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5 Little Things That Can Change Your Relationship

and Reviewed By Mira Djakov, MMFT

It’s often easy to forget the amount of will, hardship, and perseverance it took to win the heart of your significant other. Most people sooner or later find themselves in a situation where all the romantic spark is gone, and their relationship is stagnant. The affection of your beloved one has been won over, and there’s little glory to be had from the continued effort.

But, nothing can be further from the truth. The fact that you’ve already secured the place in someone’s life doesn’t mean you should stop trying.

As soon as you start taking things for granted, all progress will stop and problems will start creeping their way into your life. It is important not to beat yourself up about it – a lot of couples reach this moment in their love life when oxytocin-induced madness settles down and real partnership needs to start (Marazziti et al. 2006).

It is important that you recognize when you’ve hit this snag point without losing hope. Instead, start doing these several little things that can change your relationship for the better. Why the little things? Because they showcase your interest in a continued effort and ongoing care for your significant other better than anything else.

1. Listen and Hear More

Don’t confuse the two, as they’re wildly different. Being in a relationship is sharing the burden of everyday life and its incessant hardships. If there’s something wrong and you have no idea what it is – it’s a good sign you haven’t been hearing your partner out.

Make an effort to bestow your significant other with your full focus. They’re laying out their latest troubles ahead of you and not listening is a surefire way of missing out on some crucial information about what’s bothering them. The odds are you’re the first person they go to with their troubles, hoping for a piece of valuable advice. Sometimes, it’s just that they need to vent. Either way, don’t just pretend you’re listening even if you’re tired. Instead, devote some time and attention to your partner when they need it the most.

2. Recognize Effort and Accomplishments

There’s nothing better than knowing that the person you do all the little things for actually notices and appreciates your effort. Being unable to express gratitude is a telltale sign that you’re taking your relationship for granted – a very slippery slope.

Reminding you to say an occasional ‘Thank you’ to your partner might seem ubiquitous and unnecessary, but it’s a sound piece of advice. Expressing thankfulness shows that you’re aware of all the effort this person puts into your shared life, and it can mean the world. Though it seems trivial, it can change your relationship that has potentially become stale and unappreciated.

Moreover, acknowledge your partner’s successes even when they’re not related to your relationship. Being honestly happy and proud of your partner’s achievements gives your relationship authenticity, which subsequently makes it healthy and advances the well-being of both parties involved (Brunell et al. 2010).

3. Enjoy More Intimacy

There’s no better relationship changer than reestablishing the intimacy lost to stagnation and repetitive patterns. Often, partners get so used to each other and their carnal pleasures, that intimacy simply becomes a thing of the past.

The reason why that happens is that couples often juxtapose intimacy and intercourse. The former, however, can be expressed in a fully clothed manner. It is that perfect feeling of growth between you and partner that many tend to disregard as a simple prelude to more… palpable pleasures.

Unexpected back and foot massages are an effective way to help show your partner that you are present and mindful of them. Hugging, dancing, and simply touching one another are synonymous with being intimate with your partner. This is something that you might have done before, but less so now.

4. Argue as Adults Do

Hopefully, you’ve matured past the point where you think that arguments and fights mean there’s something wrong with you as the couple. We’re all different people and sometimes our interests conflict with each other – that much is obvious.

However, what’s not immediately obvious is how you should carry yourself during an argument. While it’s enticing to jump to personal insults and pokes at your opponent’s weaknesses, such derogatory acts will cause more harm and will in no way solve the argument. Instead, be reasonable, use facts, and speak from your own emotions. Sometimes, tempers get high and this is easier said than done, but it’s doable with some practice and cooperation by your partner.

If you really want to change your relationship for the better, put a leash on your temper. This will bring the necessary stability to your relationship, and stability is exactly the tool to help elevate for relationship for years to come (Bryant & Conger 2002).

5. Be Thoughtful

Thoughtfulness is the mother of all the little things you can use to change your relationship that’s gone awry. This entails a lot of different steps, from being creative when it comes to gifting to simply complimenting your partner. Remember why you’re in this relationship and how much attention means to your significant other. Being supportive and thoughtful are the best ways to project how respectful and invested you are in the relationship.

By now, you probably already know what it is that makes your partner glisten with joy, so focus on that, and it will reinforce your relationship with positivity and good forecasts for the future.

Closing Thoughts

We, the people, do have a core from which we derive who we are and what we do. This is something that needs to stay intact, and shouldn’t be changed to accommodate other people. If there’s something about your core inner self that your significant other dislikes, then you should discuss this with them openly and begin considering the possibility that you’re not compatible in the long run.

But, changing habits, interests, and even where you live are sacrifices worth making to create a better relationship. After all, there’s a great deal of personal growth to be found in adaptiveness.

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