All romantic relationships take work to make it work; ask Angelina and Brad… oh wait!
While we should not laugh at another’s failed relationship, let us talk about how to improve our own. Both parties need to keep watering the plant of love on a daily basis; otherwise, that plant will wither and die. Your question is: “How does one maintain and improve the relationship every day?” I thought you would never ask.
These are 11 ways to improve your relationship no matter what:
1. Turn off all phones (or at least keep them on silent with vibrate mode off)
Imagine the setting: You somehow managed to get a reservation at the swankiest restaurant in town. You have ordered the oysters, the chateaubriand for two, the $50 bottle of wine; everything is just right. Then your date gets a phone call and they are talking blah blah blah for a while, slurping in the oysters while they talk. When they do hang up the phone, it seemingly becomes superglued to their hand and they never look up from the thing. Before you know it, the waiter asks for dessert and they ask for one to share, all the while magically spellbound by their iPhone 7. Cinema rules should apply here, ladies and gentlemen. Not only is it rude to not pay attention to the person you are with; it is a serious mood killer.
2. Going to bed at the same time
This is intimacy in true form. Going to bed at the same time is akin to spooning or pillow talk after doing the horizontal fandango. As stated by Erin Leyba of Psychology Today, “when sleep patterns diverge, it’s harder to keep a connection”. Enough of boffins’ spiel; what are you doing that is so important that you are unable to go to bed at the same time as your partner? Maybe it is unavoidable, like the graveyard shift at work. Maybe your favourite programme is on the TV late. Maybe you are gambling your money away and you do not want your other half to find out about it. If it is avoidable, at least try to make the effort of doing this. Your partner will be grateful you did.
3. A small gesture telling them you are thinking of them
It is hardly rocket science, but knowing that you are in the thoughts of your special someone makes you feel special. This is where you can get your creative juices going. You can WhatsApp them saying, “Morning sweetie. Bringing a ray of sunshine to your day. I love you.” You could even leave a card saying the same thing; this is very romantic. We know this is cheesier than your favourite margarita, but how about a poem just because?
Roses are red
Violets are blue
You’ll never guess what?
I’m so in love with you.
4. Trying something new together
This is a surefire way to make the bond stronger, James. No, you do not have to fight Jaws or blow up a Russian missile silo. If you have not watched Bond movies together yet, rent Quantum of Solace or Octopussy or any of the others. Another suggestion is that you could do some roleplay as 007 and Bond Girl to keep things shaken, not stirred between you two. The good thing about it is that you do not have to report back to Q later. Be careful with those gadgets!
5. Withhold that criticism
Criticising can take the edge off that loving feeling. Before the need to start singing the song by the Righteous Brothers, just think for a moment before uttering the words that cannot be taken back. Even if it is minor criticism, instead suggest another way of doing whatever it is your partner is doing. This can really help the relationship by your partner doing better in your eyes and you are now satisfied with the way they do it. Sing it with us, “Bring back that lovin’ feelin’, Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’.” Yeah!
6. A little gratitude goes a long way
“Thank you” are two key words that can boost your romantic situation. Let us try something here, “At Power of Positivity, we thank you for reading this article.” What we are thanking you for the time you are taking out of your life to read the article – time that you will not get back. In a relationship, it is the same principal. If your beau/belle is doing something for you and they do not thank you for it, how would you feel? Or vice versa, how do you think they would feel?
7. Focus on the positives
One of the core reasons why we are called Power of Positivity. Let us focus on what we all do RIGHT. It makes us feel more valued in a relationship. At work: “I like it when you call me to know how my day is going.” Out and about: “I absolutely love it when you open the door for me.” At home: “You are so sweet when you left me those roses this morning.” This is the sign of a happy couple, despite undoubted imperfections on either side.
8. Be vulnerable
If needed, do not be afraid to say how you really feel. Hiding your true emotions is not fair on either of you, making the other person unsure about everything as far as you are concerned. If you dislike how your partner is getting a little too close to their friend of the opposite sex, tell them. Be calm and respectful, though. The same goes for when they said something hurtful, for maybe it was just a joke and they did not mean anything by it. Tact always helps, too.
9. Give a gift for no reason
Nothing huge is needed, just a little something. Then again, if you do want to go big, who are we to stop you? Once more, this shows how much you care for them. We mentioned pizza before, so showing up with that favourite margherita will make you stand out in their eyes, mind, heart, you name it. There is no limit on how you can improve things with them just doing this once a day.
10. Plan a holiday (or holistay)
Having that quality time together is the heartbeat of a relationship. It is not essential to play Phileas Fogg and travel the world in eighty days; just a weekend will suffice. If you decide to go somewhere, it could be to a beach or a nice lake. If you stay, do not forget the pizza and the James Bond DVD! The crux of the issue in this point is spending time together, being happy in each other’s company.
11. Make your intentions known (again)
It is all well and good doing this at the start of your romantic quest, but what about later on when the new feeling has worn off? This is how you got together in the first place, so why should it change? To use a typically British word, you should always “court” your significant other. The Cambridge dictionary of the word in this sense is: “to have a romantic relationship with someone that you hope to marry.” Make them feel special and wanted by using the examples given here, literally tell them you want them and go all out to see them beaming with happiness just because they are with you.
Again, thank you very much for reading. Do yourselves a favour and bring back that loving feeling and you will both be shaken AND stirred!