7 Ways to Improve Your Relationship in Time for Valentine’s DayFeb 06, 2023
Great relationships don’t just happen, they require work, and lots of it, from both parties involved. I remember I used to think that if 2 people were meant to be together than everything would just fall into place. Then it dawned on me, that I work at everything else in my life in order to make it happen, so why would a relationship (romantic or platonic) be any different.
In the spirit of love and its most commercialized holiday (Valentine’s Day), I thought I’d release some content for those of us who could use a few pointers to make this Valentine’s Day with a loved one, more memorable than before. Use these tips leading up to Valentine’s Day and beyond if you want sustainable improvement in your relationship.
1. Take responsibility for yourself. This is the most important choice you can make to improve your relationship. This means that you learn how to take responsibility for your own feelings and needs. So, instead of trying to get your partner to make you feel happy and secure, you learn how to do this for yourself through your own thoughts and actions. Treat yourself with the love, kindness, caring, compassion, and acceptance that you deserve instead of being so quick to judge yourself or your circumstances. We all make mistakes. Don’t dwell on them. Forgive yourself immediately and pledge to do better moving forward.
2. Kindness, compassion, and acceptance go a long way. Treat others the way you want to be treated. We all yearn to be treated lovingly with kindness. We need to treat ourselves this way, and we need to treat our partner and others this way. Relationships flourish when both people treat each other with kindness. While there are no absolute guarantees, often treating others with kindness brings kindness in return. And even if it doesn’t bring it from the person you are giving it to, it opens you up to receiving it somewhere.
3. Lean into learning instead of controlling. When conflict occurs, it is easy to become defensive. The desire to “win” an argument appears. But, ultimately, when one partner loses, both partners lose. It is important to communicate your feelings in a neutral manner (not with high emotions) and listen to understand, as opposed to listening to respond.
4. Create time for one another. When people first fall in love, they are inseparable. They wonder how they ever lived without the other person. They make time for each other – and lots of it. As you grow more comfortable with each other, life seems to get in the way. It is easy to forget to set aside time for each other. But a relationship cannot last if you do not spend time together. And quality time is key. Don’t fall into the rut of living together and seeing one another around the house as the functional equivalent of spending time with one another. It’s no comparison. Schedule a date. Get dressed up. Make a reservation. Find a sitter for the kids. And make it a regular occurrence, not just for special occasions.
5. Give thanks instead of complaints. Positive energy flows between 2 people when there is an attitude of gratitude. Constant complaints create a heavy, negative energy, which is not fun to be around. And if you do have a complaint, which is normal, make sure to lead with a compliment rather than dive right into the negatives. We all have things we don’t love about another person. We just want to make sure we’re not leading with what we don’t love and being vocal about what we do.
6. Have fun and play. We all know that work without play makes Jack a dull boy. Work without play makes for dull relationships as well. Relationships flourish when people laugh together, play together, and when humor is a part of everyday life. Stop taking everything so seriously and learn to see the funny side of life. Intimacy flourishes when there is lightness of being, not when everything is heavy.
7. Serve each other or serve others together. A wonderful way of creating intimacy is to do service projects together. Giving to others fills the heart and creates deep satisfaction in the soul. Doing service moves you out of yourself and your own problems and supports a broader, more spiritual view of life. Or you can do an act of service for your partner. Massage their feet, cook them dinner, clean their junk drawer, or fulfill a need.
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