It’s easy to become cynical about love these days, especially if you’ve got naysayers surrounding you and your partner. With all the talk of divorce and messy breakups in the news and media, we’ve become pretty resistant to the idea of everlasting love.
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While there’s never any guarantees when it comes to a relationship and its success, you can take the wheel and work with your partner toward a lasting, meaningful relationship. Try the following seven ways to keep the warm spark in your relationship alive and glowing over the long haul.
1. Keep It Kind
Kindness is something that should be a natural part of any relationship, but as you grow more used to each other, it can fall by the wayside. Introduce small things, like opening the door for each other and making a surprise dinner, to keep the spirit of kindness alive in your partnership. A few small touches here and there can go a long way.
2. Make Each Other Smile
Happiness is a foundation piece for any successful relationship, and making your partner smile is one way to keep that important stone in place. Try little gestures, like bringing him or her a favorite restaurant snack or flower, to bring a smile on.
These acts can also serve to demonstrate you think of your partner when they are not around, something that will remind your partner of their importance and value in your life.
3. Let The Little Things Go
A bunch of little things, like chewing too loudly or talking through movies, can actually add up to a wrecked relationship over time if you make a big deal out of them. Let the small annoyances that don’t really affect your relationship go.
Over time, you will get used to them, just like your partner has gotten used to the mildly annoying things you do. Keep the conversation light if you feel you have to address a behavior or habit that is driving you up the wall. Chances are, your partner is unaware of your irritation, so just a little pointing out will do.
4. Put Arguments In Private Mode
Don’t argue in front of your children or other people. Your children need a good example from you and your partner, and screaming matches can do more harm than good. In addition, if you wait until you’re alone with your partner to have the discussion, both of you will have calmed down, making for a more constructive conversation.
Arguing in front of other adults, even trusted friends and family members, can bring out the worst in both of you. The combination of embarrassment and extra attention will put you in a defensive mode and can make the argument more emotional and a bigger deal than it really is.
All in all, any disagreements you two have should be handled when you’re by yourselves and in a safe, private spot.
5. Focus On The Good
It’s all too easy to start focusing on the negative in your partner, especially over a long-term relationship. But you’re doing both you and your partner a disservice if you’re only looking at the negative.
Remind yourself of all your partner’s positive traits, especially during rough patches in the relationship. Make a list on paper if you have to, as that may make it easier for you to remember why you’re with your partner in the first place. Compliment your partner on some of their positive characteristics to help foster a feeling of appreciation in both of your minds.
6. Think Before You Point
Try not to point the finger at your partner, even when you’re upset. It’s tempting when you’re disappointed, angry or frustrated with your partner to complain, shame or blame them, but that usually just makes your partner feel bad without addressing the issue at hand.
Ask yourself how your words will make your partner feel before speaking. Focus on saying what is bothering you and what needs to happen without assigning blame or making your partner feel terrible.
7. Practice Physical Affection
Affection doesn’t have to be confined to the bedroom. Things like holding hands, hugging and other non-sexual physical gestures can go a long way toward fostering affection and love.
However, think about what form this should take. You don’t want to engage in public affection displays that embarrass you or your partner, so take note if anything you try causes your partner to feel uncomfortable or red in the face!