Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


5 Things You Can Do Now to Make Your Relationship Better

Add some excitement to your relationship.

Key points

  • Saying "I love you" is always appreciated, but expressing gratitude toward one's partner also goes a long way.
  • Touch helps romantic partners feel connected and strengthens a relationship.
  • Taking a walk or hike with one's partner, especially when there is something important to discuss, can ease tension.
Dimitris Vetsikas/Pixabay
Source: Dimitris Vetsikas/Pixabay

Have you started taking each other for granted? Do you wish there was more affection and fun in your relationship?

Show Appreciation/Gratitude

You may sometimes say “I love you,” and that is always appreciated. But, showing what you love specifically is even more treasured. For example, if your partner spontaneously cleaned up a messy room, say you noticed and you appreciate it. You don’t always have to give a compliment—just show you noticed something specific that your partner has done or said and that it meant a lot to you. "Oh, those are tasks my partner is supposed to do," you may think. But, saying you appreciate what your partner does shows you are aware of what your partner contributes to your relationship. These expressions of appreciation can go a long way toward giving you currency in the bank when you have to resolve differences in the future.

Some couples have a nightly “gratitude session” where they express what they are grateful for in their lives and grateful for in each other. Even if you don’t do this nightly, having a weekly scheduled time to express gratitude can not only help your relationship but can uplift your spirits so that the stresses of daily living can be lessened.

Give an Empathic Response

Everyone wants to feel they were really heard. When you repeat back the essence of what you heard, your partner feels you listened and understood what was communicated. Instead of giving your quick response, take a moment to let your partner know what you heard. That will clear up any misunderstandings and bring you both closer together.

Don’t Forget the Warmth of a Smile and of Touch

A hello kiss upon coming home from work, some cuddling in bed at night, and a goodbye kiss all signify your partner is important to you. We all need touch to feel connected to each other and doing so strengthens our relationship.

Make Time for a Date Night

Your relationship is more important than your work or the kids. Yes, you have to make time for them but your relationship can get squeezed out with attending to all their daily activities. After all, the kids are going to leave someday but, hopefully, your partner isn’t.

Set aside time for just the two of you. You may have a romantic dinner at home when the kids are reading in their beds before falling asleep. Or you may get a babysitter and go out to dinner or out to a movie or a play.

Schedule a Fun Event at Least Once Every Two Weeks

Find an activity both of you enjoy and participate in it together. Each of you can write out a list of what you enjoy doing outside of the house. Then compare your lists. There may be some activities that overlap or are similar. Then consult a website such as to find an activity in your neighborhood.

Another way to spend meaningful time together is to volunteer together. Giving to others moves you out of yourself and your own problems while bringing you closer together through this shared activity.

A fun event does not have to cost money. You can just take a walk. Taking a walk or hike together can help ease tensions, especially when you need to discuss something important. Walking encourages talking and you often can come to a solution or a helpful compromise during your walk.

More from Beverly B. Palmer Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today