When it comes to relationships, we all have our own separate needs and our own lives, and that makes each and every one of us unique. Even with that being so, there are certain things that are important to all of us when we are in a relationship—you know, these basic needs that really are little things that make a huge difference. Sometimes these things are no-brainers, but sometimes they take a little bit of remembering.
Use More “I” Phrases Than “You” Phrases
It can be tempting when you’re having a heated argument to say things like “you make me feel…”, “when you do this…” but sometimes, talking that way is counterproductive. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t hold people accountable for their actions, but leading with “you” statements puts the other person in a defensive position.
Instead, to have more constructive conversations, try “I” statements, like, “I feel this,” or “I’m having a hard time with…”
Always Ask Questions Instead Of Assuming
Your partner is going to be someone you keep learning about no matter how long you’ve been together. People are full of surprises. That’s why no matter how close you think the two of you are, it’s important to still ask questions, especially during tough moments. You can’t expect anyone to be able to read your mind.
Keep Some Shared Interests
You don’t have to do everything together, in fact, you shouldn’t. But keeping some shared interests will help you have those common things to fall back on when you’re not sure what to do or can’t decide on plans.
It’s the act of being purposeful about spending time together that will make the difference, whether that’s watching a show together, or enjoying taking pictures, or committing to trying new things together.
Don’t Be Afraid To Leave An Argument
I’m not saying that you should bail on a conversation when things get tough because that’s not it at all. But there is something to be gained by taking a step back when things are getting too heated. It will stop you both from saying or doing things that could purposefully and unnecessarily hurt the other person.
Make Sure You Communicate Throughout The Day
You don’t have to talk all day every day, but staying in touch throughout the day is one of those little things that will help you both feel cared about. A simple picture of your lunch, or even a text letting them know they’re on your mind and you look forward to connecting later can really make their day.
Be Open About When You’re Feeling Down
When you’re having a bad day it can be tempting to just shut down and not want to talk to anyone, or you could be one of those people who take it out on someone by accident. When you’re not feeling yourself, just let the other person know and be open about what you need, even if that is some space.
Take Turns With Everything
It can be frustrating to be in a relationship where one of you makes all the decisions. That’s why it’s important that you take turns picking where to eat, making the menu for the week, or deciding what movie to watch next. This is true, too, for things like chores and more serious stuff as well.
Keep Regular Date Nights
Setting aside time for one another is one of the best things you can do, even if it is just one night a week when you know you’ll have time together. Life can get busy so quickly, and when you’re trying to make room for everything, you can lose track of what is important. Date night seems cliché, but it will go a long way.
Be Present Physically
When you’re spending time with someone, really spend time with them—at least when you’re having a conversation or doing something together. Don’t check your phone, make eye contact when you’re talking, and if they are OK with you in their space, touch their arms or their hands or something to let them know you’re present.
Learn What Your Love Languages Are
Love languages are a real thing, no matter how lame they may sound. We all have different ways of expressing our feelings, and knowing what our love languages are and what the love languages of people we love are will help us communicate in meaningful ways. Find a quiz online or just talk about the things that make you feel cared about and appreciated.
Be Respectful Of Alone Time
This is a big one, especially if you live together. Everyone needs time on their own. It will help make your relationship with yourself and your partner stronger. It’s OK to need to be alone, and it doesn’t mean you love your partner or your relationship any less.
Try And Be Thoughtful Sometimes
When you’re in a good relationship, it is really easy to take what you have for granted. It isn’t always in a way that makes you ungrateful, but sometimes it is in the way that makes you forget to do the little things, like picking up flowers or cooking your partner’s favorite dinner.
Always Ask How You Can Help
It might feel like you’re being annoying, but asking how you can help your partner is a great way to be supportive and show that you care. They may often say no, but that one time they do ask for help will make it all worth it for both of you.
Spend Time Unplugged Together
Being on social media all the time is something we’ve all become accustomed to, but it’s not the healthiest habit to have. On the nights you’ve committed to set aside for date night, try doing it without your phones with you.
Remind Yourself How You Feel
There is a difference between hitting a rough patch and being in a bad relationship. If you have found that you’ve hit a bit of a rough patch or just had a particularly bad fight, remind yourself why you love your partner and why you love who you are when you’re with them.
Have A Couple Of Rituals
Having things that the two of you do only together is a really cute way to stay connected. Maybe every year you watch the same holiday movie, or maybe you will only eat pizza from a certain place with your partner. These little things help to create a bond.
Apologize Quickly, And Don’t Play Games
If you did something that you genuinely feel bad about and want to make amends for, just say you are sorry. At the end of the day, there doesn’t need to be any blame assigned, just the two of you agreeing that you’ll do better next time and move on.
Never Stop Complimenting Each Other
Never stop complimenting each other and never stop flirting with one another. Keeping that spark alive is so important to keeping your relationship happy and comfortable. If you like the outfit your partner is wearing or think their hair looks cute, tell them!
Try And Do Something Physical Together
You don’t have to go and run a marathon together, but setting time aside to do things like go on a walk or a bike ride is a way to keep yourselves healthy, and it’s also a good way to make time to spend together.
Always Check In With One Another
Above all, make sure you’re always checking in with one another and making sure that you both feel loved and cared about. Communication really is key, and staying open and honest with each other will help you build a strong foundation for a healthy relationship.