Time and comfort can alter relationships. As the months pass, you may find that certain parts of your relationship are becoming weaker, or you may even feel less romantic love exchanged between you. It might be time to take direct action to strengthen your relationship.
It can be disconcerting to see some cracks appear in a bond, but worry not and keep your positive thinking! It is always possible to improve a relationship! Here are nine ways to strengthen your relationship and show more love.
1. Ask New Questions to Strengthen Your Relationship
The longer you spend with someone, the less you’ll learn about them as you already know so much. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn anything new at all! Often, couples fall into a habit of only making small talk, chatting about friends, work, kids, pets. That’s all lovely too, but there should be time for more in-depth conversations as well.
People grow and change over time, and your partner – and you – will change as the years go on. Interests evolve, values shift, and new favorites emerge. Take some time to ask each other questions about who you are as time goes on, or ask them about the present: what was their favorite movie this year? You’ll find that there’s always something new to learn!
When you try things with your partner, you’re doing all sorts of new and exciting activities that add elements of novelty, excitement, and freshness to the relationship. You’re less likely to slip into ruts and will be able to bond over your combined new experiences. Studies have found this to be true across the board! You can:
- Take a class
- Learn to cook or bake something new
- Go somewhere you’ve never been
- Introduce new elements to intimacy
3. Learn Each Other’s Love Language
Love languages are how we naturally communicate and perceive love. Through your language, you express your affection and want to receive that language in return. If you and your partner have different love languages, you may continuously express your love for each other without either of you registering the other person’s affection!
Knowing someone’s love language and using it is crucial to making them feel appreciated and cherished, and studies show that it has positive effects on relationships. Here are the five love languages:
· Acts Of Service
This means you think actions speak louder than words! Someone with this love language will feel most loved when their partner helps them out with errands, chores, and little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. For example, someone may pick up your laundry, make you a nice cup of tea, give you a massage, or take care of you when you’re feeling unwell.
· Words Of Affirmation
This means you like it when someone tells you how much they love you verbally. Someone with this love language will feel most loved when they are directly informed of how much they are appreciated, cared about, and cherished. For example, someone may tell you they love you many times a day, encourage or support you verbally, or engage in frequent digital communication with you.
This means that you love receiving visual symbols of love and like the expected value of someone’s effort and thought to make or buy gifts. Someone with this love language will feel most loved receiving well-chosen items and have a sentimental value from their partner. This does not have to be of monetary significance. For example, someone may write you a love letter, buy you a trinket they saw that reminded them of you, buy something for you that you’ve mentioned needing, or craft something for you.
· Quality Time
This means you love it when someone makes sure to spend time with you! Someone with this love language enjoys receiving undivided attention and engaging in meaningful interactions with those they love. For example, someone may schedule a date night, practice active listening with eye contact when you talk to them, start meaningful or in-depth discussions with you, or put away all their work and gadgets to focus 100% on you.
· Physical Touch
This means you love when someone shows you they love you in physical manners. Someone with this love language likes the physical affirmation and connection that comes with direct contact. For example, someone may hug you or hold your hand frequently, cuddle with you whenever you’re together, or engage in intimacy with you.
4. Go To Bed With Each Other
With how busy one’s day often gets, for many couples, the only time they truly have together with only the two of them is at night when it’s time to hit the sack. This means that going to bed simultaneously and falling asleep together can actually be a pretty good way to strengthen a relationship! You treat the minimal time you have with each other as sacred.
What if you’re a night owl, or your differing schedules don’t match up for similar sleeping times? You can lie in bed with your partner until they fall asleep or sit next to them. If all else fails, pencil in naptime with each other!
Listening to music with the people around you can help boost your feelings of connection to them. This is because music has positive effects on some regions of the brain. Specifically, those involved with:
- Oxytocin (feel-good love hormone) production
Just spending half an hour with your partner, listening to tunes you both enjoy, can help facilitate bonding and bring your closer together.
6. Thank Each Other to Strengthen Your Relationship
Taking a partner for granted isn’t just going to damage a relationship. It’s also going to make them feel unloved. Make sure you both express your appreciation to and gratitude for each other often to strengthen your relationship.
This doesn’t just have to be for big things, and thankfulness shouldn’t be reserved for big gestures. Express gratitude whenever the other does a chore, does something nice for you, or even showcases just how great a person they are in general! Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and showing your partner your thanks will make sure they know you love them.
7. Communicate Clearly
It’s not possible to overstate the importance of communication in any relationship, whether romantic or otherwise. It keeps the relationship healthy and gives you new knowledge to build your love on. Here are some ways you should be communicating in your relationship to strengthen it:
· Make It Regular
When you have to apart for most of the time, communicate regularly. Send each other “hellos” and ask how they’re doing, share something funny you saw online, or talk about a situation you were just in! Regular communication keeps you close, even when you’re apart.
· Ask, Don’t Assume
Making assumptions is a rigged game. You can’t read minds, and your partner can’t know what you want for certain without hearing it. Make a habit of asking to clarify things without making any assumptions. Your mind can play tricks on you and make you reach conclusions that aren’t there, especially in times of stress or difficulty.
· Share Your Emotions
When you feel down, talk to your partner about it. Venting your feelings to an available partner brings you closer together, gives them insight into how you think, and reminds you that they are always there for you. It also shows that you trust your partner and value their ear and, if you ask for it, their advice.
· Ask How You Can Help
It’s great if you’re able to take on the mental load of knowing what needs to be done and how you can help. But sometimes, you’ll see an overwhelmed partner and be unsure of what to do. Ask how you can assist and follow through on helping them in showing that you care about them.