How to Make My Relationship Better

9 Essentials To Making A Relationship Work

How to Make My Relationship Better

Last updated on January 30, 2020

Relationships aren't easy, but far too many couples throw in the towel on their relationship prematurely, only to repeat the same dysfunctional patterns in their next relationship.

The truth is, most couples are capable of thriving and lasting long term if they're both committed to working on it.

Regardless of whether you're in a 50-day or a 50-year relationship, here's how to make relationships actually work:

Perfection exists only in Hollywood. Disagreements happen. Unless you're embroiled in severe problems (i.e., unfaithfulness, abuse, addictions, legal problems, or violence), don't throw away a relationship because you've hit a rough patch. Trust and commitment deepen as you travel through storms together.

Most people, even very “good” people, have some dysfunctional behaviors that are destructive to themselves and others. Some of the most common ones are defensiveness, poor communication skills, and lacking emotional intelligence.

You probably intuitively have somewhat of a sense of where your areas for improvement are, and if you don't, try asking for some feedback from your partner, close friends, or even exes.

(Yes, depending on where you're at emotionally with them, reconnecting with an ex to talk about your strengths and weaknesses can actually be a very helpful practice.) Don't be afraid to acknowledge that you've got room for growth. Everyone does.

Even people in happy, loving relationships need alone time. Healthy couples are able to spend time away from each other, working on their own goals, spending time with their friends and hobbies, and just doing their own thing.

Don't be worried if your partner asks for space or wants some nights to themselves every now and then, and make sure you're also regularly taking time to focus on yourself.

You should each be whole people with your own exciting lives, and you're choosing to share those lives with each other.

You and only you determine your self-worth. Far too many people base their self-worth first on whether they have a partner and later on the success of the relationship they're in.

But how you feel about yourself should have nothing to do with your relationship status, nor the whims and moods of your partner. It doesn't matter whether they stay or go or compliment or criticize you.

Your self-esteem needs to be nonstick cookware—a third-party opinion slides right off, whether good or bad.

You're an adult, not a child. As a result, you call the shots. Need a nap? Take it. Want ice cream? Have some. Want to go to the movies? Enjoy. In partnership, you can ask the other person to help you meet your needs.

But, you, they have their own needs and problems. They may say no. This is not a rejection. Instead, it's an invitation—to be self-reliant or reach out to your community (i.e., friends or family) for help.

If you make one person your be-all and end-all, they will resent it. And so will you.

More relationships die from silence than violence. Do you bite your tongue when you're upset? Do you turn away from bad behavior? Do you nag instead of enforcing consequences? If you act “compliant” to keep the peace, you contribute to the inauthenticity of the relationship.

Decide to forge a different path: Speak up. Say no. Express your needs. Create a truly open channel of communication with your partner. If you can't be honest without feeling guilty or feeling it's going to start a big fight, it might not be the right relationship for you.

Psychology may explain bad behavior, but it doesn't excuse it. Even if you understand why your partner sometimes does hurtful things to you, if they're not trying to change for the better, you need to draw a line.

When you continue to spend time with them, laugh, have sex, and otherwise pretend that everything's OK, you're offering positive reinforcement that they don't actually need to change. Set some ground rules.

Don't wait around for someone to change if they're not actively working on themselves now; you can't have a relationship with someone's “potential.”

Relationships can be old shoes—we stay in them even when they are no longer functional because they are comfortable. But comfort is rarely an indication of a life well-lived.

When your relationship is in crisis, it's natural to go to your friends for advice. But the symphony of opinions can sometimes drown out the only voice that matters—your own. Get quiet. Meditate. Pray.

Clear mental space, so you can hear your intuition.

Can this relationship be saved? Is it in your best interest? Are you being pushed to grow? Are you truly giving each other what you each need? Your heart will never fail you, so learn to listen.

Relationships are supposed to be fun! And joyous, and warm, and filled with laughter and affection. People in long-term relationships tend to forget this over time, and that's why so many couples eventually break up because they believe the “spark” is gone.

Make time to play together. Create an atmosphere of levity and positivity when you're together. Speak lovingly to each other, always. Hug each other, cuddle, and hold hands. These small things are what make relationships so wonderful in the first place, and keeping these loving practices alive is key to making a relationship work in the long run.

