Have you ever thought if you are doing everything to make your relationship stronger? These thoughts come to many people, sometimes in times of disagreements, and others in times of positivity. Whatever, your reason for wanting to strengthen your relationship, there are many things that can be done to help empower both partners in a relationship and strengthen their bond.
So, let’s get into the 7 ways to build a stronger relationship.
7 Ways to Build a Stronger Relationship
Compliment One Another.
Compliments go a long way in strengthening a bond between two people. If you don’t believe me just read this article HERE. Compliments help you express affection for your partner and allows your partner to feel wanted and appreciated.
Take compliments further than the surface level stuff of “you are beautiful” or “you are handsome”. State compliments about your partner’s character or attributes that you find attractive. Examples such as, “you are so incredibly smart”, “I’m so lucky to have you”, “I love how caring you are”. Compliments like these go a long way in strengthening a marriage. Plus, when someone is complimented on a positive attribute they are more likely to portray that attribute toward their partner, AKA, positive reinforcement. This is better than pointing out negative things you do not like. Remember you get more bees with honey than vinegar.
Do Hobbies Together
Sharing a hobby or weekly activity together is great for team building. Enjoying each other’s company in a fun, stress-free setting is always a good idea. It does not matter what the activity is as long as you can spend time with each other and bond over something.
This is not to say that your must do ALL activities together. It is healthy to have personal time apart from your partner as well as time together. So create a schedule with balance between the two.
Cooking together is a great opportunity to be standing close to each other and have some care-free conversations about what’s on your mind or going on in your life. Plus cooking together always opens up the opportunity for some playful touching and light hearted banter.
Keep the conversations positive and light-hearted. The goal is to draw each other closer, not to push each other away and stress the other partner out. AKA, no picking on each other about chores.
Massage One Another at night
You do not have to be an expert at massages to give one. A quick, light massage of your partner can be an intimate and self-less activity that can draw the two of you closer together. Offer this as a self-less act of kindness when say the other partner have a rough day. Do not turn this into a tit-for-tat thing, AKA- you rub my back, and I’ll rub yours. A good alternate to this is setting a schedule on alternating turns on who gets a massage. My husband and I do this and it has actually become one of my favorite things to look forward to at night. We have even incorporated it into our bets to each other. Like “I bet you a massage that we already watched this episode”. Lol most of our bets are about the other one forgetting something because we both can be so forgetful at times.
Anyways, the point is it creates intimacy and playful opportunities in the relationship.
Never Keep Tabs
The tit-for-tat game will never work. This kind of mentality is selfish and always has the attitude of “what have you done for me lately”. This is not helpful in a marriage and can actually be extremely destructive. Focus on true altruistic intentions. Altruistic intentions meaning, unselfish.
If you want to make your partner breakfast in bed, then great, do it. But don’t do it with the EXPECTATION of “if I make him/her breakfast in bed, then they will make me dinner”. That is not self-less and can be very harmful to the relationship. Why? Well because that was YOUR expectation, however your partner is not inside your head and does not know that you did this kind act with the intention of getting something in return. So when they inevitably do not do what you expected, you become upset with your partner. See you are playing an unfair game with your partner that they will never win because they are not a mind reader.
This is why it is important to do acts of kindness just because they are nice to do, not because you are expecting a reward. Don’t worry about keeping tabs. A good partner will reciprocate acts of kindness altruistically as well.
This brings me to my next point.
Speak Openly about Your Needs/Wants
No one is ever going to be able to read your mind. If you want or need something then you need to ask for it and be clear about it. Do not expect your partner to just figure it out through silent treatment and yelling at them.
Have open conversations (not arguments) about things you need and want to be happy in your relationship. Speak openly using only “I” statements to avoid placing blame and starting an argument. Many times when we speak to others we use “you” statements which is placing blame on the other person and causing the discussion to be defensive from the beginning.
Here an example of “I” statements vs “you” statements:
“I would like it if we were more affection in our relationship” instead of “you need to show more affection”
*see the first statement is not placing blame on anyone but is making your needs clear. The second one is placing all blame on one partner which is not fair in a relationship.
Try using these “I” statements next time when you are having a conversation to help keep the tone positive and neutral.
Spend Time Apart
Healthy relationships are health because each person still has their individual identity in addition to their new relationship with their partner. Meaning each partner did not give up their individual identity when they started the relationship.
It is important to still have activities, friends, and things you enjoy outside the relationship. In other words, do not lose yourself in your relationship. A good relationship lets each partner still be who they are. Plus the relationship should allow each partner to continue to grow their own personal identity in addition to the relationship or “unit” identity.
So how can you support your partner’s individual identity? Easy, support their dreams, aspirations, and ideas. Allow them a positive space to bounce ideas off of you and offer constructive feedback when asked for. These are some simple ways you allow your partner to still be who they are within your relationship.
Some other advice on how to build a stronger relationship is going on dates. Dates are a great way to set aside intimate time together. If you want some great cheap date night ideas check out this article HERE for some amazing options.
So, make sure you take the time to add some of these tips into your routine and see if they help strengthen your relationship.
Let’s Recap the Ways to Build a Stronger Relationship:
- Relationships take practice and time to strengthen
- Compliments go a long way
- Find mutual hobbies
- Cook a meal together
- Show affection through massages or other acts of kindness
- Do not keep tabs on each other
- Tell each other your needs and wants
- Have personal time apart for self-care
For more posts on Marriage and Relationships check of these posts HERE.