In life as in relationships we can always grow and evolve. We can learn to be better people and better partners. Here are ten suggestions for you to implement right now that will make you not only a better person, but a better partner.
Pay attention: Notice how your partner acts or sounds when they’re happy, when things are going well and when they’re not so that you can be in tune with their moods and be able to know if something is wrong or bothering them.
Listen: Listen with the intention to understand, not to respond. Don’t think you always have to fix things, or have a solution. Sometimes, all that is needed is a kind heart and listening ear. Be somebody your partner can trust with their deepest fears and fondest dreams.
Be appreciative: Give a pat on the back and frequent thanks for all the big and small things your partner does to make your life better. No one wants to be taken for granted, and you risk losing your partner’s investment in the relationship if you fail to notice their contribution.
Make your partner your priority: It’s not always about you. Be thinking about ways to make your partner feel loved and important; and chances are, they’ll do the same for you. You must spend time on making your relationship the focus of your time and attention.
Be on time: Reliability is important. Tardiness shows a lack of respect for your partner’s time. Be someone they can count on to do as you say. Better yet, show up a little early and really impress your partner. Some organizational skills and planning are needed to be consistently prompt. This can be learned.
Be available: Whether you live together or are dating, it’s important that you make yourself available to your partner. Not that you have to drop everything at the spur of the moment, but make time to spend together regularly to be a couple and work on your relationship. When your partner needs you, do your utmost to be there for them.
Give them a break: Help each other out, be a support system. If your partner is feeling overwhelmed with work or parenting you can give them a break. Send them out for a spa day or an evening out with friends. We don’t have to always be grinding away at life. Help your partner get some rest or a vacation when they’re feeling stressed. Pick up the slack when you can.
Give them the benefit of the doubt: Don’t assume the worst before getting all the facts. Many breakups happen due to assumptions and a rush to judgement that’s incorrectly formed. Never listen to gossip or instigators but go directly to your partner to find out what’s really going on. When your partner tells you something, make it your default to believe in them.
Show up naked: Sex is important in every love relationship. If you’re not having sex regularly, you need to change that. Practice the art of seduction; tease and romance your partner. Be physically affectionate when you can’t be naked, and always be having some kind of foreplay together that will enhance your sexual experiences.
Plan more fun: Laughter and humor are essential to long term happiness. We can get so caught up in daily life that we forget to play together. Make each other laugh, tease and play together. Go out and have adventures and new experiences that you can look back on later with laughter and fond remembrances.
If you’re not using any of these suggestions in your life right now, choose one today and get started. If you add one a week, in ten weeks you and your partner will be on the way to a happier and closer bond of love and connection.
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Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters.His weekend workshop, Two Days: Seven Conversations has become a popular venue for many to set off on their journey of connectedness. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channeland by subscription in Stuart’s Daily Notes.Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. He lives and works in Scottsdale, Arizona.