Change is not an easy thing to make in a relationship, especially if you’ve been together long-term. It’s not uncommon for couples to sink so deeply into habits and routines that they forget to put effort into their relationship, or they simply can’t tell the difference between what works and what doesn’t anymore.
Once apathy sets in, and you neglect the most important relationship in your life, you drift apart, and that’s when things start to deteriorate. It’ll impact everything from how you feel in the morning to how to go about your day.
You don’t want a dark cloud hanging over your head all day, do you? And you don’t want to feel the tingling feeling of dread every time you walk through the front door at home, right? You don’t ever want to consider what life will be like without your partner, do you?
So, you need to learn how to better a relationship. Because a happy love life can give you a positive outlook towards life in general.
It can also make you feel happier and free of stress.
The good news is that you can change everything about your current situation and empower your relationship. It doesn’t even take a massive effort on your part.
All you need to do is to implement some changes in your routine. and you’ll be shocked at how much of a positive impact it’ll have on your relationship and your life. [Read: Law of attraction in love]
The key to leading a happy life is to start improving things at home, and there’s no better relationship to tackle first than the one you share with your life partner. Here are some changes that you can make to positively impact your relationship in a huge way.
There’s no need to do them all at once. Start with a couple and implement more as you go along.
According to an article penned by Nathan Feiles and published on PsychCentral, “The ability to show appreciation to the important people in our lives is heavily underrated. When we feel underappreciated, it can start eating away at our relationships.”
Feiles makes a good point, as many divorced couples complained of not being appreciated enough, hence one of the many reasons their relationship broke down.
Something simple like buying your wife flowers on the way home or treating your husband to his favorite sashimi dinner counts as appreciative gestures. As small as this change is, it’ll make a world of difference in your relationship. [Read: 25 ways to make your guy feel appreciated and cared for]
For example, if your wife made a delicious pot roast for dinner, don’t take her for granted, but instead, tell her, “Thanks for dinner, honey. It was amazing!”
Or if your husband finished the household’s monthly accounts, you should say, “Thanks for doing that despite how busy you are.” No matter what your spouse did, thank them for making the effort.
Saying these three little words will mean the world to your partner, especially if you don’t say them as often as you should. Whether it’s in a text, through a phone call, or in person, let your loved one know how much they mean to you. [Read: 10 ways to say “I love you” to someone special]
Fights are normal in every relationship, but there’s a reason why the really bad ones tend to get out of hand to the point of no return, and that is because both parties speak more than they listen.
Why not flip things upside down by listening more than you speak? This will let your partner know that you’re really hearing them out and that no matter whose fault it was, you’re ready to listen, iron things out, and let it go. [Read: 10 ways to be a better listener]
Your partner is the most important person in your life, so it doesn’t make any sense that you set aside the least amount of time for them.
Work tends to eat up a majority of the day, then comes stuff like preparing dinner, tidying up the house, taking the dog for a walk, putting the kids to bed, and so on.
No matter how busy you are, be sure to make time for your loved one. Whether it’s cuddling and having a chat in bed or planning a day of fun over the weekend, be sure to dedicate time to your relationship. [Read: Romantic dinner date ideas – 17 romantic dinner dates you both will never forget]
One of the most important tips to keep in mind if you want your relationship to be a little better is to always exude positivity.
No one likes being around a grouch, so try to be in a good mood no matter how stressed out you are. Your partner may be the grumpy one in the relationship, but that’s no reason why you should slack on positivity.
Even more so, you need to be the one to bounce happy vibes off your partner. Instead of ice-cold silence at dinner, crack a joke or talk about something happy that happened to you that day.
It’s only a matter of time before they catch on and start exuding positivity themselves. [Read: 9 ways you bring out the best in each other]
As the years pass by and love’s way past the wooing and impressing phase, most couples stop trying to please their partner. If you’re not doing anything special now and then, you’re definitely taking your partner for granted.
You don’t care about your lover because you think they’ll never leave you anyways, so why should you even bother trying to please them? It’s harsh but true.
If you’re wondering how to better a relationship, learn to keep your relationship interesting. [Read: 30 Really romantic ideas for couples to feel loved and connected 24/7]
Explore new sides of love and experience new joys together. New experiences keep the relationship exciting and new, and that can help bring both of you closer.
And here’s an unconventional tip that could make your partner desire you more. When you’re out at a social gathering with friends, don’t spend all your time with your partner.
Go on and flirt with other people of the opposite sex too. You may think this would infuriate your partner, but in reality, it would only make your partner desire you more, as long as you play it well! [Read: 67 Sweet yet small romantic gestures that show love in the biggest way]
Be mindful of your attitude, and try not to bring external stresses back home. You may have had a bad day at the office, you may have been stuck in ungodly traffic, or you may have broken a high heel as you were hurrying onto the subway.
