Keep the Spark Alive in Your Relationship With These Easy Tips
Most of us are not strangers to complicated love lives. And if you are, you’re in the minority and wildly lucky. If almost every song ever written is any indication, love is complicated! Whether you’re in a relationship or trying to get into one, we could all use some tips to navigate the complexities of the heart. While there’s no magic trick to solving love, these are hacks for you romantics who want to transform your love life!
Have a life outside of your partner
When it comes to happy relationships, two halves do not make a whole. You need two whole people to be able to fully support and love the other. While your partner is obviously important to you, they are not part of what makes you, you!
Prioritize your interests and loved ones outside of your relationship. Leaning on your partner is perfectly normal and healthy! But relying on them for everything is what we like to call codependency. No good! Make time for what you enjoy and the people you love and encourage your partner to do the same.
Say “Thank you”
We’re hoping you already do this in your everyday life, but bringing awareness to the things you’re thankful for is connected to greater happiness. Make it a point to tell your partner “thank you” when they do things for you. Sometimes, we forget to express our gratitude to those around us, even when we are feeling it.
We know how good it feels to be appreciated, so you’ll make your partner happy as well and it will be benefit your relationship. If you want to do it “Oprah style”, write out all the things that you’re grateful for about your partner and let them know! We’re sure they’ll appreciate it.
Figure out your love languages
How you give and receive love is an important part of having a healthy relationship. When do you feel the most loved? Is it when your partner hugs you? Physical touch. Is it when they say “I love you”? Words of affirmation.
First discover this about yourself and then discuss it with your partner. Your love languages do not necessarily have to be aligned, but you do want to know what each other responds to so you can give each other love in the ways they prefer. Communication is key!
Schedule time together
Scheduling time together might not sound like the most romantic way to spend more time with your partner. But life gets busy and you want to make sure you’re both making time for each other in the midst of hectic lives. Pick a day and schedule a date night.
It’ll give you both something to look forward to and it will ensure that you spend time alone together, even when things get busy. Your dates can be fancy dinners or movie nights on the couch. Whatever you decide to do, don’t let date night slip through the cracks. You won’t find time so you have to make it!
Celebrate “little victories”
This hack is a great recommendation for your own personal self love as well as the love between you and your partner. Acknowledge and celebrate the little victories that happen everyday. “I talked to a friend I haven’t seen in a while”. “I had a great workout in the gym”. “My boss was really happy with me at work”.
Share these victories with your partner and encourage them to tell you theirs. Share in the small victories to remind yourselves of the things we all typically take for granted. Your partner will share in your excitement and it will make you both happier!
Use the countdown rule to make decision
We all know how annoying it can be when you and your partner can’t seem to settle on where to eat or what movie to watch. This indecisiveness can sometimes end in arguments that never should have started in the first place.
To prevent this, use the countdown rule. One person suggests 5 options, the other narrows it down to 3 options, and then you arrive at the 1! It’s small things like this that help avoid useless arguments and improve your communication. No more hangry arguments about chick-fil-a vs. chipotle!
Don’t do dinner as a first date
If you’re trying to get to know someone and see if they’re a person you’d like to spend time with, don’t do dinner as a first date. Do something fun! Get outside and hike. Go to the driving range or batting cages. Do something where you can have fun and get to know each other.
Dinner dates are so formal and can feel uncomfortable when you don’t know the person sitting across from you. Doing an activity on your first date is more natural and you’ll likely have more fun. Save the dinner dates for down the line.
This might not work for everyone, but holding hands or hugging your partner has been connected to lower stress levels. Not everyone’s love language is physical touch, but feeling close to your partner is super important for a healthy relationship.
Holding hands promotes closeness within relationships, but you don’t have to flaunt it in public. If you’re not a fan of PDA, find time to hold hands with your partner in private. Hold hands in the car, on the couch, in bed, etc.
If you say you’re letting something go, actually let it go
If you and your partner have worked out an argument and you say you’re over it, make sure you really are. It isn’t fair to your partner to keep bringing it up if you’ve agreed to move on. Harping on the same things will create resentments in the relationship.
We all say “I’m fine” when it’s not true but try to be aware of this and minimize it as much as possible. Remember that your partner cannot read your mind and can’t be expected to. As we’ve said before and you’ve probably heard it a hundred times: “Communication is key!”
Admit when you’re wrong
No one likes a person who thinks they can do no wrong. It’s not a good look to refuse to admit when you’re wrong. It will be good for you and your partner will appreciate it. Make sure that they do the same in the name of fairness.
At the same time, don’t gloat when you’re right. Be graceful when you’re right and wrong because there will be times when you are both. Arguing isn’t about who’s right and wrong. It’s about finding a solution. Your boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t your adversary.
Don’t be afraid to fight
In a perfect world we would never fight with our partners. But this is the real world and people often disagree. Instead of fearing fighting, embrace it and use it to grow your relationship. Easier said than done, of course.
But avoiding conflict will always result in hidden resentments and the build up of little annoyances. This almost always ends in a huge fight. Confrontation is healthy in a relationship and approaching it with a healthy mindset with your partner will actually prevent future blowouts.
Love yourself first
Any healthy relationship starts with two healthy people. Spend time getting to know yourself and consider what is important to you. What do you like about yourself? What would you like to see in a loving partner?
Being happy alone is important to be happy in a relationship. Spend time alone, do what makes you happy, and surround yourself with people who make you a better version of yourself. In time, you’ll attract the right person to you.