4 Simple Ways to Keep a Healthy, Strong Relationship
…And 4 Simples Challenges You Should Incorporate Into Your Relationship!
Honesty. Trust. Respect.
If you were to ask people about the most important things to remember while in a relationship, I’m sure these words would come up the most. I totally agree with all those aspects of a relationship as I believe they build the foundation for a strong one. Those are the major key points that would cause a relationship to crumble quickly if they didn’t exist. However, I’m going to veer off to the simple, less talked about aspects that maybe get overlooked. These are the little things people might follow through with in the beginning, but later on forget about the importance of those small details.
So here I am to remind you!
Compliments don’t get old
When I think about relationships and compliments, this introduction clip from the movie, “Hitch” comes to my mind. Hitch says, “No woman wakes up saying, ‘God I hope I don’t get swept off my feet today!'” Although he’s referencing women, this can be applied to any human being regardless of gender or even age. Let’s face it, whether we like it or not, humans desire attention, praise, and want to feel noticed. Now I’m not saying we should desire all those things because our happiness depends upon it.
However, I bet you can think of the most recent compliment someone said to you (physical or internal) and how it made you feel. Seriously… take some time to think about it. If it makes you feel all tingly inside, then think how others feel. Now to put this into the relationship perspective. I think more often than not, we get used to the people we are around the most and start to lose the complimenting aspect. It’s as if we think, “well I’ve already complimented him/her on that,” so it’s like complimenting gets old. Think of something people compliment you on. Does it get old to hear that people really love your hair? Does it get old when people compliment your dedicated work ethic? No!
So, it doesn’t get old to hear compliments from our significant others nor does it get old for him or her.
Challenge: Compliment your partner on at least one thing each day for the next week. Make sure it’s a genuine compliment and not just something you made up just to be nice. For extra credit, go for two or more compliments throughout the day. The goal is to get into the habit of complimenting naturally (and honestly).
First of all, I’m really big on gratitude in general. I don’t care if you’re the cashier at Target who was super friendly, a random person who held the door open for me, the kid who stopped to help me pick up papers I dropped, or my boyfriend who does the 46 dishes that have piled up…I will be sure to show appreciation for selfless actions. This is similar to the compliments topic above. We get so comfortable and used to being with someone that we just start to expect him or her to do selfless actions.
Appreciation is one of the simplest ways to make someone feel noticed and valued. Sometimes all it really takes is just telling that person, “thank you for ______.” Of course you can also be more elaborate with your gratitude like getting his or her favorite dessert, a surprise date night, leaving a thank you note for the person to see, a massage, etc. Honestly though, at least saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you” can go a long way.
Challenge: Take time to notice something your significant other does to make your life a bit happier or easier. Within the next week, simply tell your significant other something you appreciate about him or her. It could be a small action he or she did or just a trait of that person that you are really grateful about.
Be a cheerleader
It’s so exciting when other people support your visions, goals, and dreams regardless of how outlandish or overly ambitious they sound. Knowing you have someone who can celebrate your successes and lift you up during your failures is very reassuring. Although it’d be great to have the same goals and visions as your partner, you don’t have to have the same ones in order to be a supportive cheerleader. Sometimes that can mean just showing up and being present for your significant other. Ask questions about his or her goals, celebrate accomplishments, and step up to provide comfort and advice when things don’t go as planned.
Challenge: Within the next month ask your significant other what it is that he or she needs from you when it comes to visions, goals, and dreams. Then, you need to follow through! Maybe it’s being that accountability partner by encouraging him or her to be consistent at the gym. Does he or she have an upcoming presentation to make at work that might lead to a promotion? Pretend to be an audience member and give constructive criticism prior to the presentation. Find a way to step up and wave those pom-poms!
Share a passion
Of course everyone has their own individual passions in life, but finding something (or even multiple things) that both you and your partner share a passion for is even better! In my opinion, it can only improve the relationship. You begin to feel that someone understands you when they share your same passion. I would personally say that three of my main priorities/passions in life are animals, health/fitness, and financial success. Honestly, probably the easiest way to my heart is having a love for animals and their well being.
I first met my boyfriend at the animal shelter as a volunteer a few years ago. He’s an animal control officer and so we naturally bonded over our passion for helping animals. We especially loved the orange card, fearful, “aggressive”, shy, hurt, and sick dogs that needed some extra love. I could talk about dogs for hours and I normally don’t want to annoy people with my excessive dog talks. However, with Hunter (my boyfriend) I can have those long, detailed conversations about the shelter pups and know he’s genuinely interested and even passionate about them as well.
Even though I’m typically only at the shelter once a week, we still do our own little tag team effort. If he would bring in a shy dog that needed socializing, I’d come in on Saturday to spend some time with that dog outside. Then we’d update each other about those dogs and their progress. A huge part of my life revolves around animals between volunteering and fostering, so having someone who appreciates and shares that passion with me is pretty much ideal. To add the icing on the cake, he also shares the other top priorities/passions that I have in life!
When the two of you can bond over mutual passions, then you are able to enjoy the time together and do the things you love most! Sounds like a two for the price of one deal to me and who doesn’t love that?!
Challenge: Within the next month, think about a passion that you and your partner share. How can you spend more time focusing on that passion together? Do you both have a passion for working out? Go to the gym together. How about a passion for cooking? Plan and cook your dinners together. Do you both have a passion for being outdoors? Plan a camping or hiking trip. Find something, whether it be on a large scale or small scale, that you both
See, these are all simple! However, these small details get overlooked when they can really benefit the relationship in the short term and long term. What would be the 5th thing you would add to this list? Comment below; I’d love to hear! 🙂