Regardless of what happened, it wasn’t your partner’s fault, so instead of being a grouch about it, share what happened, let them make you feel better, then move on.
Being in shape makes life better in many ways. Yes, people will find you more attractive and generally respond better towards you, but you will also feel better about yourself. [Read: 25 inspirational tips to get motivated and work out]
You will have more energy to spend with your partner. And you will also be happier and have better moods, which will reflect back on your relationships.
In addition, you will be more confident and more likely to go after what you desire from life and relationships. Plus, your partner will be more excited to show you off to their friends and have mind-blowing sex when they find you *even more* physically attractive.
Instead of getting in shape all by yourself, you should try working out together. [Read: Couple workouts – the best ways to fitter and feel closer]
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “The couple that works out together stays together.” Well, it may not be true for everyone, but why not give this tip a go?
Not only will exercise get your heart racing but taking up the challenge of getting fit with the one you love will undoubtedly bridge the gap between you.
Give it a go, and start with a stroll or jog around the neighborhood tomorrow. You can be sure that it’ll have a positive impact on the rest of your night. [Read: 25 romantic gestures that will make your lover melt]
Put down the phone, stick it in your pocket, and focus more on real life than the digital musings of the people you know. Admit it, who has ever sat swiping away on Tinder, while with a Tinder date?
Your phone acts as a barrier to deep and open communication. There is nothing worse than trying to talk to someone or getting to know them when they have their nose in an iPhone and are only half listening.
It is rude when you do it and discouraging when they do it – yet we all fall into the trap of doing it!
So, treat meal times like your sacred together-time. Be sure to put aside all forms of technology while you eat, or at the very least, put them on silent mode. [Read: 8 ways social media is killing your relationship]
Don’t let an incoming text, work email, or something as silly as a Facebook notification get in the way of you dining with your loved one.
Indulge in conversation, learn about their day, and just enjoy being in each other’s company. Implement this change both at home and at restaurants.
It takes a conscious effort to break this habit, as we are all so smartphone-addicted nowadays, but when you do, you will find that you can connect with people faster and on a deeper level.
When you genuinely have each other’s undivided attention, fireworks will spark. [Read: The pros and cons of being attached to our gadgets]
Touch your lover more often, and you’ll notice the positive impact that it’ll have on your relationship. Act like teenagers and indulge in PDA without worrying about what others will think.
You should also hug more, and be sure to give your lover a kiss before you walk out the door every morning. Do the same thing the moment you walk through the door at the end of the day. [Read: 10 non-sexual touches to feel connected and loved]
Ever watched the hit television sitcom How I Met Your Mother? The adorable married couple, Lily and Marshall, called each other Lily-pad and Marshmallow. Some researchers and life coaches call this “knowing your partner’s love language.”
The cuter you behave with each other, the better it will be for your relationship. Never stop using pet names, as it reaffirms the strong and loving bond that you share with each other.
Communication is key when it comes to maintaining a good relationship. Silence isn’t golden when it comes to making things right, so be sure to talk to each other, and be sure to keep tempers out of it. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 steps to a better love]
There’s a chance that talking about your problems may make things worse, as it can be tough trying not to get too aggressive and defensive. If you think that’s the case, then you can try talking about everyday stuff, but be sure to pepper the conversation with interesting points.
Ask your partner fun hypothetical questions like what they would do if they won the lottery, how they would solve the problem that your best friend is having with her mother, and so on.
Just sit down, have a lighthearted chat, and enjoy each other’s company. [Read: 30 questions for couples to keep the spark alive]
Instead of being a petty snob, learn to let things go. It doesn’t matter that your wife forgot to replenish the soy milk, and it certainly doesn’t matter that your husband treats the doorway like a laundry basket.
Communicate well, forgive and forget, and you’ll find that your relationship will be a happier and healthier one.
Try not to be so selfish all the time. Of course, you work hard to provide for your family, and sometimes, you just want to be left alone to your own devices. [Read: 12 signs you’re being selfish in your relationship]
As important as alone time is, it’s also important that you focus on what your partner wants and do stuff that they have an interest in.
Try to take on the role of the giver more than the receiver. Your partner will notice this and start mimicking you, not because they feel bad, but because they love you and want you to be happy, too. Hence, when you have two big givers in a relationship, everybody wins.
If you want to understand how to better a relationship, make your partner see how good you are, and your partner will look at you in awe and will love you for it.
