Finding love can feel like one long obstacle course. So when you finally find someone who shares your values, sense of humor and outlook on life, it can feel like the hard work is over. Sadly, the opposite is true. The movies might tell you that the best relationships are so idyllic that they require zero effort, but real life rarely works out this way.
If you want a happy and healthy relationship, you need to be willing to put in the work. And if you think you’re in a relationship that requires zero effort, it’s likely that your partner is putting in double the effort. Read on to find out how to make your relationship a happy one.
Spend quality time together
It’s not uncommon for couples to fall into the trap of thinking that nights spent in front of the TV binge-watching Netflix is the same thing as spending quality time together. These are passive activities that you could do with your best friend or your family. These aren’t the experiences that relationships are built on.
We all lead busy lives, but it’s important to make the time to spend quality time together. Go for a walk, cook dinner together or plan a trip. That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy your Netflix night in, but don’t make this the only thing you do together.
Experience new things
Good relationships are built on shared experiences. And experiencing something new for the first time can help to cement this bond. Break the date night rut and try a new restaurant or cuisine. Try a new sport together. Or visit a new place.
Getting out of your comfort zone with the person you love will help to build trust and create lasting memories. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and your partner in the process. The best relationships are all about finding out something new about your partner every day.
Focus on sexual happiness, not satisfaction
Sexual satisfaction can be completely one-sided, while sexual happiness involves both parties being content in the bedroom. Take the time to talk about your needs and what you like and dislike in the bedroom (or wherever you like to get intimate).
If you find yourself in a boring routine, shake things up by introducing role play, massage or even sex toys. Something as simple as these classic vibrators can spice things up and reignite the passion.
Be willing to compromise
All relationships are built on compromise. And if you don’t think this is the case, then chances are you aren’t holding up your end of the bargain and your partner is giving way on everything. Compromise can mean anything from where you choose to live to where you go on holiday. It might mean that you don’t always get exactly what you want, but you’ll soon learn that seeing your partner happy with the final outcome is far more satisfactory than being selfish.
Compromise doesn’t have to mean that you always split the difference. If you want a beach holiday and your partner wants a city break, it might mean going for the city break now and saving for an extravagant beach holiday further down the line.
Talk it out
Opening up the lines of communication in your relationship is essential. If you want a happy relationship then you need to be willing to talk about your feelings and actively listen to the other person. At some point, it might be helpful to talk to someone else about your feelings.
This is when a psychotherapist can be very helpful in relieving some of the burden on your partner to handle all of your emotions. It can also prevent you from spilling intimate details about your relationship to friends as this can be a source of stress in a relationship.
Don’t hold grudges
Arguments happen. No relationship is immune to the occasional screaming match. It might be over something as simple as loading the dishwasher, but it’s important to get to the heart of the argument, settle it, and then let it go. Holding grudges and dredging up the past every time you have a fight is one sign that you are unhappy in your relationship.