5 Secrets of a happier relationship

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by Anna Papa

If you find yourself drifting away from your loved one, here are a few tips that can help you strengthen your relationship …

Every one of us hopes to find the one who will steal our heart and be a part of our ‘Happily-Ever-After’ story…

However, for most of us, the perfect relationship we initially had with our partner changes over time. We wonder what happened to the desire, fun and mutual appreciation. Time, life conditions, and changing circumstances often push partners in opposite directions without them even realizing it.

If you find yourself drifting away from your loved one, here are a few tips that can help you strengthen your relationship. If you have a good partnership, use the strategies below to continue to thrive as a couple.

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1. Never stop dating

Do you remember how you felt during the first months of your relationship?

The attention and fun you had with your partner made you feel happy and energized. Sadly, as time goes by, butterflies get replaced by boredom and a mutual distance. It happens because the newness of your relationship passes. To keep it fresh and exciting it is important to find a special time for each other when you can relive all these amazing feelings.

Try doing the same activities that you both enjoyed in the past. Or try something new that makes you both laugh and feel loved and special. Visit old places that bring back good memories from your early relationship.

If you have children or a busy work schedule arranging a date may be difficult. Plan ahead for your regular time as a couple. These special moments will definitely bring you closer together.

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2. Talk, talk, talk

When was the last time the two of you talked? And I don’t mean exchanging information about children, cooking dinner or a grocery list. If you want to have a happy relationship, find at least 15 minutes a day when you sit down with each other (with your cell phones and TV off) and sincerely listen to and answer your partner. Remember to say something nice to your loved one. You might feel tired or busy or distracted about your unfinished work, but remember that in a happy relationship a partner is always the priority.

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3. Show them your love

Everyone wants and needs to feel loved by their partners in order for the relationship to thrive. Make sure to show your soulmate you care for and truly love him/her. Don’t assume they know.

Different people like to receive love differently. Some feel loved when they get attention, or your time, or receive a complement. For others it’s more important to get their partner’s help (think about a cooked dinner or a vacuumed floor). Some feel loved when they get gifts, others through physical touch. Do you know your partner’s ‘love language’? If not, ask him/her! What a great topic for your next date night! (You can prepare yourself by reading The 5 Love Languages by G. Chapman)

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4. Learn how to fight

Having disagreements in your relationship is natural and even necessary for you to grow and to understand each other. The problem begins when you don’t know how to successfully end your fights. There are a few golden rules to remember:

When you start feeling raging emotions toward your partner, wait before speaking. A conversation never goes as planned when emotions run high. Start discussing the issue after you take control of your negative feelings. You will be able to think more clearly and understand the situation much better.

To be effective, don’t raise your voice and don’t interrupt when your partner presents his/her story. Let him/her speak and take time to listen, not to quickly answer but to understand.

Address only the current situation. Don’t say: “You always” or “You never”. This will only give your partner a reason to be more defensive.

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5. Remember to love yourself

If you accept and respect yourself, you will be able to give acceptance and respect more easily to others. By remembering who you are and taking care of your own needs you will be more accepting of your partner’s true nature and of his/her personal desires.

Yes, it all starts with you.

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