And secondly, play video games together or indulge in some sport like squash, paintball, karting, or whatever else works for you. [Read: 15 Relationship games for couples to feel more connected]
Friendly competition keeps the adrenalin high and also increases the awe factor. And as long as both of you are winning some and losing some games, you’ll always have something to look up to in your partner. And that keeps the love and desire up and running like a clock on solar power.
If you’re in a relationship and you spend your entire lives together, you are suffocating each other. [Read: How to give space to each other without drifting apart]
You might not realize it, but if you are not doing things separately, you will not grow as people, and you will not grow together. If you don’t grow, the relationship will go stale eventually.
Spending more time apart will make you value the time that you spend together more, as a bit of absence can make the heart grow fonder. Plus, you can bring more experiences, tales, and tidbits of insight into the relationship. [Read: How to give space in a relationship]
Does your partner have any characteristics that could hold them back from reaching their true potential?
Don’t be picky about little things like slurping soup or eating too fast. Think of real issues.
Can your partner confront issues in life, can your partner make a stand in front of someone else, or does your partner feel awkward speaking in front of an audience?
If you feel there’s something holding your partner from becoming a better individual, then point out their flaw. [Read: How to improve yourself – 16 powerful secrets of self-improvement]
Your partner may frown or sulk for an hour but help them through their issue by talking about it and advising them. By helping your partner become a better person, they’d be grateful to you once the transformation is complete and they’ve also become a better person.
Improvement as an individual and gratitude in love is something that can make a big difference in knowing how to make a relationship work. Help each other become better individuals and your love will blossom and become stronger as the years go by.
Most people just put up with partners or give up on them. When this happens, you become two individuals living together, not a couple in a relationship. And that can ruin a relationship in the years to come. [Read: Is he the one for you?]
Most of us are very strong-headed when it comes to apologizing. We just don’t like it, because we’ve been told that saying sorry makes one appear weak. In love, it couldn’t be further away from the truth.
All of us have an ego, and we can portray that to the world. But in love, you should have no ego or pride. You should have enough humility to cry like a baby in your partner’s arms or perform a victory dance like an arrogant monkey after a bowling strike.
Many relationships fail because of arrogance. Lovers just don’t want to give up a fight, and that’s really stupid. What are you trying to prove, that you’re right?
What difference does it make? In love, we should avoid trying to prove points. Instead, you should learn together as a couple. [Read: Fighting in a relationship]
At times, you have to give up a point even if you know you’re right. Don’t worry, your partner will realize it and come around at some point in time.
Apologizing may make you appear weak, but it also shows that you have humility and that you’re willing to concede to your partner. If you’re wondering how to make a relationship work, use this tip the next time there’s a little fight.
If there’s ever an argument, both partners should apologize even if it’s not their fault. By apologizing from both sides, the egos shatter and the truth comes out. And true love prevails! [Read: 28 Heartfelt ways to say you’re sorry and apologize to someone you love]
To make a relationship work, both of you have to be willing to give in, for each other’s sake. And don’t ever hold onto grudges for more than a couple of hours, unless it’s a major issue.
Remember, apologizing in love doesn’t make you appear weak, it shows that the relationship matters more to you than your ego and pride.
If you want to know how to make a relationship work, you need to understand this pointer. A relationship comprises two individuals with unique likes and dislikes. [Read: Compromise in a relationship – 17 ways to give and not feel like you lost]
And you can’t really expect your partner to like everything you like or vice versa. But if you want a make a relationship work, you need to try and understand your partner’s likes and dislikes.
If your man likes spending time playing games, don’t ignore him when he’s playing and walk away. Try to play a game or two, and see if you could like it too. Or if your sweetheart likes gardening, don’t walk past her when you get home.
Instead, put on a pair of gloves and help around even if you’ve had an exhausting day. Try to connect with your partner beyond sex. [Read: 20 Non-negotiables in a relationship you shouldn’t ever compromise on]
Connect with your partner for the person that they are. Try to understand their likes, and be there with them when they’re doing something they love.
Indulging in little acts like these can make your partner appreciate you more, and can help both of you bond better. Learn to compromise in love, and share each other’s likes and dislikes.
It wouldn’t hurt you to spend half an hour doing something your partner enjoys, would it? If your partner’s happiness and joy matter to you, go on and share their passion. It’s how you make a relationship work. [Read: How to resolve conflict – the 15 best ways to cut out the drama]
The first few years of love are exciting and fresh. But what happens later? Do you still celebrate your anniversaries and special moments like you used to? As the relationship gets more seasoned, lovers stop paying attention to little happy moments.
By overlooking your happy moments, you’ll stop creating new memories of love. Remember your first anniversary?
