People often spend weeks planning how they will celebrate Valentine’s Day. But we don’t typically put as much time into examining what we can do to make our relationships better. When we do put time into that examination we often focus on what we wish our partners did differently. They key to improving a relationship, though, is in focusing on what YOU can do differently. That’s not as easy.
If you are in a relationship that is relatively healthy (no abuse, for example), there are often things you can do to make the relationship even better. Below are some tips to help in this regard.
- Try something new. Sharing a new experience helps create new memories.
- Listen to your partner the way you would like him or her to listen to you.
- Ask yourself each day what you can do to let your partner know he or she is loved.
- Agree to never argue via text. Trust me. It is not productive.
- Have more sex! Sex is a uniquely intimate way in which couples connect. And chemicals are produced after orgasm that actually increase bonding.
- Stop comparing yourself to other couples. You never know what their relationship is like behind closed doors so it’s an unfair comparison. You’re comparing your warts with their air-brushed photo.
- Plan a trip. Even a weekend get-away can help refresh and reinvigorate a relationship.
- Focus on what is working, not what isn’t.
- Use humor. But don’t do it in a mean or sarcastic way.
- Make your relationship a priority. It’s easy to let work, hobbies, etc. occupy most of your time and attention. Make sure your relationship is a top priority.
If your relationship needs more significant help don’t hesitate to reach out for some couples counseling. It can seem discouraging to think that you might need to see a therapist about your relationship but it is important to get help sooner rather than later. It’s much easier to make small changes to improve the relationship early on than it is after the problems have existed for years.
The bottom line: the key to a happier relationship is in being a better partner yourself. Make that your Valentine’s day gift this year.