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Three Tips To Help Improve Your Relationship

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I suppose that it's an appropriate time to talk about everyone's favorite topic- love. Well, more specifically, let's talk about relationships and what you can do in order to improve yours. As I personally come up on six years of marriage, there are a few things that I've learned along the way:

  1. I'm not always right. 

  2. It's incredibly difficult to admit to #1, especially in the heat of an argument. 

  3. I always love my husband unconditionally. But, on occasion, I don't like him very much. 

  4. The sentiment in #3 is mutual. 

While no relationship is perfect, it is possible to build a strong, loving bond with your partner that is able to stand the tests of time. Here are a few tried-and-true ways to to improve your relationship, no matter what stage of the game you're in:

#1: Keep arguments productive. 

Although this may seem like a bit of an anomaly, it is possible to argue constructively. In fact, experts agree that voicing concerns or frustrations to your partner is far more beneficial to your relationship in the long run than keeping those feelings bottled up inside of yourself (which ultimately leads to unnecessary tension). However, there are ways to ensure that your disagreements remain clean, constructive, and supportive. Mainly, this includes taking the time to really listen to and digest what your partner is telling you, as opposed to simply holding your breath until it's your turn to speak. 

#2: Be loving towards one another. 

Generally speaking, in the beginning of a relationship (also known as the "honeymoon period"), there is no lack of affection between the two people involved. They crave the intimacy and comfort of being close to that other person and can revel in the newness of it all. After some time passes, however, we tend to take that comfort and intimacy for granted. We assume that it's there when we want it, but we don't feel the need to hold hands at the dinner table or makeout in the movie theatre anymore.  Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage, says "intimacy... improves the emotional connection and appreciation, which is critical for a long-lasting, satisfying relationship". 

#3: Have fun together. 

It's easy to fall into a rut when in a relationship and, pretty soon, you realize that you don't actually spend enough quality time with your significant other. Remember to talk to one another, to forge interests together, and to do the things that brought you together in the first place, whether it's cooking, theme parks, hiking, or sailing.  


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