Or your first kiss? It’s special, isn’t it? What are the new memories you’ve created recently? [Love story: How we met]
Memories create our life. If someone asks you to define your life, you do it through your memories and special moments.
Likewise, if you need to keep the love alive, you need to create special memories often. Surprise your lover now and then. Do something that you know your partner would enjoy.
As you try and create memories even now and then, you’ll begin to understand the real truth behind how to make a relationship work. [Read: Top 10 fun and romantic summer date ideas]
Never let love take a back seat. Just like you need to put in the effort to get a promotion at the workplace, you need to constantly try and create happy moments in love.
This is a rather shallow fact, but it does make a difference. If you want your partner to appreciate you, you need to appreciate your partner too.
When you meet your friends or coworkers, do you try to look presentable? Of course, you do. You want to make a good impression. [Read: Dating facts]
Are you doing the same with your own partner? Do you look your best when you meet your sweetheart after work?
If you really want to make a relationship work, give love the same attention you give to the other aspects of your life, be it your work or your friends.
This is number one with good reason. The more you authentically love yourself, the more you will be able to love others and allow others to love you, and the more confident you will be in your persona and relationships.
All of this adds up to make you more attractive to the opposite sex. [Read: 11 tips to fall in love with yourself and be a better you]
It won’t happen overnight, but you can work at it each day – practice being grateful for the things that you have and be kinder to yourself, flaws and all.
It doesn’t take anything other than a small change in the way that you talk to yourself internally.
Seriously, bad posture is unattractive. You do not look good when you’re hunched over, looking at the floor all the time. [Read: Physical attraction – 20 hot secrets to look way more desirable instantly]
People notice this on a subconscious level. Few will know why, but they pick up a vibe that you’re not happy or confident.
Indeed, your posture affects your mood and vice versa. When your posture is bad, you will actually feel less happy, less confident, and less outgoing. Plus, you’ll end up experiencing a lot of back pain.
Make a conscious effort to sit and stand up straight, stop hunching over to look at your phone or tablet on your lap, and do some work to strengthen the postural muscles at the back of your body, while stretching out the tight muscles at the front of the neck, shoulders, and hips. [Read: 10 simple steps to be a lot more graceful and elegant]
This instant pick-me-up does wonders not only for your back but for the attractiveness of your body language as well!
If everyone else in the room is dressed a 7/10 and you walk in dressed an 8/10, every single person will notice you. You will command respect, and people will think that you must be someone important. You look confident, successful, and more than able to take care of yourself.
However, make sure that you don’t go over the top. Have a feel of the environment you’ll be in, so you can dress appropriately. You’ll just end up looking ridiculous if you waltz into a casual dining restaurant in a tux or a ball gown. [Read: 13 easy ways to make yourself appear more physically attractive instantly]
Again, like posture, this is a subconscious thing. People make snap judgments about people based on their appearance. The way that you dress and the way that you carry yourself are two of the things that you can change instantly, and it can immediately garner results.
This is an extension of putting your phone away. When you are with someone, actually be with them!
And this includes being mentally present, not just there in person and somewhere else in your head.
Honestly, if someone cannot stimulate you enough to keep you present when you give it a concentrated effort, you probably shouldn’t be with them. [Read: 16 things you need to stop doing to have a much happier life]
This goes for times when you are out meeting people, too. If you’re in a bar or a club, enjoy yourself in the moment.
Thinking about stuff you have to do tomorrow isn’t going to make it go away or make dealing with it any easier. Enjoy the time you are living right now, and worry about tomorrow when it has become today.
This mostly goes for when you’re dating, and especially when you first meet. Let your partner chase after you a little bit. [Read: Am I clingy? 23 signs of a stage 5 clinger and how to stop being one]
Do not lay everything out on a plate for them like they are the first person to notice your existence in years. They want to do a little bit of work to feel like you are worth the effort.
They want to woo you, and they want to feel like they won by attracting you. If you give yourself away emotionally too easily, you will never be exciting, and people will keep dumping you or cheating on you.
If this has happened, and especially if it is a pattern, start keeping your cards a little closer to your chest. [Read: How to stop being needy – why people get clingy and 32 ways to fix it]
Don’t jump straight into a relationship with someone the second you meet them. You want to maintain the ability to surprise them, after all.
This is not exactly mind-blowing information. People who have good sex tend to have good relationships. Or at least good sex makes a bad relationship bearable. But how often have you actually thought about how to be better at sex?
It’s something that is very touchy for our ego. It is very hard for anyone to admit they are not as good as they could be in the sack. The fact is, ego aside, we could all improve. [Read: Tips for turning a guy on]
We could all be better. It will pay dividends for you and for your partner if you put a bit of work into being better.
