A happy relationship is tricky to define. If you had the right partner, you’d feel loved up all the time, right? Well, not necessarily. The truth is that even the strongest relationships go through ups and downs. What matters is that you take care of your love, even through the rough times.
If you’re wondering how best to change your relationship from so-so to so in love, we’ve got you covered. Here are 6 practical hacks to help you take care of your love.
Our Guide to Achieving a Happy Relationship
Give thanks to your partner every day
Studies show that people who give thanks are ultimately happier. Whether it’s a gratitude journal app on your phone or simply a classic notebook, pin down a list every day of things that you’re grateful for. Oh… and make sure to include your partner!
Without realizing it, practicing gratitude will make you more aware of the positive things that happen each day. It will also shine a light on the things your partner does for you too. Sure, no couple performs grand romantic gestures for each other every day, but start noticing the small things that make you smile. When you acknowledge something as simple as “my partner brought home take-out tonight,” or “morning cuddles” it can make a big difference.
As well as expressing gratitude on your own, share it with your partner too. Chances are, you and your partner do a lot for each other. But if you’ve been dating for some time you may be taking each other for granted. Noticing the little things is key to achieving a happy relationship.
Decide what you want to change, then change it
What’s bothering you in your relationship? Is it that you and your partner use your phones at the dinner table instead of talking? Maybe you’re experiencing intimacy issues? Whatever it is, chances are there are positive steps you can both take to improve it.
Instead of expecting it to miraculously fix itself, create simple steps that you can both do to begin working on it. First off, communicate with each other. By honestly discussing your issues with each other in a safe space, you’re acknowledging that there is a hiccup in your relationship. You’re also proving that you are dedicated to solving it. That means a lot.
Then come up with simple ways to combat your issue. For example, start putting your phone away at dinner. Or plan a romantic weekend away to reignite your spark. Making an effort like this shows that you care for each other.
A happy relationship means you’re happy alone
While it’s important to enjoy time together, a happy relationship means both partners are secure outside their relationship too. It’s really important to have boundaries. Sometimes it can be easy to get all wrapped up in your partner and let your other relationships fall to the wayside. Our advice? Try not to let that happen.
Make an effort to meet up with your friends from college or attend after-work drinks. Make it a goal to plan one activity with friends, without your partner, each week. Or if it’s easier, make time for one phone call with a friend. This time apart will make you appreciate time together more.
Treat date nights like a first date
Date nights might sound like a cliché at this point, but they’re a common piece of advice because they are a key to creating a happy relationship. Take it one step further by trying to treat your date nights with your partner like a first date.
Get curious and ask them questions about things you may not know about them. Even if you’ve been dating for years, chances are your partner still has some interesting stories. Maybe even some secret interests you’ve never heard about. Nights like these are probably what made you fall for your partner. By reigniting deeper conversations and planning something special, maybe you’ll fall for them all over again
Make an effort to kiss your partner hello
Even if you and your partner live together, try greeting them with a kiss whenever you see them first. It sounds simple, and maybe a bit sitcom-y, but who doesn’t love to be greeted with excitement?
If you’ve been together for a while, sometimes you may slip into treating each other like friends, instead of lovers. This habit may help refuel some affection that your relationship has been missing.
Create some routines together (or apart)
Just like the kissing goodbye suggestion above, it helps to have some sort of routine with your partner. Not only can this give you something to look forward to and built-in quality time, like if you plan to make pancakes together on Sunday mornings. It also can help break up tension or issues within your relationship.
For example, if your partner likes to sleep in on Sundays, why not make it part of your routine to go for Sunday brunch with your friends? Or if you prefer going to the gym together, why not make time each week to go together? It’ll make a difference, trust us.
Achieving or maintaining a happy relationship isn’t always a walk in the park. But if you love each other, then it’s worth it. By following our simple guide and showing each other you care, you may realize your love has been special this whole time – it just needed a little extra attention.