Relationships have caused empires to crumble and launched countless ships, so it’s no wonder that they’re one of the single most important aspects of our lives. Although many relationships seem more like tabloid headlines than loving and supportive havens for the heart, building a solid relationship may take time, but there are plenty of simple, quick ways to strengthen your relationship. In fact, much to the chagrin of divorce attorneys everywhere, some of these tips are so simple you can literally do them in your sleep.
Unplug and Recharge
We’ve all been victim to the perils of the “phone starer.” That person who seems to tune out everything around them as if the world will stop spinning if they don’t check Instagram immediately– in relationships this can quickly turn into a deal breaker. In fact, firm Charles Ullman & Associates has found that heavy smartphone and social media use increases negativity in relationships. Texting and posting your feelings instead of talking directly takes away the intimacy of interacting.
2. Let The Good Times Roll (Off Your Tongue)
Reminiscing isn’t just fun, it’s healthy for you and your relationship. Doris Bazzini, Ph. D. and author of a Motivation and Emotion study, asserts that relationship happiness is much higher in those who laugh and tell stories together. The key to this is the laughter part of the shared experience. In fact, couples who reminisce without laughing don’t reap the same positive benefits as those who share a chuckle with they “remember when . . .”
3. A Hug For Hug’s Sake
Although intimacy is essential and very fun for most people in relationships, it shouldn’t be the end goal of all touching-related activities. Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. and author of The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time notes that nonsexual touching is just as important as sexual touching. Aside from the fact that it offers comfort and can increase dopamine, nonsexual touching is also a sort of primal way to show that we are proud to be with someone, and it offers them calm and support to boot.
4. Ask Something New
No matter how long a relationship has lasted, there’s always something new to learn about the person you’re with. People change as as the years go by, so there’s no excuse not to get to know interesting new things about your partner with each phase. Make a point to explore each other by asking simple new questions. Showing interest is one of the best ways to strengthen intimacy and surprise and even excite each other in the mean time.
5. Show Gratitude
When you’re with someone day in, day out for years it’s easy to take them for granted, even the kind little things they do every day to meet your needs. These gifts of service often become expectations and can even turn into resentment and arguments. Instead of letting it get to that point, Goldsmith advises couples even stop and take a moment to let their other half know how grateful they are to have them in their life.
Nik Donovic writes this article on behalf of Charles Ullman & Associates to spread awareness that too much social media can be detrimental to relationships. Find a balance, and make it a point to spend more time looking at them than your post’s like count on Facebook.