1. Communicate openly and honestly.
Having deep talks builds a stronger connection and prevents misunderstandings. You can’t grow closer to someone if you don’t let them get to know you more. Make some time every day to chat and catch up about your days. Let your partner know what’s going on in your life and listen to them without interrupting while they talk with you. Don’t be afraid to open up about your hobbies, childhood, or life since it shows your partner you’re comfortable around them.
It can be really hard to admit when you aren't happy something with something in the relationship, but talking about it is an important step to working through it as a couple.
Remember that your partner isn’t a mind reader. They won’t know what you’re thinking or feeling for sure until you say something.
If you do have to bring up a problem to your partner, try telling them what you think would fix it, as well. Then, you can listen to their ideas about how to work through it.
2. Treat them how you’d want to be treated.
Only doing what one person wants could lead to a controlling relationship. Show your partner respect and they’ll want to do the same for you. Invest your time equally between what you want to do and what your partner wants to do so it stays balanced. Even though you may not want to do everything that they want to, find a way to compromise so you both feel satisfied.
For example, you might take turns picking what movies you watch so it doesn’t feel one-sided.
Look at things from your partner’s perspective so you can understand how they’re feeling better.
3. Celebrate their achievements.
You and your partner feel happier when you get excited together. Whenever your partner succeeds, sincerely congratulate them and get pumped up with them. Do everything you can to keep the excitement alive and to make the rest of the day great, like going out to eat or watching their favorite movie.
For example, if your partner did well on a test they were nervous about, you could say something like, “Honey that’s so awesome! You worked so hard and I’m so proud of you. Should we get some dinner to celebrate?”
Couples that celebrate together are less likely to fight and have more satisfying relationships.
4. Be supportive of your partner.
Show that you care for them even when they’re struggling. Just like you should celebrate during happy moments, be present when your partner’s having a bad day. Offer to listen to them if they need to vent, talk through how to manage a situation, or just be a shoulder for them to cry on. You don’t need to solve the problems they’re having, but you should at least still be there for them.
Think about what you’d want from your partner if you were going through a tough situation so you can do the same.
5. Apologize when you’re wrong.
You’ll build more trust and respect when you recognize the issue. Everyone makes mistakes, but you still have to take responsibility for them. Whenever you realize you said something wrong or hurtful to your partner, apologize to them. Be genuine as you let your partner know that you did something wrong and ask for their forgiveness.
For example, if you got into a heated argument, you could say, “I realize I was acting defensive when you were trying to talk to me earlier, and I’m so sorry. I should have just listened without interrupting. Can you forgive me?”
6. Work through any conflicts together.
Communicate your issues so you can learn and move on from them. Disagreements are normal in a relationship, so don’t get worried if there are some harder conversations. Take a breather to collect thoughts before talking it out. Clearly explain how you’re feeling and what made you feel that way. Give your full attention to your partner as they explain their side of it as well. Discuss some possible solutions to the problem that you can both agree on so you know what to do moving forward.
Use “I” statements when you’re talking through an issue so you don’t shift the blame. For example, say, “I feel lonely because I don’t have a lot of time to see you during the week,” instead of, “You always spend time with friends instead of me.”
Only focus on the current issue rather than talking about a lot of things at once.
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