Monica Parikh is a former attorney turned dating coach currently residing in New York City. She… Read More Become Your Most Confident Self To Manifest The Relationship Of Your Dreams Check out 28 Days To Attracting Your Best Relationship Learn how to finally make sense of love while inspiring attraction, romance and commitment with the help of Monica Parikh. View the class Monica Parikh is a former attorney turned dating coach currently… Read More More Relationships All News

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11 things that are proven to make a relationship better

How to Make My Relationship Better

We can thank modern science for all the extensive research that’s been done on how to have a happy relationship, because it teaches us a lot about what keeps people in love — and what makes them fall love.

For example, we’ve even recently learned that divvying up household chores in an equal, non-gendered way is one thing that keeps couples happy and more sexually active.

Who would’ve thought?! Let’s see what else makes the list.

Here are 11 things proven to make relationships better.

It sounds impossibly hokey and something straight a pop psychology handbook, but staying positive is proven to make everything better in life — your career, your social life, and, yep, your relationship. Professor Barbara Fredrickson, a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, has found that positive thinking can even change the rhythmic beating of your heart. Whoa!

Studies show that couples with poor communication skills are some of the most unhappy people on the planet. No surprise there, though. Every single couple fights, so don’t feel bad if you fall into that category. It’s not about how often you argue, but how you do it that really affects your relationship.

This is a tough one, because money issues are the number one reason couples break up. There will always be some differences in the way you handle money, how much money you make, how much money you save, etc.

However, try to solve the problems at hand instead of blow up in each others’ faces about it.

Don’t fall into self righteousness, and try to see what money signifies for your SO, rather than focusing on the money itself.

By evoking phrases “Great job!” and “I’m so proud of you,” couples increase their happiness levels and report feeling less depressed. All it takes is saying three of those phrases once a day for one week before you feel the effects!

Your whole life shouldn’t be only about each other. As soon as you start to rely on your partner to provide you with everything you want and need in life, you’re bound to crash and burn.

Jon Kleinberg, a computer scientist at Cornell University, and Lars Backstrom, a senior engineer at , conducted a study showing that the weakest relationships are the ones where both parties share the same number of mutual friends. So go make new pals on your own!

Studies show that couples who clock in an extra six hours of together time every week, compared to the average relationship, are more ly to make it to the finish line. You might be thinking, Um, that’s, , a whole night of sleep. Not so fast. You don’t have to pull an all-nighter to improve your relationship. It just takes small gestures every day to keep the romance going.

At Emory University, researchers found that the longer a couple dates before getting hitched, the more ly they are to stay together forever.

It pays to take your time, really get to know each other, and don’t put pressure on one another to commit to anything too soon. Along the way, remember to check in and see where your partner’s at.

  The more you invite their opinion, the easier it is to have healthy communication.

It’s reported that the happiest married folks spend about five hours every week hanging out and just talking. Yep, that’s all! Just chatting!

Couples who get down and dirty once a week are 44 percent more ly to have positive feelings about themselves, about their partner, and about the relationship in general. Start having sex every few days, and you’re 55 percent more ly to be happy.

Research suggests that couples who engage in “shared laughter” are more satisfied in their relationship and they find it easier to remember all the good they’ve got between them.  As soon as you get the laughter rolling you might feel closer than you did before.

Travel somewhere new, try a dance class, jump a plane together, whatever! Experts call these experiences “self-expanding activities” (I know, these phrases are so lame), and they’re meant to yank you your boring, mundane routine so you can have some fun. Studies show that couples who grow together and mix things up every now and then are the ones who are stronger in the long run.

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13 Tips To Make A Good Relationship Great

How to Make My Relationship Better

mbg Contributor By Allison Cohen, LMFT Allison Cohen, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist based in California. She received her master's degree in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University and has over 12 years experience empowering individuals and couples to achieve their best selves.

Last updated on February 17, 2020

We all want to have healthy relationships, but most of us were never really taught about what that actually means. As a therapist with over a decade of experience working with couples, here are my top tips for how to have a good, healthy relationship.

The key is being communicative and proactive.

As the months and years roll on, we tend to slink into our proverbial sweatpants and get lazy in our relationship. We lose our patience, gentleness, thoughtfulness, understanding, and the general effort we once made toward our mate. Think back to the first year of your relationship and write down all the things you used to do for your partner. Now start doing them again.

