10 Everyday Habits You Never Knew Could Improve Your Relationship
No matter how solid your relationship, there’s always room for improvement. You love your significant other, and you know there’s value in trying to better your life together. So, it’s time to make that bond even stronger. Here are 10 everyday habits you never knew could improve your relationship.
1. Focus on what your partner does right
It’s normal to get frustrated with your partner. After all, you likely spend tons of time together, and you know them better than anyone else does. This means you’re all too aware of their best traits, as well as their flaws. Pet peeves are a real thing, and your partner is bound to trigger yours from time to time.
“If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something,” Mark Goulston, M.D., says in Psychology Today. “If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.”
2. Spanking each other
Little love taps throughout the day are nice, but that’s not exactly what we’re talking about here. Sure, giving your partner a pat on the bum lets them know you care, but you may be surprised at just how beneficial it can be. In fact, upping your spanking game to the next level just may help you bond more with your partner.
Although only 58 couples were evaluated, research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior helps prove this point. Two studies looked at couples who participated in sadomasochistic behavior. While it’s not for everybody, the researchers did find some interesting results. When such behaviors were performed consensually, couples experienced an increase in intimacy and relationship closeness. So, maybe it’s worth a shot.
3. Work out together
You know exercising is good for your health, but did you know doing it with your partner is also good for your relationship? Romantic relationships thrive on all sorts of feel-good hormones. So, given all the endorphins released during a good sweat session, it’s only natural the positive effects of your workout will trickle on over into your love life.
According to Psychology Today, there are a handful of reasons why couples who sweat together stay together. Author Theresa E. DiDonato, Ph.D., says working out with your significant other can boost your happiness with the relationship, increase the efficiency of your workouts, and up your emotional bond.
4. Kiss often
Small but mighty, even a simple peck on the cheek goes a long way. You’re conveying to your partner how much you love them, even when the two of you are just hanging out watching Netflix. In fact, kissing often is directly linked to relationship satisfaction. So, if you and your partner have been distant lately, now you have more than enough reason to lock lips more often.
5. Communicate using your partner’s love language
We all have our preferences when it comes to how we show our love for someone else. More importantly, knowing not only your own, but also your partner’s, love language is key in any relationship. In his breakout bestselling book The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman examines different ways people communicate their love: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Even if you know your own love language, it’s imperative you know your partner’s, as well. Be sure you’re communicating your love for them using their preferred language, rather than your own.
6. Compliment each other
Who doesn’t love a good compliment? And one that comes from your significant other? Well, there’s nothing better than that. Doling out praise can go a long way for your relationship, too. “I seriously tell my husband at least once a day how hot and handsome he is,” Melissa Chapman, founder of a sex and relationship blog, told Women’s Health. “And every time I do, he looks at me and I SWEAR he gets tears in his eyes and says, ‘Thank you for saying that.'” Don’t fight the feeling to tell your partner just how great you think they are.
7. Show some PDA
Too much PDA can be irritating, but just the right amount could end up improving your relationship. “The happiest couples aren’t afraid to show affection to each other — even in public,” Aaron Anderson, marriage and family therapist, told The Huffington Post. “So, go ahead and hold your spouse’s hand when you’re shopping in the mall or snuggle up to them when you’re at the movies with your friends. A little PDA can go a long way.”
8. Go to bed at the same time
Fostering closeness with your significant other is key. And one way to improve your bond with your partner is by switching up your bedtime routine. As Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., told Heath, “Bedtime might be the only opportunity you’re alone together all day.” It’s important to make a point of hitting the hay at the same time as your partner. Some extra cuddle time certainly never hurts.
9. Kill your TV
OK, so we know turning your brain off at the end of a long day is necessary. And watching your favorite show with your significant other is even better. But, there’s something to be said about turning the TV off and taking time to connect with your partner. As Lifehack points out, ditching the TV time helps the two of you connect.
10. Cook dinner at home
Going out to restaurants is nice, but eating in is good, too. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a cozy night in — just the two of you. Furthermore, Everyday Health says cooking at home can also be healthy for your relationship. So, the next time you’re tempted to hit the town, opt for cooking a new dish together.