We all know that communication is the key to successful relationships, but depending on the level of trust between two partners it can either make or break the whole thing. What is it that sometimes makes communication so difficult? We try to express ourselves the best way possible, but for some reason we simply can’t reach the other half. Psychology Today published a study on married couples that went to therapy. It appears that the majority of couples with issues were troubled due to lack of communication and various problems associated with it. So how do you make sure your relationships go a long way? Here are 11 love secrets that will bring your relationship to a whole new level.
Say ‘thank you’
Expressing gratitude is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. It reminds your partner that you still cherish him and don’t take things he does for granted. It’s really important for a person to feel loved and appreciated, and saying ‘thank you’ does exactly that!
Make creative compliments
Using compliments is a great way to keep the spark alive, and you can go ahead and use the common set of phrases like ‘You look beautiful’ or ‘You’re so smart,’ but with time you’ll have to get more creative and specific. After all, you love your other half and know a lot about them, so making a great compliment won’t be too difficult. You can also add your own emotional twist to it, e.g. ‘I love what you’ve done with the place, it makes me feel calm’ or ‘This shirt really brings out the blue in your eyes, makes me want to gaze into them forever.’
Don’t assume – just ask!
The trick with nonverbal communication is that sometimes you decode it the wrong way. It is quite difficult to express your own needs or to understand what your partner wants without using actual words, so don’t be shy and just ask if you really need something or just want to make sure that you understood your partner’s sultry or sad gaze the right way.
Say you are sorry
Admitting mistakes is hard, but it’s impossible to build successful relationships without it. Say you’re sorry if you’ve done something wrong or hurt your partner in any way, but don’t be too careless about the whole process. Make it as personal as possible, be sincere, take responsibility for what you’ve done, and try not to make excuses for yourself. What’s done is done! Now it’s time to make amends.
Be curious about their day
No matter what stage of relationship you’re in, it’s always good to have this little tradition of asking how his or her day went. Having this kind of small talk brings you closer to each other and can even reveal some details you didn’t know before. Try to be less generic and more specific about your questions. Ask about the movie or TV show they’ve just watched or a book they’ve finished reading. It will definitely take your relationship to a whole new level!
Go for the ‘I statements’
This is something not many people pay attention to, but in the heat of the argument we often put the blame on the other person, his or her behavior or faults. It’s always better to use ‘I statements’ when you’re upset about something as they reveal your own feelings and needs without putting the blame on your partner, making him feel instantly defensive and uncomfortable.
Forget about compromises
Sure, it’s good to hit some common ground when you’re deciding where to spend your Friday evening, but you should be careful to avoid making too many compromises. You might want to spend the evening reading a book in silence, while your partner invites you to go out and have a noisy dinner with friends, and you finally decide to go because he’s really enthusiastic about it. But in the end you both lose as you feel miserable and he can feel your unhappiness and can even blame himself as a result. What you can do is focus on your and your partner’s needs and try to come up with some creative ways to satisfy both of them simultaneously. It might not be easy at first, but as you do it more and more often, it will make your relationship more satisfying and the whole process will turn into a creative and exciting game.
Laughing together is one of the best signs that you’re in a healthy relationship that will go a long way. You can even laugh at each other’s faults! But in a good I-don’t-take-myself-too-seriously way. It’s a proven fact that partners who can make each other laugh develop a stronger connection due to reduced stress levels and overall good attitude. Don’t be afraid to look silly – just have fun!
Focus on your own feelings
While it is important to think about your partner’s feelings, you shouldn’t keep your own bottled down deep inside you. Even if you’re not quite sure what you’re feeling, but for some reason you are unhappy and sad, just start with explaining that you don’t really know what the problem is, but something is bothering you. This will help your partner understand that something’s wrong and together you will get to the bottom of things. Other thing you can do is stop questioning yourself and your feelings and just speak whatever’s on your mind. It’s surprisingly liberating!
Always try to impress your partner
No matter how long you’ve been together, one month or 10 years, it’s always important to show that you care. Impress your loved one, think of unique date places or interesting movies to watch together, pay attention to your partner’s hobbies and go visit that art gallery that’s opened recently. Maybe you both aren’t so much into art, but that’s the more reason you should go! You’ll have fun doing something out of your comfort zone. Keeping your relationship exciting is something you both should really work on. Then it will last forever!
Talk less, listen more
If you want to build truly healthy relaitonship, you’ll have to become an active listener, capable of keeping focus on what your partner is saying. Be present and attentive when talking with your loved one and you’ll be amazed at the level of intimacy simple listening can create between the two of you. Your partner will also feel loved, acknowledged, and appreciated, and will definitely want to do the same thing for you.