Over time, we assume that our partner knows us so well that we don't need to ask for what we want.

What happens when we make this assumption? Expectations are set, and just as quickly, they get deflated. Those unmet expectations can leave us questioning the viability of our partnership and connection.

Keep in mind that “asking for what you want” extends to everything from emotional to sexual wants.

Think about who your mate really is and what excites them, both physically and emotionally. We can become consumed by what we think they want, as opposed to tuning in to what truly resonates with them. Remember that if it's important to your partner, it doesn't have to make sense to you. You just have to do it.

At the end of a long day, we tend to mentally check our lives and, consequently, our relationship.

We rely on the standard question, “How was your day?” But because we hear that question so often, many of us will reflexively just respond with the bare minimum: “Fine.

How was yours?” This does nothing to improve your connection and can actually damage it because you're losing the opportunity to regularly connect in a small way.

If your initial “How was your day?” doesn't spark much conversation, try asking more creative follow-up questions: “What made you smile today?” or “What was the most challenging part of your day?” You'll be amazed at the answers you'll get, with the added benefit of gaining greater insight into your significant other.

It can be short or long, but it begins with asking each other what worked and didn't work about the previous week and what can be done to improve things this coming week.

Additionally, use this opportunity to get on the same page with your schedules, plan a date night, and talk about what you would to see happen in the coming days, weeks, and months in your relationship.

Without an intentional appointment to do a temperature check, unmet needs and resentments can build.

What might change in your relationship if both you and your partner committed to increasing the behaviors you each find sexy and limiting those that aren't? Think about this in the broadest form.

“Sexy” can certainly refer to bedroom preferences, but it also represents what excites us about our mate in our day-to-day lives.

Do you find it sexy if they help with the housework? Do you find it “unsexy” when they use the restroom with the door wide-open? Talk about what it specifically means to “keep it sexy” in your relationship. Be amazed, be humored, and be inspired.

Break the “dinner and a movie” routine, and watch how a little novelty can truly rejuvenate your relationship.

On a budget and can't go big? Jump on the internet to look for “cheap date ideas” and be blown away at the plethora of options. Can't afford a sitter? Try swapping babysitting time with friends that have kids.

It's free, and they will ly be thrilled to take your kids because they will get to take advantage when they drop their kids at your place.

Unless you have committed to an asexual partnership, sex and touch (kissing, holding hands, cuddling, etc.) are vital components of a romantic relationship.

How much sex a couple has is, of course, up to the particular pair of individuals, so it's imperative that you discuss your ideas about it in order to manage any desire discrepancy.

Rare are the moments when both partners are “in the mood” at the exact same second, but in general, most people tend to “get there” after the first few minutes even if they weren't initially in the mood.

Life and work distractions can become paramount in our minds, and that leaves little time or energy for our partner. Practice the art of “Wearing the Relationship Hat.

” This means that, barring any emergencies or deadlines, we are fully present when we're with our mate.

We truly hear what they are saying (instead of pretending to listen), we leave our distractions behind, and we don't pick them up again until the sun comes up and we walk out the door.

When conflicts inevitably come up, remember to approach them thoughtfully and with a lot of kindness toward your partner and yourself.

If you see the stress beginning to escalate during a conversation about a conflict, one or both of you can call a break so that cooler heads can prevail.

The crux of this tool lies in the fact that you must pick a specific time to revisit the conversation (i.e., 10 minutes from now, 2 p.m. on Tuesday, etc.) so that closure can be achieved.

In most disagreements, we communicate from the “top layer,” which is the obvious emotions such as anger, annoyance, and the .

Leading from this place can create confusion and defensiveness, and it can ultimately distract from the real issue.

Start communicating from the “bottom layer,” which are the feelings that are really driving your reactions, such as disappointment, rejection, loneliness, or disrespect.

This type of expression creates an instant sense of empathy because it requires honesty and vulnerability to share from this space. Tension will dissipate, and from here, solutions can spring. Just be sure to use kind, nonreactive phrasing when expressing these bottom layer feelings, such as “I felt hurt by…” as a replacement for “You're such a jerk,” etc.

Easy in concept, difficult in application. Conversations quickly turn to arguments when we're invested in hearing our partner admit that we were right or when we are intent on changing their opinion.

