Everyone wants to love and be loved. No matter how cynical or tough many may present themselves, deep within their soul, they want to love, connect, and trust someone special; the yearning for a fulfilling relationship cannot be denied. Human beings crave to have relationships because humans are biologically wired to seek a romantic connection or companionship.
We see the idea of love everywhere. Many believe that the red heart of the valentine represents the love they are looking for. From the movies to the internet, everyone is seeking love.
Many in the dating pool have been in and out of relationships and some of us are scarred from being in relationships where love was not being served.
No one ever schools you about healthy relationships and what it looks like. What does a healthy relationship look like?
How do we care for our hearts and the heart of our loved ones? Should we be reading books and tips on how to best show love to our significant others?
Below are a few pointers that will help us build stronger and healthier relationships for couples married or unmarried.
As time passes in a relationship, we tend to slack off and stop doing the things that we did to impress our significant others. Dressing up in sweatpants and being lazy about looking attractive for our significant others is a no-no.
Maintain the courtesy extended towards your significant other. Be thoughtful, understanding, kind, patient, and gentle. Make an effort to make life happier and support your mate. Write down all things you did for your partner in the first year and commit to making it a part of your life.
Speak up respectfully about what you need. Your partner cannot read your mind. Ask for what you want. Make no assumptions. Communicate your expectations to your partner. Unmet expectations make your partner feel unloved, inadequate, and unwanted. Especially when it comes to your emotional and sexual needs, you need to speak up and communicate on what you want and are comfortable with or what you do not feel comfortable trying.
Study your mate
When you love someone, you will want to know more about them. Do you know what excites your mate physically? Do you know what makes them happy or sad? It is possible to believe that we know what they want when we have not observed or asked them what they prefer. Discover what makes your partner tick. Find out their quirks and the little things that make them happy. Then do it. This is unselfish love.
Talk about everything
Make time out to talk to your mate daily. Ask them questions and listen to their answers. There is something about knowing that you are seen and heard by the most important person in your life. There is something about knowing that what you say, counts. Be committed to improving the communication between you and your mate daily.
Ask questions that show that you care. For example, you could ask, “What was most challenging about your day?” You cannot get monotonous answers when you are asking the right questions.
Check-in with each other weekly
Have a weekly ritual where you check in with each other. Be on the same page as it concerns your schedules. Have a particular day when you woo each other. Most successful relationships have what is called a date night. Take turns planning activities for every date night. Talk about what you want to see in the days, weeks, or months in your relationship.
Have an appointment to talk about your needs that are not met, resentments, and temperature check so that your bridge of communication does not shut down.
Sex is important
Be committed to making sure that your sex life is healthy. Sometimes ‘sexy’ means that both of you find your bedroom activity sexy, no one is bored.
Sometimes public displays of affection can get a woman going long before it is night. Talk about what turns you on. Some women find it attractive when their mates help with the housework and unsexy when they leave the toilet seat up. Some men find it attractive when their mate dresses attractive and have great personal hygiene. Talk about everything.
Be creative with your quality time
Dinner and a movie can get boring after a while. Scout the internet for affordable ways to spend time together and make each other feel special.
Have your mom/friends babysit so that you can get alone time with your mate. It will do wonders for your communication and sex life. This is a win-win as everyone is happy and you get to accomplish your relationship goals.
Have sex regularly
Romantic relationships thrive on kissing, holding hands, and cuddling. Even if you are not having as much sex as you want, these factors create the bonding required for a healthy relationship. Talk about sex and what is great for both parties. Partners are often not in the mood at the same time so initiating the mood is often up to one of them.
Be accommodating to the needs of your mate and ask for what you want. Unless you have committed to a celibate relationship, you should have sex regularly.
Reflect on your relationships
Living life and combining work daily can distract us from the important goal of building our relationships. We need to remember that we have many more roles to play than that of an employee or a boss.
We ought to be fully present with our mates when we are with them. Listening to our mates is an important part of any relationship. Do not use your mobile phone when you are spending quality time with your mate. No laptops, iPads, or technology. Just a warm body and a warm heart are needed.
Fights and handling them
Conflicts are natural. Learn conflict resolution skills. Approach your mate thoughtfully with the fact in mind that you love them more than the issue at hand. Be kind to yourself and your partner.
If you see escalating stress during a discussion about a conflict, you can call a time-out. Cool off and continue talking after some time. Pick a specific time to continue the same conversation until it is sorted out.
Three BONUS tips for your relationships
In conflict, seek your true feelings
Usually, disagreements have layers like onions. There is emotion, which could be anger, animosity, or rift. If you lead from this position, it creates confusion and makes one party defensive. It can distract from the real issue if not properly handled.
Communicate from the feelings that are driving your reactions. This could be rejection, disappointment, loneliness, or disrespect. This will create empathy because communicating your feelings takes a lot of honesty and vulnerability.
For example, instead of saying, ‘you are a jerk’, say ‘I felt hurt by…’ This will help the other party express their own emotions without fear of being attacked.
You can understand without agreeing. It is not difficult to apply as long as you begin to practice. You can keep conversations from turning into an argument by avoiding the phrase, ‘I told you so.’
Approach every conversation with the mindset of it being an opportunity to understand the perspective of your mate. You are not seeking to be right or to make them concede, you want to understand.
This will help the flow of conversation and douse the lingering frustration or the danger of a blowout.
Apologies from your loved ones can be the best thing ever when given sincerely. When you mean an apology that you make to your mate, it can be a source of strength to your mate.
Apologies like ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ or ‘I am sorry if I upset you…’ are a waste of time; if you value connection and vulnerability in your relationship. Even if you do not agree that what you did what wrong, consider how you made your mate feel and apologize without defending yourself.
No one ever successfully argues with a feeling. If your partner is hurt, give them a good heartfelt apology because you care.
Let these simple tips guide you to make investments in your relationship that would help build them stronger.
When you love someone, you are willing to do what it takes to build a healthy relationship.