How To Keep A Relationship Strong and Happy
How To Make Your Relationship Strong and Last Longer
Let’s chat about how to keep a relationship strong and happy.
Happiness is an obvious one. Of course, we want to be part of a happy relationship.
We put a lot of value on happiness. And I’m not saying being happy is a bad thing. (of course not)
I just think that word is thrown around quite a bit. And a truly happy relationship has a lot going on behind the scenes.
Most relationships are not happy by accident.
I don’t think strong is used enough to describe relationships.
Happiness alone can be a little flimsy. Easy to blow over.
But a strong relationship is simply built differently. A relationship with a strong foundation can stand the test of time.
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Here Are 12 Ideas About How To Keep a Relationship Strong and Happy
1) Routine Maintenance
So often we wait until an issue has become pretty significant before we give it attention. We wait until it is unable to be brushed under the rug any longer before we take action.
This is normal. It happens in my marriage still. Knowing better does not mean we will never succumb to this behavior.
But that doesn’t mean it is the right way to handle bumps in the road.
Checking in with each other and checking in on your relationship are habits worth practicing.
If we don’t check in, deficits in any area can become so vast that they begin to feel insurmountable.
Grab a notebook and jot down things you want or need to talk about. This way they don’t slip your mind or get pushed down and ignored.
Oh, and then of course schedule a weekly or bi-weekly (or whatever works for you) relationship meeting to go over anything and everything.
2) Quality over Quantity
My husband works a demanding job with long hours and regular travel. (I know I’m not the only one who deals with this)
We also (after a recent move) do not live near family and friends.
Now, I am going to be honest here. This was a hard transition. I took for granted all the years that we had family and friends nearby to help with our two girls. (so long regular date nights and small weekend trips)
And I may have had myself a pity party or two.
While I felt justified in those pity parties, they did not help solve the issue at hand or move the needle in a more positive direction.
I had to reframe the situation and look at what I could do. It’s crucial to look for opportunities when all you see at first glance is roadblocks.
Spending time with your partner (without distractions) can be a game changer.
Quality time will without a doubt deepen your connection with your partner. Even when it feels like your options are severely limited, look for an opening.
Here are some fun at-home date nights that happen in my home.
Maybe this should have been number one on this list.
Communication is the cornerstone of a relationship. It’s like a tree trunk. Most other things stem from this giant pillar.
I bet it is safe to say that most couples have dealt with a hiccup or two in the communication department. If you have, then congratulations. You’re human!
If you did not have healthy examples of communication throughout your life then it can be quite a challenge to develop those skills.
One huge aspect of communication is being an active listener. Not just listening while prepping your response. This is something I am constantly practicing.
Putting a value on how well communication is going in your relationship is vital. Now, communication will never be perfect. That’s why it is necessary to consistently grow and learn in this area.
Here are some powerful communication tips.
You know what is so attractive to me? Reliability. Consistency. Someone who sticks to their word. There is nothing better than being able to trust a person.
I can recall watching shows or movies as a teen and always rooting for the bad boy. Now, when I watch things I am definitely looking at everything and everyone with a whole new perspective.
(a little part of me will always love the risky and rebellious type)
Trust is crucial. It can literally make or break a relationship.
Check out this more in-depth look at trust in a relationship.
5) Have Your Own Life
Each of you should have your own life.
Entering into a relationship in no way means you leave all your personal interests behind.
Being happy and fulfilled on a personal level will only help to create a happier and much stronger relationship.
Having your own life and your own hobbies is one of the healthiest things you can do for your relationship.
6) Appreciate Each Other
This seems like such a small thing but man oh man can it work wonders.
People like to feel appreciated.
Expressing gratitude can go a long way in bringing you and your partner closer and making you both feel more loved and valued.
It can be that thing that bridges a gap. Especially if you and your partner are often like two ships passing in the night. Just trying to stay afloat in a busy season of life.
Make it a point to acknowledge your partner and the things they are doing.
Also, if we don’t make a conscious effort to notice the good things, our brains will often default to noticing the shortcomings.
7) Work Together
In every relationship, there has to be some give and take. Compromise will be your friend.
Middle ground is a powerful ally. You and your partner are on the same team.
But there is absolutely no chance you will agree 100% of the time.
Will you sometimes be on the opposing side of an issue? Sure.
But for the most part, the main goal will be shared.
Face challenges together.
Difficult times often do not bring out the best sides of us.
It’s not always how it is in the movies or books where people band together and after a couple of hours, everything is wrapped in a nice and neat package.
Life and relationships are much messier than that.
Remind yourself often that you and your partner are teammates. Not enemies.
8) Laugh Together
Having fun is not a luxury reserved for the lucky few. I believe it is a necessity in a relationship.
Life is not going to be constantly smooth sailing. It’s life after all. While laughter will not solve every issue that arises, it can be a powerful tool for cutting the tension or softening the mood.
Laughter is also truly key to making life enjoyable.
9) Watch Your Words
I have surely said things I wish I had not. And I know I am not alone in that.
Words can come out of our mouths at quickfire speed. As much as we wish we could take them back, we can’t. And we can’t rewind time and do it differently.
Will any of us ever be perfect? Absolutely not.
But I have started to recognize when my emotions are elevated and I need to take a minute. (or however long I need)
Harsh words just add fuel to the fire.
*I can recall reading or hearing so many things about never going to bed angry and I could not disagree with that more. A pause is often the best thing you and your partner can choose to do*
10) Learn Together
I don’t know everything. My husband does not know everything. And I’m going to bet that you are not a master of everything.
This means there are always opportunities to learn and grow. Separately and together.
I love these personal growth books. The perspective shifts they can provide is unreal.
There is no rule that states you have to wait for a date on the calendar to celebrate your relationship.
Small moments of celebrating sprinkled throughout your daily lives are the way to go.
12) Embrace The “AND”
Relationships are not all one thing or all another thing. Same with any issue or challenge.
It’s very easy to start seeing things as black and white. And the longer this happens it can almost feel as if we are stuck on one side.
One of the most beautiful things you can do in a relationship is to embrace the power of and.
More than one thing can be and often is true. Trying to win or prove you are more right can backfire. A better (and also difficult) thing to practice is seeing that more than one thing can be true.
Rather than this or that. It can be this and that.
Which one of these ideas on how to keep a relationship strong and happy did you relate to most?
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