Choose to approach a conversation as an opportunity to understand your significant other's perspective as opposed to waiting for them to concede.

From this perspective, we have an interesting dialogue and prevent a blowout or lingering frustration.

It's well understood that apologizing is a good thing, but it only makes a real impact when you mean it. Saying things “I'm sorry you feel that way,” “I'm sorry you see it that way,” or “I'm sorry if I upset you” are a waste of time and breath. Even if you don't agree that your action was wrong, you will never successfully argue a feeling.

Accept that your partner feels hurt. From this place, a real apology can have a significant impact. When you love your partner and hurt them (intentionally or not), you can always legitimately apologize for the pain you caused, regardless of your perspective on what you did or didn't do.

You are now officially armed with the comprehensive guide for how to have a healthy relationship.

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10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Relationship

How to Make My Relationship Better

  • Copy By:Christina Huynh
  • Feature Image By:@josie.england

Whether you’ve been dating your partner for six months or have been married to him or her for five years, relationships are created from commitment and are continued due to mutual respect and effort. To say your connection is special would be an understatement — and to not wish to enhance it would be unfortunate.

While every relationship is different, no relationship is perfect. By doing these 10 things to improve your bond, you won’t only ensure a quality relationship with your partner, but you’ll also prove that you’re determined to work for one.

1. Ask your partner something new

Communication is the determining factor of success for every relationship. It’s nice to ask how your partner’s day went, but it’s boring when you ask over and over again.

Enhance your conversation by putting in the extra effort to question your significant other on something more specific.

Through this adjusted approach, you avoid falling into routine and begin holding more meaningful discussions.

2. Designate a monthly date night

Amongst both of your busy schedules and nonstop responsibilities, the most foolproof way to guarantee that you make time for each other is to set a night every month dedicated to doing just that.

Regardless of if you’re looking to spice up your relationship or wanting an activity that doesn’t include Netflix, the commitment to go on a date is one night — but the happiness that comes from it will last much longer.

3. Express your appreciation

The comfort that a relationship brings is the reason we tend to overlook what our partners do and treat their acts of kindness as our forms of expectation instead.

To put it honestly, your partner doesn’t have to fill your gas tank or buy your favorite ice cream — he or she chooses to, and your acknowledgment of this type of effort will reinforce your partner to be thoughtful and remind you to feel thankful.

4. Tweak your schedule

We know — you’re independent and don’t plan on stopping your life for anyone (and you shouldn’t have to). Even though you have other commitments outside of your relationship, it’s a kind gesture to compare both of your schedules to see if it’s possible to spend more time together.

Maybe your partner can go to the gym a little earlier to attend the movie premiere you wanted to attend, or maybe you can wake up earlier to get your projects done so that you can make it to your partner’s intramural game. While you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your life to satisfy your partner, your ability to compromise should be enough to make him or her happy.

5. Remember the small things

Another way to add meaning to your conversation is to truly listen to what your significant other is saying — and talk about it in the future.

If your partner mentions a conversation that he or she wants to have with a manager, take note on your calendar and remember to ask about it the day of. The fact that you’re able to refer back to the topics and details that your partner spoke about is one that will touch him or her.

Overall, it’s the little things that mean the most, and there’s no better way to show this than starting with your relationship.

6. Let go of the past

As a culprit for many potential arguments and the underlying issue for future ones, what happens in the past doesn’t always stay there — and it’s difficult to move forward in a relationship when you’re still thinking about what happened in it from another time.

If you find yourself continuing to dwell on the past, it might be a sign to take a step back and consider why — are you naturally less forgiving or is what happened something you can’t seem to forgive? By focusing on the reason for this reccuring feeling, you’ll find more clarity within yourself and what you want from the relationship with your partner.

7. Show your affection

Along with expressing your gratitude to your partner, expressing actions to show how much you care about him or her is also suggested. From grabbing your partner’s hand at a restaurant to going to bed together at the end of the night, you know how you feel about your partner, and he or she should be able to witness it as well.

8. Learn your partner’s boundaries

Does your partner wish to be left alone when he or she is upset? Does he or she mind that you want to text throughout the day? These questions are simple, but the answers to them will help you understand the boundaries of your partner — and stop you from crossing them. Overall, your partner’s sense of privacy is most ly different from yours, and knowing his or her boundaries is the best way to respect them.

