My grandmother once told me that a relationship is a constant work in progress where both parties have to put in an effort day after day. I laughed and told her that she made it sound like a job, and she just said, “It takes years of love, and years of work to sustain the bond which two people share.”
After all this time, I now know what she truly meant. Being someone’s soulmate is a process, because (pardon the cliché) Rome was not built in a day. While you are the best judge of what your relationship needs, a little expert advice can certainly help you build a good relationship with your partner.
Today I have a few tricks up my sleeve, and an incredible expert by my side. Geetarsh Kaur is the founder of ‘The Skill School’ which specializes in building stronger relationships. A phenomenal life coach, she’s here to answer all your questions and explain what makes a relationship stronger. Get ready to collect those pearls of wisdom! Let’s begin, shall we? How to keep a relationship strong and happy?
Lights, camera, action!
15 Tips That Keep A Relationship Strong And Happy
Never undermine the importance of a good relationship in your life. Our romantic partners contribute to our lives significantly. They influence everything from our self-esteem to our stress levels. They’re the ones we come back to at the end of the day.
While we may take them for granted on some days, we know that getting by without them would be well-nigh impossible. To enrich your connection a little more, here are 15 strong relationship tips. They consist of a few practices you probably already follow, and some much-needed reminders. I know you want to keep your relationship strong and healthy!
It’s my hope that we can give you a few lovely takeaways and put a smile on your face too. Let Geetarsh and I answer your question – how do you keep a relationship forever?
1. Count your blessings
Be grateful for your partner and to your partner. Exercising gratitude is a lovely practice which promotes your emotional health. It makes you cognizant of the good things in life – much like a silver lining inside your mind! While maintaining gratitude journals is always an option, you can try a simpler exercise too.
At the end of each day, be consciously thankful of six things. Three qualities your partner possesses, and three things they have done that day. You can keep these to yourself, or make it a practice to involve your better half too. Being appreciated is always a good feeling because our efforts are recognised. This is a lovely way of making a relationship grow.
Related Reading: 8 Habits Of Couples In Strong And Healthy Relationships
2. How to keep a relationship strong and happy? Take some space
A relationship can never succeed if the two individuals are trying to merge themselves into one being. Talking about space, Geetarsh emphasizes the value of individuality, “We have to eliminate the need to constantly cling to our partners. Enjoy your own space, your own set of social relationships, your career and hobbies. Let your partner do the same too.”
Individuality is a very important relationship quality to have. Maintaining an independent routine outside your dating life is one of the best, strong relationship tips. Here we also address the importance of not mixing your personal and professional spheres. Don’t be omnipresent in your partner’s life because it gets claustrophobic eventually.
3. Talk, talk, and talk some more
Communication is the most important factor in a relationship and most issues stem from the lack of it. Make it a point to talk to your partner. About what? Well…everything. How your day went, what you’d like to do over the weekend, a piece of gossip you came across, or even a funny meme. Just keep in mind to not be hostile with your partner, even when you fight.
Relationship researcher Dr. John Gottman revealed that criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling are all predictors of an early divorce. To my amusement, he calls these qualities ‘The Four Horsemen.’ The key to building a good relationship with your partner is avoiding the infamous horsemen at all costs as they hamper good communication.
4. Strong relationship tips – Put in the work
You’ve had a long day at work and just want to fall into bed. But you come home to find your partner stressed and emotional. Do you comfort them quickly and go to sleep? Or do you have a sit-down session and get to the bottom of what’s bothering them? Hint: there’s only one right answer.
Option B is always the correct choice in a scenario like this. Even if your relationship demands a little more of you than usual, be willing to go the extra mile. Check in on your partner, be present when they need you and make them a priority in your life. Being a selfish boyfriend or girlfriend is really not the best way to go about a relationship. And I know you intend to keep your relationship strong and healthy.
5. Gestures matter
Empty promises are such a turn-off really. Rather than talking about taking them to Paris or Rome, actually take them to have some gelato nearby. Geetarsh agrees, “Follow through on what you tell your partner. Don’t be all talk, that’s quite shallow if you think about it. Keep your word because this builds trust.”
Sweet romantic gestures like buying them flowers or taking them out on a date are some wonderful ways to keep the spark alive. They break the monotony that enters a relationship eventually. You can keep a long-distance relationship strong and happy with sweet gestures too. Be thoughtful of your partner’s needs and surprise them every now and then.
Related Reading: 21 Uncommon Romantic Gestures For Her
6. Compromise every now and then
A healthy relationship is one where neither partner focuses on getting their way. A little bit of what you want and a little bit of what they want. A good trick I learnt from my sister was reminding ourselves that our partners are more important than what we want in a particular moment:
“Like yes, I want to have Thai for dinner. But I also want a future with him.” In a nutshell, don’t be stubborn (or selfish) about doing things your way. It’s okay to go along with what your significant other wants – they are important enough to get out of the comfort zone for.
7. Be respectful (always)
A fight or a disagreement is no reason to resort to personal attacks or yelling. In fact, a conflict requires more respect than ever. This boils down to having healthy boundaries with your partner. What is a deal breaker for you? What do you construe as disrespect?