This could be working on your fitness to be stronger, more flexible, and have more stamina. It could be using your imagination to spice things up and throw in some surprises.
It could be researching new things and trying to make small tweaks to positions to increase the pleasure for both parties. [Read: 13 untold sex secrets you need to know]
We hate putting ourselves, our egos, and our emotions on the line. And yes, we might be judged, or even worse, rejected. This is natural for humans. We are social creatures, and it cuts deep when you feel the sting of rejection.
Despite that, to have a true connection with someone, to live and love authentically, you absolutely must be honest. Be honest about your intentions, your past, and your feelings.
If the other person doesn’t like it, then that is okay. It obviously wasn’t meant to be. They would find out eventually, anyway. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for a happy love life]
You can’t live a lie forever. But if they do like what you genuinely have to offer, even if it’s not exactly what they hoped for, they will like you a WHOLE lot more.
A surefire way to instantly make your relationship better is to spring surprise sex on your partner. Ladies, get yourself a sexy wax, and boys, be sure to trim the rainforest.
Surprise your partner by reliving the passion and spark that was there in the early days of the relationship. [Read: 10 naughty ways to get over a sexual dry spell]
Make things even more interesting by doing it somewhere different and introducing toys, sexy lingerie, and/or costumes. Let your partner know that you’re still hungry for them, and they will reciprocate in kind.
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and the same can be said for women. No woman in their right mind would turn down a delicious home-cooked meal by her sweetheart.
Be sure to sign off from work early, pick up fresh ingredients, and get cooking way before your partner gets home. [Read: 13 romantic dinner date ideas for two]
From a simple sushi dinner to a complicated confit de canard, put effort and love into whatever you make, and your partner will be sure to see and taste it. You get bonus points if you pair the meal with a good bottle of vino.
Another simple way to improve your relationship is to surprise your partner with a simple yet effective gesture: a bath.
Many couples are starting to find that bathtubs are no longer for luxurious soaks but for kids’ bath times. Bring back the vibe that you two shared pre-kids and draw a sensual bubble bath for your partner. [Read: 21 Heartfelt ways to show someone you care and make them feel loved]
From scented candles and fancy bubble bath bombs to rose petals, go all out and impress your loved one. This isn’t just a treat for women. Even the manliest of men will appreciate a quiet soak in the tub after a long day at work.
Stick your kids with the in-laws and head off for a quickie getaway with your lover the next time a weekend rolls around. There’s no need for a long, drawn out, and expensive trip to the Bahamas. All you have to do is pick a lovely hotel in town and plan a nice stay-cation for two.
Make love all weekend long, order fancy room service and play tourist in your own city. Not only will this set the stage for a great and relaxing week ahead, but it’ll also remind the two of you that you can still have fun together. [Read: 10 things a sex vacation can do for your relationship]
You can also immediately improve your relationship by surprising your partner and doing something that they love.
It could be procuring tickets to the ballet, proposing a day at the museum, planning a summer surf trip, inviting the in-laws over for dinner, or joining your partner on their weekly volunteer excursion at the local shelter.
No matter what you end up doing with your partner, they will appreciate the gesture, as they know just how difficult it was for you to take that step. [Read: Relationship boredom – why it happens, and 23 zesty quick-fixes to beat it]
Don’t ever get stuck in a mindset that says, “I’m not interested in doing this, so I’m not even going to bother.” Whether you like it or not, do it for your partner.
Try to sync your schedules, so that you go to bed at the same time. According to published author and psychologist Melissa Orlov, whose piece appeared in Psychology Today, “Inevitably, those couples I work with who follow this advice find that they are more relaxed with each other, feel closer, and sleep better.”
By adhering to a routine of getting into bed together, you get into a routine of feeling closer to each other, which is a very important step in mending a cracked relationship.
Compliment your lover on a daily basis. Examples are, “Wow! You look like a bombshell today!” or something like “You’re an excellent speaker and will definitely knock this presentation out of the park.” [Read: 25 compliments your guy will never forget]
Whether you’re taking note of how they look, what they did, or showering praise on their skills, you can be sure that flattery will boost your relationship.
Touching is a surefire way to feel more intimate with your lover, and nothing screams intimacy more than a kiss. Be sure to start and end your day with one.
Whether it’s a simple peck on the cheek or a full-blown French session, just do it and watch in pleasure as your relationship takes a turn for the better.
[Read: Relationship rules – 30 must-know tips to live your best love life!]
When it comes to relationships, people always hope that things will get better no matter how bad they seem. But instead of just hoping and waiting, try these quick tips and they will positively affect your relationship and breathe new life into it.
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