What does it take to have a strong relationship? Why do some people have a healthy and beautiful relationship while other people seem miserable?
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this a lot.
Here’s what I’ve learned, over the past 25 years, with everything my husband and I have been through together. I share this with you, and hope it helps you navigate the waters of your own relationship.
Here are 25 tips to help you strengthen your relationship:
- Respect. Respect. Respect. Respect one another, even when you’re seriously pissed off, and watch how you talk to your significant other. It’s hard to solve a problem when you’re angry and yelling.
- Remind yourself life isn’t a Disney film. Real life is messy and stressful. When you recognize your relationship isn’t going to be perfect, you’ll be a lot happier.
- It’s OK to have an argument or a disagreement, just don’t hold a grudge. Say what you need to say, and then move on. Let it go.
- Support one another, always, even if your significant other is into something you find boring. If you truly love someone, you will take the time to listen to what he or she wants to share, even if it isn’t something you find completely interesting.
- Don’t hold your significant other back. If there’s something he or she wants to do, help them find a way to do it.
Make sure to nurture your relationship by spending time together. Have a weekly date night, lunch date or whatever works for your schedules. Having quality time together is a must.
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. You have to talk things out, even when it’s hard or awkward. You can’t solve a problem unless you talk about it.
- Have fun. Seriously. Find enjoyably activities you both like, that you can do together, and schedule these activities.
- Be patient with one another. There will be times when you get seriously frustrated with your significant other. Remember to practice patience, and try to look at whatever it is from the other person’s perspective.
- Commitment is huge. There might be times in your relationship when you think, “This isn’t what I signed up for.” There are peaks and valleys in a relationship. Commitment will see you through the valleys.
- You have to make an effort. Do nice things for one another, often. Little acts of kindness can go a long way in a relationship.
- Be honest about how you’re feeling, what you need and what you want. You can’t expect your significant other to be a mind reader. If you don’t voice your needs, they can’t be met.
- Be willing to forgive and forget. You aren’t perfect and your significant other isn’t perfect. Mistakes will happen. Learn from them.
- Be independent and allow yourself to grow as an individual. This way, you’re bringing your best self to the relationship.
Recognize you’re in charge of your own happiness. You have to be a happy person to have a happy relationship, and your significant other isn’t responsible for your individual happiness.
- Don’t take one another for granted. It’s easy for life to get in the way and for you to just expect your significant other to be there. Everyone likes to feel valued and special. Make sure you take the time to make your significant other feel special.
- Let go of control. You can’t control your significant other, and when you try, you will probably be met with resistance and anger. Accept your significant other, flaws and all, and remind yourself that you have flaws too.
- Treat the people you love the most, the best, especially when it comes to your significant other.
- Don’t focus on the little annoyances your significant other does that drive you crazy. Instead, remember the good qualities, what you especially like, and focus on that.
- Sex. Even though my kids are probably cringing as they read this, (if they’ve made it to number 20.) If you aren’t having sex, you might need to take a good look at why.
- Listen to your significant other when he or she talks, and ditch the phone. (Jon, this might be a good one for you to pay A LOT of attention to.) Your significant other shouldn’t have to compete with your phone.
- Don’t use the “D” word. Even though my husband happens to be a Family Law Attorney, don’t threaten your significant other with a breakup or divorce. If you aren’t happy, figure out why, and do something about it.
- Money shouldn’t get in the way. Make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to your spending habits and priorities. Statistically, money tends to be a huge issue for a lot of people. Talking about your finances can help prevent issues from coming up.
Be there for one another, especially when life gets hard, through good and bad times. This will strengthen your relationship.
- Feel grateful for your beautiful relationship and don’t take it for granted. Ever. If you have a family, look around at what you and your significant other created together, and bask in it. Acknowledge how blessed you are, and focus on what you do have.
I hope this helps you, as you navigate through your life. Remember, life isn’t perfect, and every relationship has its share of ups and downs. But, the above tips will absolutely help you and your significant other nurture your relationship.