We tend to put so much effort into finding a romantic partner, and yet, once we have the relationship we’ve dreamed of, we often stop working so hard. The only way a relationship can become the most powerful, fulfilling, and beautiful partnership is with an investment of time and energy. The work we put in is one of the most important aspects of a relationship.
Here are 5 tips to build a healthier relationship and deepen your love:
1. Work on appreciating your partner more – it’s key to a thriving relationship.
Appreciation is the first thing we lose in a relationship. Even when couples get divorced, they often still have love for each other but have stopped appreciating, liking, or respecting each other. Without appreciation, it’s impossible to access the love that you have.
Every person and every relationship has positive and negative aspects. You choose what to focus on. Think back to the things that first drew you to your partner. Remember times you laughed together and experiences you’ve shared. We often don’t take enough time to reflect on those memories. What are your favorite things about them? Actively work to awaken appreciation for your partner every day to strengthen your relationship.
2. Make a list of the ways you have grown from the relationship. You are meant to be learning, changing, and growing from your time together.
Many people view the purpose of relationships as being with someone that makes them happy. Of course, we want someone that we enjoy being with and that brings joy into our lives, but that’s not the real purpose of our relationships. Whether a relationship lasts a week, ten years, or a lifetime, we are meant to learn, change, and grow from them. Our partners are meant to challenge and support us in our development.
Think about the ways that you have changed since the beginning of your relationship. If you don’t feel that you have, then something is missing. It may take an investment of more time or more effort, but devote yourself to growing from your time together, and find ways to support your partner in their growth as well.
3. Take an interest in the things that are important to them.
We don’t always have the same interests as our partners, and that’s ok. Growing together doesn’t mean doing everything together. However, if something is important to the other person, it’s worthwhile to take an interest in it. At least be curious about it. This makes them feel that they are a priority and that they are important to you.
Ask yourself, “What are the things I should be showing more interest in?”
4. When issues arise, dig for the deeper motivation behind your partner’s emotions.
Whenever a big issue comes up, it’s often not really about what is obvious on the surface. There is usually something underlying that needs to be addressed. Use the situation as an opportunity to dig deeper and get to know your partner better.
Give them the benefit of the doubt. Try to imagine why they are handling things the way they are and why it is difficult. Consider your partner’s point of view. What is their history? What is their fear? Be an investigator. Ask questions from a place of curiosity, not from judgment or expectation. Allow them to be vulnerable. Try to find the hurt behind the words or actions.
With enough practice, you will become closer and more vulnerable with each other and able to find solutions together.
5. Don’t avoid the tough conversations. Conflicts can actually signal that you are challenging and pushing each other to grow in positive ways.
When arguments arise, it’s easy to think that a relationship is failing. On the contrary, conflict is part of healthy relationships and is an opportunity to create closeness and deep connection.
If you aren’t speaking your mind and working through issues together, you are hiding parts of yourself, and that creates a lot of other negative feelings. Have the conversations that are difficult. Speak up about the things that you aren’t satisfied with. These conversations should happen all the time, even when things are going well. That will protect you more from the challenges when they come and make your relationship that much better, closer, and more fulfilling.
Relationships take a lot of hard work and time. How much thought do you give to improving your relationship each day? Focus on appreciating and communicating more openly and honestly with your partner while actively supporting each other’s growth. Be curious and compassionate with each other. When both partners make the effort to focus on and elevate the other, a true, lasting relationship blossoms.