How to Improve Your Relationship5 Expert Tips for Lasting Connection
- 22 June 2023
Are you eager to enhance your relationship with your partner? You're not alone! As psychologists, we frequently assist couples seeking to strengthen their bonds, whether they're facing challenges or aiming for preventive measures.
Discover five actionable steps to improve your relationship:
Five steps to improve your relationship
1. Cultivate curiosity
You might think you know most things about your partner, especially if you've been together for a long time and have been through a lot. It's human nature to assume that our partner thinks and feels similarly to us, but that can be a mistake!
Is it possible to regain the curiosity that existed in the early stages of your relationship? Try asking questions even when you think you know what your partner is thinking and feeling. And listen actively without immediately expressing your own opinion?
Shifting to an exploratory mindset gives you the opportunity to discover your partner's needs - an important step when you want to improve your relationship..
2. The power of small acts of love
Small everyday acts of love are an easy way to improve your relationship. They don't have to be grand gestures. However, they require an understanding of what your partner needs to feel good and loved. Buy the bread you know she likes the most. Tell him how great he looks in his new sweater. Or give a warm hug in the morning before parting ways.
Big or small, it doesn't matter. The important thing is to take action. Give yourself a challenge - try doing it even when you don't feel like it and see what happens!
3. Embracing Acceptance
Certainly, we want the person we love and have chosen to live with to be themselves and feel seen for who they are. Just as we desire to be loved and accepted unconditionally.
It sounds simple, yet it's not uncommon for us to try to handle our differences by wanting to change our partner. In practice, life would be so much easier if she could become a little better at planning, or if he could just let go a bit. The risk of trying to change each other is that both of you may feel increasingly stuck in your respective roles or alone in the relationship.
One of the fundamental principles of fostering a strong relationship is acceptance. Instead of trying to change your partner, focus on creating an environment of love, understanding, and compassion.
Are there aspects of your partner's irritating behaviors that could actually have a positive impact on your relationship? Or can you yourself approach your differences in a less distressing way? Focus on what you can do rather than expecting your partner to become more like you.
4. Have fun together
In the early stages of a relationship, we often do a lot of fun things together. We are eager to show our best selves and initiate activities we believe our partner will appreciate.
We also feel the desire to do things together just to be in each other's company. The mere presence of our partner can make doing the dishes suddenly enjoyable!
In a more established relationship, what used to be important often takes a backseat again. Changed circumstances in life may require us to prioritize differently. It becomes even more challenging when problems arise in the relationship. Then we are not as inclined to engage in fun or exciting activities together.
Don't wait for the desire and positive feelings to spontaneously arise! Make an effort to do things together even when you don't feel like it.
It doesn't have to be something big. Have a cup of tea and dream about the future. Continue to create shared experiences and improve your relationship by trying new activities together.
5. Fight fair
Mean comments can easily become toxic and linger long after they were said, even if they were only a result of being really angry in the moment.
To give yourself the opportunity to express what you want to say in a way that can be received, it's helpful to wait until the strongest emotions have subsided.
Try to focus on yourself and your own experience instead of focusing on your partner's faults. Say something like, "I feel sad and lonely when you don't show that I'm important" rather than "You don't care about me anymore!"
Receiving criticism is not easy! However, following the impulse to defend yourself and explain why you're right won't help either. Intimate relationships aren't about proving who is right; rather, they are about showing mutual understanding.
If you can give a kind interpretation to your partner's sour tone, you've done something great!
Improve your relationship with the app Ally
Improving your relationship with your partner requires patience, understanding, and a commitment to growth. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and the same holds true for relationships.
Take small steps, celebrate progress, and cherish the journey you're embarking on together. With warmth, understanding, and effective communication, you can build a relationship that thrives on love, connection, and lasting happiness.
Do you want more guidance on how to improve your relationship? Try our relationship app, Ally. We have developed the relationship app Ally to make methods and knowledge from couples therapy more accessible.