Whether you’re in a new relationship or celebrating several years together, keeping your relationship moving in the right direction isn’t always easy. Mistakes and misunderstandings are inevitable; after all, no couple is perfect. We don’t start out as relationship experts from day one; instead, most of us learn how to be good partners through trial and error, bettering ourselves as we better one another.
But that’s not useful advice if you’re struggling right now. Instead, you need actionable tips you can use to move forward and continue growing. That’s what I’ll cover here.
Put Down the Phone
Don’t fall into the trap of becoming disconnected from your partner because you’re spending too much time on your phone. The people behind the screen can wait—you have an actual person, someone who loves you dearly, sitting in the same room as you. Break your permanent addiction to technology; it will benefit you and your relationship. Plan an activity together, and then give your partner your undivided attention. The world will not fall apart if you don’t check your phone for an afternoon, I promise!
Get Enough Sleep
Research shows a significant link between poor sleep quality and the occurrence of bickering or arguing. To parents with little ones, this should come as no surprise. But it’s bigger than just being grumpy; the evidence also found that arguing after a bad night’s sleep increased inflammatory proteins in the blood. Not getting enough sleep, and then consequently fighting with your partner, could even make you sick.
Now, for a bit of brighter news: another study at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh showed affectionate touch from a loved one had a huge impact on wellbeing. It also significantly lowered stress. This one is fun and easy to follow: hold hands. Touch one another. You’ll both benefit from it on multiple levels.
A positive attitude can make a difference in nearly every aspect of your life, including how healthy your relationships are day to day. Similar research demonstrates that how you perceive your partner’s behaviors often reflects your level of satisfaction. Couples who allowed themselves to become more critical of their partners tended to view their actions more negatively over time. Want your relationship to stay on a positive path? Keep your perspective in check by focusing on your own wellness and happiness. Become more emotionally intelligent, and let yourself admit when you aren’t being logical – it happens to the best of us.
A Happy Future
All relationships go through occasional ups and downs. The key is not to avoid these dips and climbs, but to learn how to ride them out and stay strong. Remember: the two of you are a team, and that means supporting without stifling growth. A good partnership takes teamwork, objectivity, and a little sacrifice on both ends.