deep, dark secrets as well as your insecurities will encourage your partner to do the same, and can help you get closer. If you always keep your walls up, you’ll never truly get close, and your partner will never genuinely know you. Embrace your flaws — we all have them, we’re human.
4. Practice self-care
To love someone else properly, you need to love yourself first. Take time to de-stress and do the little things that make you happy, whether that’s a good book and a bubble bath, a workout, or a solid Netflix binge by yourself. Giving yourself (and your partner) space to breathe and stay independent is the best way to strengthen your relationship. Feeling that inner happiness will make you a better partner, and a generally less irritable human being!
5. Make “I” statements
Rather than starting the sentence with “you” which can designate blame or motives, just share how you feel. This will help remind your partner that you’re just sharing your POV and not just blaming them for everything they’ve done wrong, which can infer judgement.
6. Come to learn that not every problem can be solved easily
Unlike all those rom-coms you’ve probably seen, problems can take longer to work out, and some difficulties or differences aren’t always necessarily resolved. While some things can be hashed out, other areas like trust, fidelity, or other differences may take a lot of work or couple’s counselling over a long period of time.
7. Appreciate them
After we’ve been with someone for a while, we start to take them for granted, whether we recognize it or not. That’s why showing bae that you appreciate them is so important and will help keep you in love with each other. Both verbalize and show them in acts of love (or give them meaningful gifts) that you appreciate everything about them.
8. Prioritize them
Part of commitment is sharing your time, energy, and resources to making the relationship work. This also means staying loyal to your partner (on whatever monogamous or polyamorous terms you have discussed) and realize that loyalty means sticking it out through the tough and sometimes boring stuff too. Make time for the person you love.
9. Be respectful
Even if you and your partner are similar, you need to understand and respect the differences between you and them. This can be religious beliefs, politics, or anything else. Even if you disagree with the person you love, you need to respect even the things that you disagree with.
10. Little check-ins with your partner
Even when life gets crazy, be sure to have a check in with your partner — physically, emotionally, or both — and check in via eye contact, a hug, a kiss, on the cheek, or even a light touch on the arm. Whatever your love language is, these little rituals are a reminder to that person that you choose them, every day.
11. Act with integrity
How exactly do you act with integrity in a relationship? Acting with integrity means being honest, following through on whatever promises you make, and doing the right thing — even when there’s no one there to pat you on the back. A lack of this quality can break a relationship.