In our day-to-day lives, work, school, and other stressors can make it hard to maintain a strong relationship like when they first started. It can be a struggle to get a relationship back in the place that you want it to be. “Well, it seems to me that the best relationships – the ones that last – are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship.” – Gillian Anderson But like Nicholas Sparks mentioned, “Every couple needs to argue now and then. Just to prove that the relationship is strong enough to survive. Long-term relationships, the ones that matter, are all about weathering the peaks and the valleys.” Luckily, there are plenty of things that can help strengthen a relationship and keep the feeling of love steady and strong. It’s the little things that really help build up a relationship. Sure, you need the strong foundations to start off with, but the smaller things help build up a relationship and keep it strong.
1. CHECK UP ON EACH OTHER
When you both make it a habit to check in on one another, it can really help strengthen the feeling of love between you. Couples who call one another after a long day at work to see how they’re feeling, or send a text to make sure that they made it home okay after a long journey, will have a better connection and feel taken care of by one another. It’s such a small thing, but it can really make a world of difference.
2. LAUGHING TOGETHER
A couple who can share a sense of humor and laugh together will form all kinds of emotional bonds that can help keep the relationship running strong. Psychologist Doris Bazzini, Ph.D. says, “Laughter reminiscence packs an additional punch because people relive the moment by laughing again.” Whether you decide to sit down with a funny movie, or just an evening of watching funny YouTube videos, laughing together is important. Once a couple laughs together, their brains will be wired to associate each other with happiness and laughter.
3. SHARING IS CARING
Whether it’s just your feelings, or emotional and traumatic things from your past, learning to share with your partner can make your relationship that much stronger. Couples who feel as if they can tell one another anything will have a stronger relationship than couples who are afraid to be vulnerable with one another. Strength comes from being able to trust one another, and couples who can share will have a strong and lasting relationship.
4. GOOD LISTENING SKILLS
Everyone wants to feel heard when they talk, so having good listening skills is important in any relationship. Everyone should be able to listen openly when their partner speaks. Letting your partner know that you’re listening to their feelings, fears or concerns will help make it easier for them to trust you. With trust, comes strength in any relationship. Couples who are good at listening to one another will have a lasting, strong relationship.
5. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
Being completely honest will help keep the relationship strong, even if it’s not something that your partner wants to hear. Couples who are able, to be honest about how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking and their opinions on certain topics are able to keep their relationship strong despite all of it. “What honesty gives you is a great deal of comfort. Knowing you can implicitly trust your mate allows you to be your best self, and your relationship will continue to thrive because you are able to give each other the positive energy you need to navigate life’s ups and downs,” says psychotherapist, syndicated columnist, and radio host Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. It’s important to be able to trust that your partner is going to be honest with you, no matter what.
6. GIVING IN TO IMPULSE
Being spontaneous helps make sure that the relationship doesn’t fall into a rut. If you want to get in the car and take a vacation one town over for the weekend, do it! If you want to make random plans, follow through! “Over time, it’s inevitable that life falls into a pattern of routine and “same old, same old.” It’s easy to fall into behaviors that are reliable, steady, and boring as well. So it’s important to change it up from time to time to alter our thinking, provide a new perspective, and create interest and excitement,” says psychiatrist Abigail Brenner M.D. Couples will have a strengthened relationship when they’re able to go with the flow and give in to their impulses.
7. TAKE MENTAL NOTES
Remembering the things that your partner likes and dislikes will mean that you’re paying close attention to your partner. Then, you’ll be able to show them that you’ve paid attention by giving them the things that they enjoy and avoiding the things they don’t. Couples who are able to focus on one another and take mental notes to remember the important things will always have a strong relationship together.
8. TEASING ONE ANOTHER
Nothing has to be serious all the time! Couples should be able to know when to give in and tease one another – especially if it means cheering one another up. Knowing when enough is enough is an important part of being able to tease one another. Couples with a strong relationship will know when to stop teasing – but the teasing itself will help keep the relationship strong.