5 Tips to Help Improve Your Relationship With Your Partner
If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship, you know that they have their ups and downs.
There are times when you feel nothing but love and happiness with your partner and there are times when you feel nothing but frustration and irritation. It’s normal — part of life.
But what if you could be so content in your relationship that when the inevitable hard things do happen, it doesn’t shake you as a couple? That when you do go through times of intense frustration or hardship, your partner doesn’t contribute to it?
Is that even possible?
We’re all human, after all. Nobody’s perfect.
But practice does make perfect, and while you might never get to the point where your partner doesn’t irritate or frustrate you at all, you can get to the point where the irritation and frustration are minimal.
You can get to the point where instead of suffering through hard times alone, you get through them with your partner. Where they can be your support and your strength; a rock for you to lean on when you need it.
And you can be the same for them.
Achieving this is not always easy, and definitely takes a lot of practice, but if you are truly dedicated to your partner and want the most out of your relationship, these 5 tips will help you get there.
1. Make them your top priority.
This doesn’t mean you need to drop everything every time they ask you to do something for them. You don’t need to put their needs above yours or agree with everything they do.
It does, however, mean that you see them, their needs and wants, as important. You don’t dismiss what’s important to them because you don’t understand it — you try.
You take their needs and wants into consideration — then make an effort to make them happy. If they aren’t a morning person, you wait till the afternoon to have long talks. If it’s important to them to eat meals together at night, you try your best to accommodate.
You see them — their needs, their desires, their happiness — as important as your own.
2. Notice what they find important — and realize it might not always be what’s important to you.
People aren’t always obvious with their feelings. Sometimes you have to look for subtle clues that someone else is pleased — through smiles, body language, etc.
You might think making a book about the things you love about your partner is incredibly romantic and special, but when you give it to them and they briefly flip through it before putting it in their drawer, never to be opened again, does it mean they don’t love you?
No. It just means that that particular token of love, while important to you, doesn’t hold special meaning to them.
Yet, if one day you have some extra time in the morning and decide to make them lunch to take to work and they tear up in gratitude — bingo. You’ve just found what’s important to them.
And many times, what’s important to the one you love will surprise you, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s not how you feel loved.
3. Don’t try to force them to see or do things your way.
Let’s be real, we all like to have things our way, but isn’t compromise just another part of life?
After all, compromising is something you do in every relationship — not just romantic ones. You compromise with your family members, your co-workers, etc. Figuring out how to live and work together when every person has different ideas and opinions is something done every single day.
But have you ever seen a relationship where this didn’t happen? Where one member decided that their opinions were more important and better than their partners?
I’ve seen this many times, and one thing’s for sure, the person being dismissed in those relationships sure isn’t happy.
So if you don’t agree with your partner — compromise. Talk it out with them and find a solution that will work for both of you, not just one of you. Not only will your partner be happier; you’ll be happier too.
4. Make an effort to understand where they’re coming from.
This goes along with the other point about compromising. If you try your best to see things from your partner’s point of view, it’s much easier to talk things out calmly and respectfully.
It’s human nature to immediately reject things we don’t agree with or understand, but if you’re committed to your partner and want to have a good relationship — nothing is more important than rejecting your natural tendencies and making an effort to hear them out.
Maybe they feel the way they do because of things that have happened to them in the past. Maybe they see things a certain way because it’s just how they grew up — how they were taught to see the world.
Taking the time to see the reasons behind what they’re saying and doing not only gives you more compassion and understanding, it prevents you from getting angry and dismissive.
It strengthens your relationship.
5. Pay attention to them and only them.
Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that you don’t notice other people who are attractive.
However, you can choose if you’re going to do more than notice them. You decide who you give your attention to, and even if you feel that giving attention to someone else is harmless, you’re making that choice.
So if that harmless bit of attention you’re giving to someone else develops into something more, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Every relationship has lulls, times when you might not feel “in love” as much as others. Because of this, many people chase that feeling of being newly in love instead of waiting out the lull.
But if you’re happy with your partner and you two have (or have had) a great relationship, isn’t that worth fighting for?
If you’re going through one of those lulls right now, try paying more attention to your partner, not less.
Do the things you did when you first were together, when you felt so much love for them you thought you would burst. Have eyes for them and only them, and before you know it, that lull will be nothing but a distant memory.
Every relationship has its ups and downs. Every person does too.
If you want to have a relationship so strong that those ups and downs can’t shake it, you’re going to have to work for it. It won’t just happen by itself.
But it can happen. And if your relationship is important to you?
You’ll do whatever it takes to keep it that way.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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