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 cracks 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 you can’t learn anything new! Often, couples fall into a habit of only making small talk, chatting about friends, work, kids, and pets. That’s all lovely too, but there should also be time for more in-depth conversations.
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 time to ask each other questions about who you are as time passes, 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 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 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, 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 daily, encourage or support you verbally, or engage in frequent digital communication.
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 you 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. Ensure you both express your appreciation and gratitude for each other often to strengthen your relationship.
This doesn’t just have to be for big things; 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 ensure 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 be 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 your thoughts, and reminds you that they are always there for you. It also shows that you trust your partner and value their ear and their advice if you ask for it.
· 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 show that you care about them.
· Give Compliments to Strengthen Your Relationship
If you think your partner looks nice, tell them. If you admire their responsibility, say so. Complimenting each other is a great way to remember that you both still find each other desirable, and it’s always great to make the other person feel loved with your words!
· Check In Often
Now and then, it can be useful to sit down together and evaluate your relationship. Talk about good experiences, negative experiences, and things you’d like to work on in your relationship moving forward.
8. Do Something Frightening Together
Novel and “scary” activities raise adrenaline and send you on a thrill ride. When you do this with a partner, your senses heighten, and you become invigorated, often strengthening romantic and sexual attraction.
This is also why people often form crash-and-burn relationships in volatile or dangerous circumstances. The difference is that you and your partner already have a loving, romantically linked foundation to your relationship, so these adrenaline-rushing feelings enhance your bond, not make it volatile in itself!
You don’t need to do fear factor-level stuff or expose yourself to things that genuinely terrify you to your core to get these benefits. Research shows that any novel shared experience results in this positive bonding, sending sparks flying! In the long run, you’ll also get some great bonding moments to bring you closer and give you fond memories. You can:
- Go on a roller coaster or other thrilling amusement park rides.
- Watch a scary series or movie.
- Go bungee jumping or ziplining.
- Play frightening horror-themed video games
- Tell scary stories in a spooky atmosphere.
- Visit a haunted house.
9. Volunteer For A Cause Together
Volunteer work is good for your mental health in general, facilitating better positive thinking – but more importantly, it promotes the production of oxytocin, the love hormone! Essentially, it makes you feel more connected to the people around you.
The act of volunteering or doing charity work with a partner allows you both to see great sides of each other while naturally facilitating closer bonding. You’ll also feel more relaxed and less stressed out, allowing you to feel more open to close connective moments.
Relationships have their ups and downs, but what’s important is that you continue to work on growing stronger together and showing each other how much your affection rings true. Even if your relationship is perfectly happy now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ensuring that you’re showcasing your love and keeping your bond healthy!