Many of us will spend a portion of our lives looking for ‘the one’. Some of us are lucky and find the love of their life quickly and with little help. Whereas others spend years searching for a person they truly connect with. But regardless of how long you’ve been together, you will always need to work hard to make any relationship succeed. You need to nourish it and encourage it to grow and progress. Very few couples have the kind of relationship where no effort or compromise is required. So don’t be naive in thinking you won’t have to put in the time and energy into making it work for you both. Not doing so could result in arguments, distrust and create a tremendous amount of tension and stress. So to create and maintain a healthy relationship between you and your partner, use these four ways to help you.
Have fun and be silly
While romance is obviously something you want in your relationship, having fun and being silly is just as important. Sometimes instead of heading out for a romantic meal or walk, it’s nice to do something that is less pressured but still enjoyable. Try to plan date nights and weekends that involve you laughing and having fun together. You could attend a stand-up night, head to an arcade or go to a costume store. You could also bake together, learn a new skill or buy an unexpected joke present. Doing this will make you both feel more relaxed within the relationship, and you’ll start getting more creative with your ideas. So continue to have the occasional romantic day or evening with one another, but mix it up with something more light-hearted too. This quality time together will be nothing but beneficial and help you reach a new stage in your relationship.
It’s important that as well as being lovers, that you establish a foundation of friendship. Some of the strongest and healthiest relationship consider themselves as friends. Think about how you have fun with your friends and see if you can apply this to your relationship in some way. You could plan a night out on the town or go for a coffee. You could even introduce your partner to something that you enjoy doing, and that interests you. For instance, you might want to share your love for football or ice skating with them. You could then encourage them to do the same and show you something they love. This will develop a trust and understanding that may be lacking in your relationship currently. So even though romance may be necessary, fun and friendship should also be a priority.
Become a better listener
If you’re experiencing arguments and upset within your relationship, it’s best to pinpoint the reason for this. The easiest way of doing this is by listening to your partner. With everyday distractions such as social media, work and personal issues, it can be easy to not fully listen to what our partner is telling us. If this continues over time, it can get highly frustrating and make them think that you don’t care for them. Especially if they are trying to share something personal with you. So put down your phone and give your partner the attention they require. They should then encourage them to do the same for you. While it’s vital that you make the effort to listen to your partners troubles and concerns, it’s just as important that they do the same for you. Otherwise, you may find that your arguments get more extreme and more hurtful if undealt with. Communication is key to a healthy relationship so express yourself often so you can continue to remain on the same page. Lack of listening and communication is when a relationship starts to break down. Having a way of communicating with one another means you are able to overcome any number of obstacles.
Create a calm and relaxing environment in your home where you can discuss thing openly instead of bottling them up. Try to be non-judgemental, make frequent eye contact and don’t speak until they ask you to. They may not be ready to talk through everything the first time, so stay patient and offer words of encouragement to show you care. You should then have the opportunity to open up and share your thoughts on the issue at hand. Giving your partner your undivided attention and showing your willingness for sharing will be a brilliant first step. Consistently doing this will establish more openness between you. Plus it will also reduce further tension from occurring. Being able to talk to one another is an absolute must, so even if you find it difficult try your best to do so.
Be more independent
Trust is the one thing that can make or break a relationship. Relationships that are lacking in trust are the ones that often face the most problems. If you think your relationship is lacking in trust, there are plenty of reasons why. They might have been unfaithful in the past, or you might have issues with commitment. Whatever the reason you both need to make a change. One of the best ways of doing this is by spending time apart. This doesn’t mean you should end the relationship or go on a break. It just means that you need to become more independent and find your sense of self again. Nobody likes to spend time apart from the one they love. But becoming too dependent on your partner and not trusting their love or loyalty is a recipe for disaster. It could make you both feel claustrophobic and unenthusiastic about your relationship. Remember that you don’t need another person to define you. So join a gym or a weekly craft group and do it by yourself. Even going to the grocery store alone is an excellent way of gaining more independence. You may have been hurt before, but that does not mean it will necessarily happen again.
So give yourself and your partner some breathing space and time to reflect while apart. You could also encourage them to go out and do the same thing one night a week. This will not only help you regain your identities, but it will also introduce you to new friends and interests separate from one another. Doing this over time will make it easier to trust your partner and make you realise that time apart can be beneficial. If you still find it difficult to trust and don’t feel in control when you are without them, you may need to seek professional counselling.