I’m always somewhat reluctant to give relationship advice since every relationship is so different and I’ve only personally been involved in one relationship, but that relationship has now lasted almost five years so I must be doing something right! Its definitely not a perfect relationship but we’re still very happy and very much in love so we’re doing pretty well in my opinion. I think most of these ‘tips’ are really just things that you do in a relationship but once you get more comfortable, some of them can slip away and you might need a reminder every now and again to keep up a strong and loving relationship.
Talk to each other!
It might seem like common sense but I’ve found I’m sometimes reluctant to share my issues or talk to Rich about whatever is going on with me at any point because I don’t want to trouble him or admit to any kind of weakness but it really is important to talk to your partner about that stuff. In a relationship you’re there for each other, hopefully you love and understand each other really well and trust each other. Sharing an issue with them makes it us vs. the world rather than just me vs. the world (and vice versa when Rich chats to me). Sharing secrets, feelings and experiences builds trust, understanding and emotional intimacy between you and it really is important to just talk to each other.
Don’t keep a tally.
Its easy to keep in mind all the things the other person has done ‘wrong’. They didn’t do their dishes from breakfast so why should you do your dishes from lunch? They didn’t make you a cuppa yesterday morning so why should you make one for them? Doing this just make everything tense and rubbish. If your partner has done something you don’t like or that annoyed you, use the tip above and talk to them about it rather than keeping your own little tally of things they’ve done.
Obviously this doesn’t apply to every situation, there are some things that should not ever be forgiven but for the small mistakes and annoyances, don’t dwell on them. Talk about them, fingers crossed your partner will apologise (or you will if they’re the one talking to you about this!) and then just move on. Forget about it. If they’re sorry and at least try not to do it again theres no point keeping hold of it, its not going to do any good!
Remember the little things.
The little things really are my favourite parts of my relationship. Just doing tiny things for each other really builds up and helps to maintain a strong relationship while making you both feel loved and appreciated. It doesn’t have to be huge things, just things like asking them if they want a cuppa or some food when you’re making some, bringing them some PJ’s while they shower after work, watching their favourite TV show with them (Rich is kind enough to occasionally put up with a few episodes of French and Saunders provided I put up with his choice of Trailer Park Boys). It’s all so small and takes next to no time or effort but really makes the person you’re doing it for feel appreciated and wanted, and I know that when I do these things for Rich I feel good too because I get to see him smile.
Make time for each other.
About two years into our relationship we had moved in together, done a bunch of stuff together and suddenly we were spending most of our time in separate rooms doing our own thing. Though it didn’t really weaken our relationship, it just kind of made our relationship feel boring, mundane and unnecessary. Making a couple of hours in the evening to watch a film together or even just half an hour in the morning to eat breakfast together definitely helped us to feel closer and more in love again and I would strongly recommend it!
Do you have any other tips for keeping a strong relationship? As always, I’d love to hear them in the comments!