People often think that happy relationships shouldn’t take any work. Hollywood romances have made us believe that great marriages and lasting love should happen with effortlessly, yet the truth is that relationships actually take plenty of work. Like your physical health, your relationship health is something which requires attention, effort, and even a little elbow grease.
Once couples realize that even the best relationships take work, most are relieved to know that they aren’t the only ones who don’t have a so-called “perfect” relationship. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay to check out of the relationship. Perfection might be impossible, but there are several things you can do to improve your relationship and enhance your bond. Consider the top 7 ways to keep your relationship healthy:
- Don’t wait for your partner to fix your relationship. People often take a back seat in their own relationships, assuming that their partner should take the lead and help to fix the relationship. They think, “Why should I do all the work?” While it is true that relationships are a two-way street, it’s damaging to rest on your laurels simply because you want your partner to be romantic. If you want more romance, then you should be more romantic. Want more sex? Then, initiate sex more often. Your partner will see and enjoy your increased interest, and he will likely respond in turn.
- Ask for what you want. Speaking of stepping up, you also need to be more upfront when telling your partner what you want. Women, in particular, are guilty of not speaking up, as they assume their partner should be mind-readers or because they think they have put out enough obvious signals when they actually haven’t. Sadly, they often end up disappointed and angry as a result. The truth is that relationships require clear, honest, open communication. So the next time your partner doesn’t do what you want, don’t assume that it’s because he doesn’t care about your feelings. Consider the fact that he didn’t actually know what you needed from him, and then speak up and clarify what your desires are. He will likely to over the moon to finally know what’s going on in your head!
- Think small picture. When people want to improve their relationships, they tend to only look at the big picture and they become overwhelmed. Instead, think small picture, such as: What can I do today to improve my relationship? What is one thing I can do today to show my partner how much I love him?
- Don’t delay romance. People often postpone romantic overtures or sexy activities for special occasions such as on date night or on vacation. However, you shouldn’t deny yourself pleasure or postpone romance simply because it’s Tuesday night and not Saturday night. By making ‘everyday’ occasions special (such as by wearing lingerie to bed or grabbing your partner and making out with him before he leaves for work), you will find so much pleasure and joy in your day-to-day life, and your relationship will improve immensely as well.
- Share your fantasies. If you want to spice things up in the bedroom, grab a few sheets of paper and write down some of your fantasies. For example, maybe you have a naughty nurse fantasy or maybe you want to roleplay as a sexy superhero. Jot down your sexiest fantasies, and then put then in a ‘fantasy box’ in your bedroom. Whenever your sex life gets boring or a little too routine, just grab one of the slips of paper and then act out the fantasy.
- Share daily appreciations. Couples tend to quite content sharing negative feedback with one another, but they don’t spend as much effort in sharing positive feedback. Fix this equation by giving your partner three daily appreciations. Whether you compliment his muscles or applaud his cooking skills, share appreciations on a daily basis so he knows how much you love him. And, best of all that positive energy will cycle back towards you as well.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Are you stuck in a rut inside (and outside) the bedroom? Get out of your rut by skipping the dinner-and-movie routine and trying something completely new on date night. Take a dance class, scale a rock wall, or do something daring like bungee jumping. The adrenaline and dopamine released during heart-pounding activities mimic the butterflies you had when you first started dating, so you will both reap the benefits of trying something new.