Relationships are as simple as you make them. Couples who were so much in love in the beginning, may not last forever, and couples who broke up might get back together.
Behind every successful relationship, there are two people who put in constant time and effort; just that they make it look effortless.
So, how do some couples make their relationship a success? And how can you join that league of successful couples? In this post, MomJunction gives some really useful relationship advice for couples.
Relationship Advice That Works
What we say next might look very simple but is not so simple to follow. Also, not everything might suit your relationship. Therefore, take the ones that are relevant to you and work on them sincerely to yield results.
1. Know why you love your partner
You might have fallen in love with your partner because of their intelligence or looks or something else. But as you start living with them, you will know that they have a terrible temper, are messy with their things or snore during sleep. Such trivial things will lead to serious fights if you are not sure why you love your spouse.
The best relationship advice is to be true to yourself on why you like your partner, and have enough love to accept their flaws. Occasionally, it is ok to doubt if you did the right thing in choosing this person, but if your love is true this feeling is just shortlived.
2. Know their needs and fulfill them
Your partner may not express it to you but would have some expectations from you. They might want you to take care of them when they are unwell, talk to them when they are feeling down, or help them out financially when the need arises. Being their partner, it is your responsibility to understand their needs and fulfill as long as their expectations are realistic.
[ Read: Trust In Relationship ]
3. Have realistic expectations
You may be dreaming of a knight in shining armor or a Disney princess but it is unreasonable to expect your partner to meet such high expectations. In the initial days of courtship, you will like everything that your partner does and vice versa but as you both go steady, you get more comfortable in the relationship.
This is when the relationship becomes real, and this is when you know if your expectations are realistic or not. If your expectations are realistic, the chances of having them fulfilled are high.
4. Never lose respect for each other
If you think love is enough to sustain a relationship, then think again. In the long run, you will need not just love but respect as well. When you no longer respect your spouse, even a petty issue such as forgetting to pick up the laundry will end up in an ugly spat. Once the respect is lost, the trust will also go.
So, how do you respect each other? Simple, show gratitude towards your partner, acknowledge their efforts, listen to their concerns, provide constant assurance, and stick to your promises. Small things like these can make a real impact.
5. Talk to each other, not about each other
Never talk (take) things outside of the relationship. Earlier, your trusted entourage might have helped with your problems but now things need to change since it is no longer you, but you and your partner.
If you have an issue with your spouse, talk to them directly. It may seem difficult in the beginning, but once that load is off your chest, you will feel relieved. Also, such open conversations help in building trust and strengthen the bond.
6. Do not keep scores
You keep scores in a game because it is all about who wins and who loses. If you apply the same to your relationship, you may win, but the connection will be lost. Couples usually keep scores to prove their point. It might begin with, “I made dinner three times in a row, and you cannot even wash the plate in which you ate.”
If you are facing constant criticism, then instead of defending yourself, try to apologize. This will help your partner feel heard and calm down. This way, you are giving them an opportunity to introspect. But even after apologizing, if they continue to demean and belittle you, then it is time to take a stand.
7. Hate the sin and not the sinner
Mistakes happen, things go wrong, and that is life. As long as you both apologize and forgive, the situation is under control. Now when you forgive, you must do it wholeheartedly.
Remember healing could be messy, so both the partners must show utmost patience and take things slowly. It might take days or months depending on the intensity of the mistake. Your partner is hurt, so they might act distant. Try to understand and help them to get over it. And once you made peace with it, never use it against your partner.
[ Read: Arguments In A Relationship ]
8. Fight for what matters
Fights are inevitable in a relationship. You cannot avoid them but you can choose them wisely. Ignore the temptation to fight over trivial issues. Next time when you are about to start a fight, stop, take a step back and ask yourself if it is worth fighting for, and if the answer is no, trust your instincts and call for a truce.
9. Do not let go of yourself
You had a life before the relationship, and you must continue to have one. Just because you are in a relationship you do not have to sacrifice your dreams and live to fulfill your partner’s. Create and continue to have a life outside of your relationship. Once in a while, have some ‘me’ time, go out with your friends or pursue a hobby.
Understand that your happiness is in your hands. It does not mean you stop doing good things for each other, but be clear on what makes you happy. Once you know it, you will be able to bring joy into the relationship.
10. Do not fight change
A relationship will bring some significant changes, however uncomfortable they might be. For example, you might be enjoying with your friends and going out with them on all weekends, but once you are in a relationship, you have to balance between your partner and friends, and your partner will become your priority.
Change may not always be negative; sometimes your partner might bring the change you have been waiting for your whole life.
11. Bring out the best in each other
Do not forget to appreciate the good in your partner. Write down all the good qualities in them, pick one and talk to your partner about it. For example, if your partner is good at keeping calm during a crisis, then ask them how they manage to do it. This way, your partner will feel admired and valued.
A functioning relationship will help both the partners to become more confident, heal any previous emotional damages, and enhance the quality of your life.
[ Read: Boundaries In Marriage ]
12. Spend time with each other
Be it one year into the relationship or ten years, couples have to spend some quality time with each other. They tend to spend time with each other during the start of the relationship, but as time passes, other things become more important than the relationship.
Do not let this happen to you. No matter how busy you are, make it a point to talk to your spouse and ask them how their day has been. Show genuine concern if you are not able to spend time with them. If you are away from each other, make sure to meet on big days such as birthdays and anniversaries. The effort you put in will determine the success of your relationship.
13. Divide and conquer
Household chores could get frustrating if your partner does not help you. A relationship will work smoothly when both the partners share the responsibilities. It does not mean you prepare a military chart and insist that your partner adheres to it. Discuss and find common ground. For example, if you are good at cooking and your spouse can do cleaning, then divide the tasks accordingly.
Both partners must understand that there are no defined rules for doing household chores. When your partner is overwhelmed with other works, you may volunteer to do their part of the chores.
14. Work as a team
Relationship means teamwork. It is okay to have individual dreams and goals as long as you are willing to tweak them to accommodate your partner. Before taking any major life decision, always talk to your partner. Discuss financial matters openly and respect each other’s opinion. Secrets kill the team spirit and break the trust in the relationship. Once trust is broken, it is not easy to earn it back.
15. Keep the spark alive
Never underestimate the power of physical intimacy. It must not be the one driving the marriage, but it is essential to keep things interesting. Touch has the ability to release certain hormones, which help to build an emotional connection between couples. It also helps in improving overall health and well being.
Plan a romantic vacation or a date night where you can rekindle the romance. Be comfortable and talk to your partner about your needs and desires. Your partner might also have the same interests; you will never know until you talk.
[ Read: How To Fix A Broken Relationship ]
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to relationships as each couple is unique. If you are new in the relationship, then do not shy away from seeking some advice. And no matter how tough things get, never forget what made you come this far.
What is the best relationship advice you received? Let us know in the comments section below.
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