The little things
Do you say a warm good morning to your mate when you first wake up, or roll your eyes and complain about how many times she hit the snooze button? When you suggest a movie, does your partner discuss it with you or does he put down your suggestion? Over time, these relatively brief exchanges add up to form the basis of a relationship.
Paying attention to the small moments and investing them with attention and importance can make a big difference toward a couple’s overall satisfaction in their relationship.
After the honeymoon
When people date, they tend to spend a lot of time and energy on getting to know one another, talking and listening, making each other feel good with favors and compliments, holding hands, having sex, and finding fun and creative activities to try together. Naturally, all this attention creates closeness and a foundation for a bigger commitment. Once that commitment is made, however, priorities may change with responsibilities at work, starting a family, or simply falling into a predictable routine.
Making or scheduling time to connect both emotionally and physically—much in the same way you did when you were first dating—is an important way to maintain and grow your relationship.
Take care of yourself
Stress can tax the healthiest relationships. Whether it’s a new baby, financial pressures, job changes, or the day-to-day grind, one of the best things you can do for your relationship is take time to manage your own stress in healthy ways. When you do this, it’s easier to be supportive of your partner. Tapping into social support is one of the most important ways to manage stress.
Researchers have found that being able to talk about your problems—even ordinary stresses and strains—with friends as well as with your partner can help protect your relationship.