How To Build A Better Relationship
Simple Things That Make A Relationship Work
Ready to talk all about how to build a better relationship?
Well, ready or not, here we go!
If I made a list of my absolute favorite topics to discuss, relationships would be at the very top of that list. (gorillas and baking shows would also rank pretty high)
Dissecting and diving into the ins and outs of relationships is just really cool.
Relationship research provides us with so many opportunities to learn about our relationships, our partners, and also ourselves.
Now, more than ever, people have a strong desire to create super healthy and fulfilling relationships. We are looking for more than happy, right?
Happiness is great but it is just one part of the equation.
Also, before we get into the nitty-gritty of this, do me one small favor. Well, actually it’s really you doing a favor for yourself.
Remind yourself that every relationship is different. So every relationship will require different things in order to function at its best.
Comparison is a nasty thing. It can also be a dangerous thing. And it is something that none of us are immune to.
We all know comparison is not our friend but a reminder every now and then is always a good idea.
Here Are 6 Tips All About How To Build a Better Relationship
1) Have Your Own Life
This is something I feel so many of us neglect. I don’t think we do this on purpose. I don’t see it as a deliberate choice we make one random Tuesday afternoon.
It is just something that happens quietly in the background. We enter into a relationship and slowly over time our own life takes a backseat.
The relationship gets put front and center. It gets to bask in the glow of the spotlight.
One of the best things you can do for your relationship is to focus on yourself. You are a complete person separate from your relationship.
No one should enter a relationship and check themselves at the door.
There is and always should be plenty of room for you. Space for your likes and hobbies and anything that fills you the heck up.
Only good things will come from you making yourself a priority.
2) Try New Things
This goes hand in hand with dating your partner on a consistent basis.
We have all heard that dating your partner is something that we should always be doing. And I agree with that.
But it is often easier said than done. Every couple is living with their own unique circumstances. The concept of going out on dates may feel overwhelming to some. Or it just may be literally impossible for some.
This is where the idea of just trying new things can really come in handy.
It sort of takes the pressure off in a way.
My husband and I can not go out somewhere on a date every week but we can try a new recipe at home or a new game or puzzle. We can sit on our patio and talk or watch the sunset when the kids go to bed.
Meet your relationship where it’s at. Be realistic about what you and your partner can make happen.
Now, I of course encourage you to try more adventurous things when you do get the chance to go on a date that involves getting a little dressed up and leaving the house.
My husband and I are actually going out in a few weeks to try ax throwing.
But the takeaway here is that doing what you can when you can is important and more powerful than we might think.
It just takes a little adjusting the lens on how we view dates.
And also really trying to appreciate spending time together in whatever way that looks like.
3) Schedule a Meeting
Yep, you read that right. Put a meeting on the calendar.
This is as straightforward as it sounds. No hidden message here. We are talking about a good old-fashioned meeting. One where you sit down and discuss whatever you want. Whatever is on the agenda.
What I love most about meetings is that they provide a level of accountability for you, your partner, and your relationship as a whole.
They are also a phenomenal tool for keeping the communication gates open.
Think of what it would be like if we didn’t allow issues to go untouched. If we didn’t let them fester for ridiculous amounts of time.
Spoiler alert: It’s amazing.
Let me say one VERY important thing about these meetings.
These meetings are not magical.
While every issue will not be solved in a day, they definitely can have a massive positive impact on your relationship.
In my own marriage, listening is something I am constantly working on. And I bet I am not alone in my listening struggles.
I aim to listen more than I talk. Ask questions. And then ask more questions if I need some follow-up.
Every single person out there wants to be listened to. And we all know what it feels like when we know that someone is not fully listening. I call it half listening. Or distracted listening. This is when someone says they are listening while simultaneously doing something else.
Side note here: My husband used to be notorious for checking his email in the middle of a conversation we were having. This actually became a significant issue because it was happening pretty regularly. This was an issue we hashed out at one of our meetings.
Becoming a better listener may sound like a simple task. And you might be thinking, ok, I will listen better.
But becoming a good listener takes a lot of intention. And boatloads of practice.
The payoff is so well worth it though. Feeling heard should not be underestimated.
Do not exist.
Ok, that might have come across as a little harsh. Especially if you are anything like me and love rom-coms and Disney princesses.
But it’s true.
Well, I guess we could say that fairytales can exist but just not in the way that we imagine them to be.
This is really about expectations. More specifically, unrealistic expectations.
I’m going to go out on a small limb here and say that all of us have encountered issues when it comes to expectations. Either our own expectations or those of someone else.
Unrealistic expectations can really put a damper on any relationship.
6) Load Up Your Toolbelt
Do you know what there is not a lack of? Relationship tips or advice.
There is an endless supply of really stellar information out in the world.
And I think we do a disservice to ourselves and our relationships when we don’t take advantage of that information.
There are some fantastic books (check them out here) that can help your relationship grow. There are podcasts that provide real insight into relationships and behavior.
And of course, with social media being as huge as it is, there is no shortage of eye-opening relationship accounts on Instagram.
Bite-sized nuggets of wisdom are out there.
When we approach relationships with a high level of curiosity and an open mind, we tap into an endless supply of growth potential.
And good things will be on the horizon.
The key to the best relationships can best be summed up in one pretty simple-sounding idea. Consistent effort.
Relationships are a work in progress. And I mean that in the best way possible.
Take the idea of perfecton off the table and focus on making choices that your relationship will benefit from.
Have any tips on how to build a better relationship? Share your thoughts!
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