Geetarsh explains the progression of a relationship, “When we start dating someone, we want to impress them, because we are perhaps in awe of them. But we fail to create boundaries which should also be set from day one. We have to set down what is acceptable and what is not – this makes a relationship much healthier in the long run.”
8. What makes a relationship stronger? Getting off your phones
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed how mobile phones and social media impact relationships. 40% of the Americans surveyed reported disliking their partners’ engrossment in their phone. That’s right – 40% Americans. Do everyone a favor and be present with your partner when you are talking.
Pay them the compliment of your undivided attention. Even I hate people who are texting other while I’m RIGHT there. Like, hellooo??? It’s a good idea to have a no-phones hour at home where you can both share some quality time with your mobiles on airplane mode. Keep your relationship strong with your partner without any annoying notifications to break the spell of romance!
9. Speak your mind
Henry Winkler wrote, “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” It is vital to voice your concerns, anger and resentment because they may be based on assumptions. Getting it all out in the open will clear things up once and for all. Individuals in a healthy relationship never bottle things up.
Expressing your mind clearly and concisely will a) promote honesty in the relationship and b) dissipate any misunderstandings. How to keep a relationship strong and happy you ask? Have a problem-solving period during the day where the both of you can talk about any negative thoughts on your mind.
Related Reading: 7 Strategies To Stop Fighting In A Relationship
10. Work towards the future
Setting realistic goals for the future is one of the best, strong relationship tips. You and your partner can mark the milestones and see how far you’ve come, while simultaneously planning for the life you want ahead. Maybe you want to buy a house in the next ten years, or get a pet in the next few months!
Build a good relationship with your partner by showing your commitment towards them. (And get over your commitment issues please…)Dreaming of a future together is sweet; working towards it is even better. Start taking baby steps towards the goals you’ve both set – save some money and make changes in your routine. This is also how you keep a long-distance relationship strong and happy.
11. Physical intimacy for the win
Carnegie Melon researchers have discovered a link between hugs and our immune system. It is already known how hugging someone releases oxytocin in our body – a hormone associated with trust, empathy (and sexual activity). It is now highly probable that a hug a day keeps the doctor away!
If you want to know how to keep a relationship forever, be physically affectionate with your partner. A brush of hands, a warm embrace, a peck on the cheek and even a pat or caress do much more than you might think. And adding to that, keep your sex life active! This is what makes a relationship stronger.
12. Taking accountability – making a relationship grow
“This is one of the marks of a truly safe person: they are confrontable.” So says Henry Cloud and we wholeheartedly agree. Owning up to your mistakes when confronted is a valuable quality that is rather rare. Getting defensive or hostile gets us nowhere and honestly, it’s a waste of precious time. And people tend to say hurtful things when confronted…
How to keep a relationship strong and happy? When you find yourself in the wrong, don’t hesitate to say you’re sorry. Make a mental note of the error and try to not repeat it again. I know you intend to keep your relationship strong and healthy, and the way to do so is by saying the three golden words – I am sorry.
13. Be on each other’s team – keep a relationship forever
A common quality that all healthy relationships share is supportive partners. And being supportive doesn’t just mean cheering them on during the good times. It also includes having their back in the rough patches. No relationship is sunshine and rainbows constantly, and your partner will slip-up and fall. Geetarsh says,
“Avoid placing blame for the little things in life. Have empathy and understanding for your partner. We all have our hassles to deal with on a daily basis – we’re all fallible and make mistakes. Holding on to petty grudges or taunting them for trivial matters is very unwise.” You can keep your relationship strong with your partner by letting go of the small things…as they say, don’t sweat the small stuff.
Related Reading: 15 Signs You Are In A Serious Relationship
14. Participate in each other’s lives
Involvement is a must. Say your partner has an office party to attend. You were supposed to be her plus-one, but she gives you the option of backing out. Stay at home on the couch…or go with her to the party? Please tell me you chose B. Yes, I know she said you could stay home, but it’s an important event for her.
You should be next to her, hyping her up! Be an active participant in your partner’s life. Celebrate their accomplishments to the fullest and partake in the festivities that matter to them. While clinginess is a no-no, so is indifference. A good partner is always around in the highlights of your life.
15. Love in honesty – Build a good relationship with your partner
Breaking your partner’s trust is the worst thing you can do. Being lied to has lasting consequences on an individual. Strive for complete honesty in your relationship and be your truest self with your other half. Respect your partner enough to be honest with them, no matter what the situation.
Geetarsh says, “This is what I tell all the couples I meet. Look at your partner, do they deserve anything but the truth? Be authentic – it saves a lot of time and energy.”
And there we have it, our final tip on making a relationship grow. And thrive. And indeed, stand the test of time.
Implement these 15 strong relationship tips in one form or another to take your connection further. While some of them might seem challenging, or even futile in practice, I promise you they’ll work. You now know how to keep a relationship strong and happy. Write to us about how you fared because we’re always glad to hear from you!!