5 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Romantic Relationship
Easy actions that could go a long way.
Posted January 31, 2019
Intimate relationships are often one of the happiest portions of our lives. They keep us going on tough days, and ground us to what matters most.
Whether you’ve been together for twenty years or five months, every relationship can benefit from intentional action to improve. These actions don’t necessarily need to be extravagant. They can be accomplished in a few minutes each day.
Here are five ways to immediately improve your relationship, for both of your benefit:
Actively listen to your partner.
Actively listening is different than having one eye on the tv, and the other on your wife telling you about her day. Taking the time to communicate in a meaningful way can make each partner feel more validated and important. Focus on the meaning of what your partner is saying. Mirror and reflect what they’ve told you. Ask questions to understand exactly what they’re getting at.
Having your partner really listen to you, especially on a day when it feels like no one else is obligated to, can make you feel connected to each other in a very intimate way. And that is really the foundation of any meaningful relationship.
Spend “alone time” together.
Spending time alone with one another, without interruptions or intrusions, can really strengthen a couple’s connection. Removing distractions can improve the quality of the time you spend together, and give you the space to engage in activities that you know bring you happiness, peace, or excitement. Planning for such time can also add excitement to your day-to-day life. Looking forward to a dinner date or planning to "Netflix and chill" after the kids get to sleep gives you a shared experience to anticipate.
Acknowledge each other's contribution to your life.
You don’t need to write a three page love letter for your wife or husband every week (though for some that might sound nice), but you could simply make a passing comment following a conversation like, “Thanks for talking through that with me. I’m glad I have you to confide in.”
You could express how grateful you are for your partner’s company, or acknowledge something they did for you or your family, even if it was as simple as cleaning up the kitchen. It’s also important to acknowledge your partner’s contribution to your life on a more intimate level, as frequently as feels natural. Thinking about what your life would be like without them, or reflecting on a great moment you shared recently and then expressing that to them can have meaning beyond expectation.
Physical or sexual touch is great when it’s light and fun and can remind you of the intimate connection you share together. Even resting your hand on your partners back, giving them a squeeze as you pass in the bathroom getting ready for work, or holding a hug a little tighter can be exciting and remind you of the physical things you enjoy together. Try focusing on what drew you to your partner in the first place; compliment them, or remind them of what you find attractive about them.
Engage in acts of service.
Do something that you know your partner wants you to do without them reminding you of it. Small acts can go a long way. You don’t have to volunteer to paint the house, but maybe you can pick up the kids toys, do a load of laundry, or stop at the pharmacy for something you know your partner is out of. Engaging in these small acts of kindness lets your partner know that you not only were thinking of them, but were thinking of ways to make them happy.
Give these five approaches a try and you could be on your way to a healthier and happier relationship.