As great as simply being in a relationship is, it’s tough to always remain in a positive mindset. If you find yourself developing negative feelings in your relationship, it’s common. This can arise from stress, personal struggles, or disappointment with certain things your partner does, maintaining positivity can take some hard work, but it’s well worth it. Here’s how to channel more positivity into your relationship and increase your happiness.
1. Don’t unnecessarily criticize
When you spend a lot of your time with someone, it’s natural to notice not just the wonderful things about them, but the flaws as well. When you start noticing those little things that drive you crazy, try not to call these things to your partner’s attention. At the end of the day, they’re just personality quirks, and being overly critical can reduce your partner’s confidence. Just swallow those thoughts and focus on what you adore about them instead.
2. Dole out compliments
Even if you appreciate all the things about your partner, it’s important to say it out loud. Complimenting your partner’s actions, looks, and personality traits can help them feel more appreciated. You can repeat the same compliments — you don’t need to be spouting affirmations every day, but remember to hype your boyfriend or girlfriend up, and they’ll do the same for you. Ultimately, this will increase your bond.
3. Look back on the good times
We all go through rough patches, but that’s what good memories are for. If you’re having tough family times, financial issues, or stress from work, it can impact your relationship. To get out of that rut, you can look back at all the fun times you’ve had with your partner and remember that circumstances are always changing, and there are more good times to look forward to in the future. This can help you cultivate that positive mindset and shift from negativity.
4. Remain realistic
No relationship is perfect — everyone depicts a version of their life on social media, and when you see that in other people’s lives, it’s important to remember that. We all have our flaws and problems that we deal with, and you can’t enter a relationship expecting that things will remain perfect forever. Honeymoon phases do end, and a long-term commitment requires teamwork, self-improvement, and work. Having realistic expectations can help you along that journey.
5. Be grateful
Just like you should compliment your partner on the things you love about them, you should recognize and be grateful for the traits they have that you appreciate. Perhaps it’s being a great listener, making you laugh, knowing how to calm you down when you’re mad, or helping encourage you on your career path. You can make a list of things that you’re grateful for as a gratitude exercise, and this will help remind you of all the reasons you’re with your partner, seeing them in a new light.
6. Be vocal about what you want
Bae isn’t a mind reader, so don’t get mad when they can’t telepathically communicate with you. In a relationship, asking what you want is important for maintaining a positive vibe. Expecting your partner to know the impossible is the surest way to turn things negative. Communication is super important, and asking for what you want isn’t selfish — in fact, it’s a lot more straightforward than subtle hints or games. Speak your mind without being critical, and improvements will happen faster.
7. Self-care is key
Being more positive in a relationship doesn’t always have to do with your partner. If you feel that you’re frequently feeling burned out by work or other commitments and don’t have time for self-care and self-improvement, the negativity will creep in. Instead of pouring all your energy into your partner, remember to prioritize your own mental health and loving yourself, which will help you be a more supportive partner.
8. Increase that emotional bond
No matter how many years you have been together, if you don’t grow as a couple, your bond won’t increase and the two of you won’t get closer. You can do this by committing to weekly date nights, going to couple’s therapy, or picking up hobbies together, like art or cooking classes. Putting this time and energy in will increase your connection and will also inspire your partner to do the same, resulting in a positive feedback loop of good vibes.
9. Be more open-minded
This is connected to having realistic expectations. Being open-minded can help you move out of those rigid expectations and go with the flow. Sometimes, you just can’t fight the universe and its natural order of things, and just have to learn that you can only change your mentality, not your surroundings or situation.