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No matter how strong your connection is as a couple, maintaining that spark is crucial. Without ongoing effort, you and your partner might eventually find yourselves stuck in a loop of recurring problems, or living in a boring routine that winds up driving you apart.
But all of that can be prevented if you look for little ways to improve your relationshipevery day. Kristie Overstreeta relationship expert and certified sex therapist, tells Bustle. Unlike grand, sweeping gestures that happen once a year, frequent, small moments of love show that you're always prioritizing each other. It's often in the seemingly inificant moments that you feel closest. Continuously making an effort also means you get to create the type of relationship you want, Jeni Woodfin, LMFTa d marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
They offer the chance to be intentional every day, instead of letting your relationship happen to you, over time. If you want to stay happy and connected, remember it's the little shifts — the small moments — that make the biggest difference. Here are 23 ways to make your relationship strongeraccording to experts. If you and your partner tend to spiral into toxicity during arguments, experts says you may want to stop using "you" phrases — such as, "you did this" or "you made me feel" — and start using "I" phrases.
Dyer, PhDa psychologist, tells Bustle. But this simple switch can make all the difference. It's easy to overlook little things, like saying good morning to each other, or hugging before going to bed. But Woodfin says these are some of the most important parts of the day. By savoring these moments, you'll both feel more "seen" and appreciated, which is a vital part of staying connected long-term. No matter how well you think you know your partner, it's dangerous to make assumptions about what they're thinking, especially during tough moments.
So the next time you aren't sure what they want or need, ask for clarification. If you find yourselves in the middle of a heated debate, and your tempers are flaring, don't be afraid to call a time-out before things go downhill. To do so, simply "state the importance of the conversation and the desire to come together again," Woodfin says. Something like, "I want to keep talking about this, but I'm getting too upset to think.
I'm going to take a break for an hour, but let's meet back after that to continue talking. That way your partner knows they'll have another chance to be heard, but only after you've both given yourselves a chance to cool off. Whether it's sending a quick text, or calling to say hey, communicating on a regular basis is key. Whenever you're feeling vulnerable or upset, make an effort to open up and touch base with your partner, instead of holding it all in. Jennifer B. Rhodesa d psychologist, tells Bustle. It might sound strange, but ensuring you schedule time for sex — especially if you both tend o be too tired at the end of the week — might be the ticket to feeling closer as a couple.
As Woodfin says, "With scheduling sex, you don't have to show up ready to go, but rather show up with an openness and willingness to try. It's very similar to that feeling before you go to the gym — you may not want to go beforehand, but as soon as you finish your workout you feel great, energized, proud.
This is the same thing with sex.
Similarly, scheduling regular date nights is essential, Michelle Gallanta relationship and dating coach, tells Bustle, if you want to maintain a strong, close connection. It's easy to get swept up with work and other obligations, but if you let the fun stuff slide — like going to the movies, meeting up for dinner, etc.
Maybe it's hiking in the woods. Or performing at an open mic night. Or facing a fear of heights and riding a rollercoaster for the first time. Whatever it is, tackle something that scares you — together. Plus, scary moments offer a chance to practice problem-solving, Toombs says, which will help you feel closer as a couple. If you feel like you've gotten complacent, make more of an effort to be physical with your partner. You could also sit closer on the couch while watching TV, or offer a hug.
These are all easy ways boost intimacy in your relationship. Choose a time to have check-ins as a couple, whether it's daily, weekly, or monthly, and use this time to discuss the state of your relationship, Kate Ecke, LCSWa d clinical social worker, tells Bustle. As time goes on, it's natural to drift apart, but you can stop that process in its tracks by purposefully doing more things together. Take a quiz online to figure out your love languagesso you can better cater to each other's needs.
What can they do — have meaningful conversations? Then, figure out what they need, and do it often. Erika Martineza d psychologist, tells Bustle. Whether you go for a walk in the morning, on your lunch breaks, or after dinner, fitting 15 minutes of outdoor time into your day can do wonders for your relationship. During your walk, "talk about what's working well in your relationship, what's not working, and what you'd like to change," Martinez says.
Or simply hold hands and chat mindlessly about the TV shows you're loving right now. Little rituals have a way of improving relationships, Aimee HartsteinLCSW, a relationship therapist, tells Bustle, so look for little ways you can add them into your lives. It's so easy to fall into the habit of nit-picking in a relationship, but if you want to stay together happily, you'll want to focus on the positives instead, Weaver-Breitenbecher says.
This can be done by keeping an eye out for good things, and then offering sincere compliments, like pointing out how much you enjoyed a dinner your partner made. If you're looking for a simple but meaningful ways to show your love, try surprising your partner with little gifts or tokens of affection, like a hand-written note tucked into their coat pocket, How to make your relationship stronger with your boyfriend Klapow, PhDa clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. He says these are "tangible gestures of love" and they go a long way in helping you stay connected.
Not all relationship-building activities require you to spend time together. In fact, "a of a healthy relationship is when both parties have individual interests," Andre says. So go ahead and encourage each other to spend time alone, whenever necessary.
You'll both come back to the relationship feeling renewed. If you're getting the sense that your partner is overwhelmed, ask how you can help, Overstreet says. Another way to keep your relationship strong? Unplugging on a regular basis, so you can look at each other instead of your phones, Susan Trombettia matchmaker, tells Bustle.
Use the time away from social media, texts, the news, etc. It's also good to occasionally show you're more invested in each other, than whatever's happening on social media. Don't let hours or days pass — apologize quickly, own up to what you did, and then move forward. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you're grateful for your partnerespecially if you're starting to take each other for granted. This is after all, "probably the single reason that most relationships fall apart," Klapow says.
But if you both make a point of reminding yourselves why you fell in love, and all the good things you share as a couple, that's far less likely to happen. Even if you've been together for a long time, there are always new ways to make your relationship stronger and bring you closer together — so you can both feel happy, supported, and ready for the future. Kristie Overstreetrelationship expert and certified sex therapist. Deborah E. Dyer, PhDpsychologist. Sameera Sullivanpsychologist. Michelle Gallantrelationship and dating coach. Susan Trombettimatchmaker. Rhodesd psychologist. Tiffany Toombsrelationship expert.
Tracy K. Ross, LCSWcouples therapist. Erika Martinezd psychologist.
Joshua Klapow, PhDclinical psychologist. Updated: Oct.How to make your relationship stronger with your boyfriend
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10 Simple Ways to Keep Your Relationship Strong and Healthy