9. Know when to apologize

Sometimes being right isn’t as important as being compassionate. Whereas conflicts with your significant other will vary, not every argument is a challenge that needs to be won.

Don’t get us wrong — we aren’t telling you to take blame for everything, but to decide which battles are worth fighting for.

 Although there’s glory in knowing you’re right, there’s maturity in apologizing during an argument that isn’t as important as the person you’re arguing with.

10. Make time to focus on yourself

How we feel about ourselves is how we’ll act in a relationship — for example, if you lack confidence in yourself, you’ll look for assurance in your relationship.

 To prevent any toxic behaviors from happening with your partner, it’s essential to have a strong sense of self. Invest in a new hobby, make plans with some friends, and take steps in discovering who you are as a person.

By falling in love with yourself, you’ll naturally be your own best version for the person who happens to be falling in love with you.

What are your best tips and tricks for maintaining the health of your relationships? Share your wisdom in the comments!


25 Ways To Have A Better Relationship Starting Today

How to Make My Relationship Better

It’s what we all want, isn’t it?

A loving and caring relationship. A lasting partnership. A bond that gets better and stronger over time.

While having a better relationship requires effort, it isn’t rocket science. There are actions that build loving relationships and actions that all but guarantee unhappiness.

The good news: it’s easy to tell the difference.

More good news: there’s no shortage of healthy moves you can make.

Here are 25 of my current favorites:

1. You know that thing you do that drives your spouse nuts — the wet towel on the floor, the way you sneak a peek at your phone? Why not make a commitment to stop doing that and see what happens?

2. It’s easy to be committed to your marriage when things are going well. True commitment means keeping two feet in when the going gets rough.

3. We all have those chores that no one wants to do. Put one of them at the top of your to-do list, rather than waiting for your spouse to do it. (Yes, even the dreaded call to the cable company.)

4. Say please and thank you. (Your mother was right.)

5. While you’re at it, I’m sorry also goes a long way.

6. Pay less attention to your partner’s role in your difficulties and more attention to your own — it’s the only thing you can control anyway.

7. Generosity may well be the key to happiness. Be loving and generous whenever possible.

8. Know when to shut up (such as, when you’re about to say something critical or mean, or you’re hell-bent on having the last word.)

9. Know when to speak up. Forget about suffering in silence about issues that need to be placed on the table. Never mind settling or making do with conditions you can’t stand. No one is a better advocate for you than you.

10. Practice the three Cs: Compassion. Courage. Curiosity.

11. Accept the fact that truth comes in versions. (As in: It was Tuesday…No it was Wednesday…What do you mean I was angry?) Spoiler alert: you’re ly to fight a lot less.

12. There may be times that one of you is more optimistic about your relationship than the other. Be grateful to your spouse for being optimistic when you aren’t. Sometimes the only thing that gets couples through hard times is that they never wanted to get a divorce on the same day.

13. As the saying goes, we can either be right or free. As far as I’m concerned, being right is overrated.

14. Turn. Off. Your. Phone.

15. One of the advanced skills of marriage is learning to tolerate being disappointed in your partner and learning to tolerate when your partner is disappointed in you. The sooner you accept this, the happier you’ll be.

16. Date nights are great, but not always easy to arrange. Try “speed dating” — as in taking ten minutes to sit down together and give each other your undivided attention. Tea, wine, candle light optional.

17. Long hard day? Too tired to talk? Why not just sit together on the porch and look at the stars?

18. Give up the notion that marriage is a fifty-fifty proposition. Sometimes it’s sixty-forty. Sometimes it’s ninety-ten. Why not put in your best effort no matter what your partner does?

19. When there’s a winner and loser, both partners lose.

20. Feel free to ask for what you want as long as you’re clear that you’re not entitled to get it just because you asked.

21. Be willing to take risks. If we want to grow we have to step our comfort zone. Without growth and change everything stays the same whether we it that way or not.

22. Find as many ways as possible to say I love you — with words and without.

23. Sex doesn’t stay hot and exciting all on its own. Use your imagination. Change things up.

24. Set a high standard for yourself as a partner and then strive to attain it.

25. Relationships are hard. When things are difficult, lean in to the challenge rather than give up or feel defeated. When things are going well, open your heart and appreciate all that you have.


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If you’re looking to have a more satisfying marriage, check out my new book, IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO

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