Everyone wants to have a deep and healthy relationship with their significant other. They want to have the emotional intimacy that comes from being close with another person. The majority of people in committed relationships are willing to put in the necessary work to achieve those goals. The problem is they may not know how to go about doing that. After all, no relationship comes with a handbook or a user’s manual. If they did, people would have far fewer interpersonal problems. Unfortunately, your significant other did not come with a roadmap to their heart any more than you were born with a guide that told your parents how to raise you to become a successful and independent adult. As such, people can make what they think are wonderfully romantic gestures only for their partner to be indifferent toward them or even annoyed. Thankfully, deepening a relationship does not depend on grand gifts or sweeping statements. Instead, it is the small stuff that often makes the biggest difference. Here are seven little habits that will deepen your relationship with your significant other.
Handholding and HugsThere are numerous self-help blogs and articles with relationship advice that tout the importance of maintaining a healthy sex life in a relationship. Sex, however, is not the only way to achieve physical intimacy. Nonsexual, physical affection such as holding hands and sharing hugs is often just as important, if not more important, than sex. Few couples have identical sex drives, but many are similar in their needs and desires for physical comfort and affection. Handholding and hugs are also innocent enough that neither partner is left feeling like the only time they receive physical affection is as a prelude to sex.
Sweating the Small StuffPeople often tell friends who are in relationships to not worry about the little things. After all, a person that loves them will forgive their smaller mistakes or minor irritations. If you want to deepen and strengthen your relationship, however, you need to pay attention to the little details. If you want to really improve your relationship, both you and your partner need to sweat the small stuff. Be aware of the little things that drive your partner crazy, and make a conscious effort to avoid doing those things. At the same time, make a note of what your partner loves and incorporate those into your daily routine. You will be surprised how much of a difference it makes in your relationship when you start putting your sweaty socks directly in the washer instead of leaving them in the hamper and giving your significant lover a quick goodbye kiss every morning as they requested.
Making Time to TalkPeople lead busy lives. This is news to no one. If you want to keep your relationship strong, however, you need to make time to simply sit down with your significant other and talk about meaningful things. This does not mean that you cannot compare your theories about your favorite TV show or complain to each other about work, but you need to find time to talk about more serious issues. Take the time to share your hopes, dreams, fears and insecurities with each other. It will help you reconnect with each other’s hearts and allow you both to support each other better once you know where the other person is concerned or struggling.
Sharing HobbiesSpending time together is one of the best ways to strengthen a relationship. Given that fact, try to find a hobby that you both enjoy and can do together. This will enable the two of you to pursue a passion or interest in your free time while also reveling in your partner’s company. Starting a new hobby together also allows you both to learn together, to laugh at each other’s humorous mistakes, celebrate each other’s triumphs and recognize the trust you are giving each other by willingly becoming vulnerable with each other by becoming a beginner.
Staying HealthyOne of the worst things that you can do to your partner in a relationship is to lash out at them when you are angry, hurt or upset. Too many people, however, take their frustration at external circumstances out on their partner. This can do irreversible damage to a relationship, but it can be avoided. People who lash out often describe that they were simply at the end of their rope already, and their partner happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. You can lengthen your fuse by taking care of your health. When you have not gotten enough sleep, eat poorly or otherwise do not take care of your health, you are far more likely to be irritable, stressed and have greatly lessoned inhibitions. This increases your likelihood of saying something you regret to your partner.
ApologizingNo one wants a significant other who is incapable of apologizing. Everyone is aware that they need to be able to apologize when they make a mistake, but far too many people struggle to say the words “I was wrong.” Admitting to your mistakes, however, is one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship. Your significant other will appreciate you owning up to the fact that you were wrong. They will also recognize the vulnerability that is inherent in admitting to someone else that you messed up. As such, an apology can go a long way toward clearing the air of lingering tension as well as bringing two people closer together in the aftermath.
Speaking Their Love LanguageEveryone enjoys making their significant other happy, and everyone wants to show their partner that they care. Unfortunately, it sometimes seems like none of your little gestures of appreciation are getting through to your loved one. This may be because the two of you speak different love languages. They may show their love and affection through their actions, while you prefer to hear words of praise. They might not feel the love because, to them, you are filled with empty words. You, on the other hand, my feel unloved because your partner can never bring themselves to simply say how they feel. If you want to deepen your relationship, you two need to learn to speak each other’s love language. That way, you can be sure that your gestures of affection are being understood in the way you meant.
When it comes to romantic relationships, it is often the little things that make the biggest difference. You do not have to be perfect or make the largest romantic gestures on the planet. Simply show your partner how much you treasure them and that you care enough to listen to what they want. Each individual action may seem small, but those little things will come together to build the sort of strong relationship that can weather any storm.