Small day-to-day things you can do to improve your relationship
When integrating your life with someone else’s there is so much to take into account, from feelings, to needs and even past heartaches. While relationships can often feel daunting, complicated, and simply just a lot of work, there are small day-to-day steps that you can do to improve your relationship without feeling like you’re climbing up a tall mountain. Here are a few small steps you and your partner can do to improve your relationship.
Get Curious About Your Partner’s Day
Make an effort to learn one thing that is happening in your partner’s life that day. This could be anything from a doctor’s appointment, a new drink order they decided to try, or even a scheduled call with an old friend. Asking questions and learning about the exciting and not so exciting things about your partner’s day brings attention and care into the dynamic as well as making it feel like you’re tackling the world as a team.
Make a Big Deal Out of Reunions
The next time you see your partner, share a hug and kiss that lasts at least six seconds. Dr. John Gottman calls this a “kiss with potential.” The six-second kiss is a ritual of connection that is worth coming home to, because it can remind us that after a period of separation we still love and care for our partner. Making a big deal out of reunions can bring appreciation into the relationship.
Bonus points if after the six-second kiss you have a stress-reducing conversation for at least 20 minutes. “This provides you with a space for empathy and non-sexual intimacy, as well as encourages you to understand the stresses and problems outside of your relationship that you’re both facing” (Benson, Gottman Institute).
Appreciation and Admiration
Whether it be sending a quick text or writing a love letter, it’s important to find ways to genuinely communicate affection and appreciation toward your partner. Not only does this make your partner feel valued, but it also primes your mind to see the positive traits of your partner, instead of focusing on the negative. Taking the time to express appreciation each day creates a culture of respect towards your partner, helping to strengthen the bond overtime.
Share a Warm Embrace
Feeling the warmth of your partner’s touch can have huge impacts on calming your nervous system. Expressing physical affection when you’re together is vital to feeling connected to each other, especially after a stressful day or argument. Returning to each other with a warm embrace, or even making sure to cuddle before bed can help strengthen the bond between you and your partner.
If you’re feeling stuck and not sure where to even begin climbing up the mountain, relationship counselling can help provide you with tools and resources to start you on your journey to deepening your love. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today.
Blog post written by Yasmine Ross, Certified Relationship Coach and Content Writer at An Elegant Mind Counselling in Vancouver