Think it's hard to have a fantastic relationship? Think again. As hard as it is to nurture and keep the love alive and kicking sometimes, it's totally possible if you put in a little effort.
Here are 5 tips for a rock star relationship:
- Schedule date nights or weekly check-ins with each other. This can be a sizzling date you plan as a surprise, a walk around the block in the fresh air or a few minutes by the AM coffee pot as time allows. This helps to stay connected to your partner when things get crazy - and life has a tendency to do that.
- Be a good listener. Get in the habit of making good eye contact when your sweetie is trying to tell you something. Be mindful of your body language too. It feels good to be heard and will make your partner feel cared for.
- Validate their experience. Regardless of whether you agree, at least try to see where they're coming from. Don't blow them off or roll your eyes. This helps make your partner feel like they matter.
- Never assume. You probably have heard the saying, "Don't assume because it makes an *ass out of you and me." There's some truth to this because often times couples who assume they know what the other is thinking or means - are dead wrong. This avoids conflict over a whole lot of nonsense that could have been avoided in the first place.
- Use "I feel" statements for more challenging topics. You will get a much better response from your partner if you come from a place of how you feel about what happened - vs going on the attack. This helps to facilitate healthier communication and keeps both of you open vs defensive.
Lisa Brookes Kift is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and author of The Premarital Counseling Workbook for Couples, a cost-effective, do-it-yourself, therapist-guided alternative to counseling.