We all know someone who’s in a relationship that looks completely unbreakable. It’s as if they’ve been together forever, and no matter what happens, they’re still solid, strong, and pretty much envied by everyone around. If you’re one of those people in a not-so-successful relationship, or if you’re not in one at all, you probably have no idea how they do it. Let us queue you in: it’s not magic. But there are definitely certain habits that people in “successful relationships” follow. And you may be surprised to find out that they’re not as difficult as people make them out to be.
We understand that life gets unbelievably hectic, but your partner shouldn’t have to compete for your attention. It’s just nice to check in with them sometimes. This doesn’t mean that you need to cling to them, or call when you’re at work or out with friends, but just letting them know that you’re thinking about them. You could send them a quick text, or e-mail, or maybe even make an actual phone call. And if you really want to sweep them off of their feet, try sending an actual card in the mail. They will never expect it.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but life tends to get too crazy and sometimes we take out our frustration on the people we’re closest to. Remember the reasons why you’re with your partner, and the way they make you feel. Then when you’re around them, and they make you feel that way, put on a nice big smile. Laughter truly is medicine for the soul, and when it comes to relationships, it can actually make you form a closer bond. Even though it may sound cheesy, share a laugh and some smiles with your partner.
Now that we’re talking about sharing… it’s one of the most important parts of a relationship. Whether it’s on the emotional level of sharing your feelings, your day, or your frustrations, or it’s physical by sharing your living space, food, and your bed. Sharing lets your partner know that you trust them and you want them in your life. Especially since you’re both choosing to share your time with one another.
Whether you can admit it or not, everyone likes to hear themselves talk. But one of the most important parts of a relationship is being able to be quiet and listen. It doesn’t matter if they want to complain about work, or brag about a new workout, or they just want to ramble on, there’s a reason why they’re talking – they want you to listen to them. Remember how it feels when you want to be heard and try to show them the same type of respect.
Is your partner annoying you? Did you take the last piece of pizza even though you knew that they wanted it? Did you tell them you were out with your mom, but you were really hanging out with your friends? There’s no reason to lie. Nothing positive ever comes from lying, and even if it’s just a little white lie, it creates doubt in your partners mind. So just be honest. It may not always be the most fun thing, but it’s definitely better than having to explain why you lied. But if we’re being honest, eating the last piece of pizza is kind of unforgivable. But let’s keep going.
There’s nothing more exciting than being spontaneous. We completely understand that it’s not exactly reasonable to take off in the middle of the night to some exotic locale, but there are little things that you can do to keep your relationship exciting and fun. Show up at her work with some flowers. No need to eat meatloaf tonight, take her out to dinner. Use the weekend to go do something fun, or spend time exploring your city. The important thing is that you break up the routine and keep the love alive.
Speaking of surprises, they can really amount to a lot. Has he been talking to you nonstop about the big game next week, but doesn’t have any tickets? Go get him some, put them in a credit card, and leave it for him to find in his car. He’ll be over the moon that you actually listened to him and were thoughtful enough to get him some. Has she been talking about that new French cafe? Pick her up and take her out for some crepes and café au lait. It doesn’t matter how small the gesture is, it truly is the thought that counts.
Adults tend to take everything a little too seriously. When was the last time that you just let yourself be super silly and goof around like kids? Wasn’t it fun? Tease your partner – only in nice ways, of course. And for fun’s sake, let yourself look like a complete weirdo. Play with each other, laugh, and always remember that there’s plenty of seriousness in the world. So take time to be goofy, it’s good for the soul, and for your relationship.
It may be a really good song, but it’s a rule that every single person should follow. Respect is earned, but it’s also taken away just as quickly. This doesn’t mean that you should try to buy their affection by spending lots of money on them. It means that you should listen to what your partner has to say and then treat them how you’d like to be treated. In the wise words of Aretha “All I’m askin,’ is for a little respect when you get home.”
We mean that literally. Put on your shoes and head outside for a nice walk. Don’t take your phones with you, or at least put them on silent, and bond with your partner. Talk to them about the scenery, your plans for the future, or your day. Talk about whatever it is that’s on your mind as you go for your walk. Not only is it good exercise for your body, but it’s also a good exercise for your bond. It may sound corny, but it’s true. What else is there to do?
Especially at nighttime. Couples that are successful definitely Netflix and chill a lot, and that’s certainly okay (no judgment here). But there’s something about turning off the TV at night that allows for a stronger connection. Maybe you could read a book together, or have an amazing talk, or maybe you just do whatever it is that couples do. Watching TV can be awesome, but it’s also used as a distraction from the most important things – like one another.
It definitely seems like a simple task, but bring your partner a cup of coffee every now and then. It’s actually an important gesture. Picture yourself waking up and your partner brings you some nice, warm coffee, in your favorite coffee mug. Or maybe you’re having a rough day at work and your partner strolls in with a coffee and a scone. Not only do they get a caffeine rush, they know that you’re thinking about them, and you know what they like. Plus, there’s coffee!
We’re not talking about blowing up their ego and saying random things just to say them. Point out the things that attracted you to them in the beginning. Did you fall for her kindness? His sense of humor? Her never ending compassion? Or his insatiable energy? Whatever it may be, tell them what it is that you love about them. Everyone likes to hear compliments and flattery, and as long as you’re being genuine, they can go pretty far.
Let’s be real and say that food is love. It’s always nice to go out for a romantic dinner, or throw a pizza in the oven, but it can also be pretty wonderful to cook together in the kitchen. Your bond can only be strengthened by the cooking process and working together. Plus, you get food in the end. Cleaning together can also be pretty rewarding. There might not be a meal at the end of it, but working together and getting everything clean just makes everything so much better.
Nothing will stay the same forever, including relationships. That can be scary to think about. What if you grow away from one another? What if you want to make changes that your partner isn’t on board with? The most important thing to do is to communicate and accept the fact that nothing remains the same. Embrace changes, and one another, and as time goes on, your relationship will only continue to thrive.