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Every human craves love and attention. It’s an integral part of our being. So it is no wonder we have a deep need for companionship and friendship. Regardless of the kind of relationship, No human can survive in isolation and without relationships.
Now that we have established the importance of relationships, it is important to note that relationships have so much power to direct the course of our lives so if we are opening ourselves up to building relationships we should do it right. This cuts across all forms of relationships but for this article, I’ll focus on romantic relationships.
I’ve heard and read a lot of advice from people but today I’ll be sharing relationship advice for couples from my experiences and mistakes. If this sounds like something you are interested in, read on.
10 Relationship Advice for Couples
1. Communicate Openly and Honestly
This is one relationship advice for couples you shouldn’t take for granted. When people hear ‘communicate ‘, they think it means talking for hours. I thought that too but if there’s one thing, I’ve learned over time is that communication is more than talking.
Communication is vulnerability, listening, understanding, compassion, and consideration. You shouldn’t just talk but be open and honest. let your partner in on what is going on with you.
If you are like me who talks about everything else but how I feel, it may become a problem in your relationship. The only way your partner can understand you is if you can communicate honestly. If you already have your communication in check, kudos to you. If not, I’d advise that you work on your communication before things get out of hand.
Be more expressive, open and vulnerable. Don’t make assumptions or come to conclusions on your own. Get out of your head and talk to them. If they offend you, say it, if they did something good, say it, if you’re hurting and need help, ask. Your partner can’t read minds so communication helps them understand better.
2. Spend Quality Time Together
Quality time simply means time spent together without distractions and interruptions. It involves giving each other their undivided attention. sounds easy huh? I bet you it’s not.
I watched a couple sit together on a date and They were both busy with their phones instead of talking and enjoying the moment; Don’t be that couple. Don’t allow anything or anyone to take your attention from each other.
The good thing about quality time is that it doesn’t always have to be long. It could be as short as 10 minutes. What is most important is what you do in the 10 minutes and how you make your partner feel. Quality over Quantity always!
Think of activities you could do together to strengthen your bond, go on dates, take walks, watch movies together, do a chore together, or even cuddle in silence. Whichever activity you choose, always remember to give your full attention and be very present.
3. Show Appreciation and Gratitude
Have you ever gone out of your way for someone and the person didn’t acknowledge it or say thank you? They brushed it off either from a place of ignorance or entitlement.
I have been there and I must confess it hurts. Most of our ingratitude comes from a place of entitlement. Entitlement is so wrong and it is something I’m consciously unlearning and I’m urging you to do the same.
When your partner does something for you or makes an effort to change, do not forget to show appreciation and gratitude. I don’t know about you but showing gratitude makes me want to do more. It makes me feel seen and that feeling is lovely. Applaud small changes or even gestures that you feel your partner ought to do.
For example, your partner gets you groceries so you don’t have to go out under the sun to get them. It may seem like a small thing but it is something you should be grateful for. they saved you time, energy, and sunburns. No matter how small the gesture is, say thank you. There are several ways you could show appreciation.
You could write them a thank you note or verbally tell them how grateful you are, you could give them something nice to say thank you, treat them to a nice restaurant or plan a nice date, you could kiss or hug them. The most important thing is that they feel seen and appreciated.
4. Respect Each Other’s Boundaries
Another important relationship advice for couples is respecting boundaries. Boundaries are important in every sphere of life, so people know their limits and do not overstep.
I honestly believe this is something that should be discussed at the beginning so your partner knows what lines they shouldn’t cross. After discussing boundaries, you should do your part by respecting your partner’s boundaries.
If your partner says checking their phone is overstepping, don’t do it. if they say call before you come over, call them. Relationships grow as trust and understanding grow. allow them to move the lines and don’t just assume that because you’ve been together for x number of years, you’ve earned the right. That is wrong and disrespectful.
You may be a couple but you were an individual first and every part of your individuality you want to keep should be respected by your partner. If you have discussed boundaries with your partner and you don’t think you can live with them, you could step out. For a relationship to thrive, boundaries have to be respected.
5. Show Respect for Each Other’s Opinions
You’ll not always agree and that’s okay. The relationship involves two individuals from different backgrounds, environments, childhood, and upbringing and so it is only normal that you’ll see things differently and have different opinions. You should respect each other’s opinions even if you don’t agree.
This means that you should argue with respect, and disagree with respect. Don’t dismiss your partner’s opinion because you do not agree, hear them out and listen. Do not allow differences in opinions to cause a rift between you. Find a common ground where you both can work together. Remember you are two different individuals and you should respect that.
6. Listen to Each Other
If there’s one skill that will come in handy, it is listening. Everyone talks but not everyone is a good listener. So listening is an art that you need to learn especially if it doesn’t come easily to you.
I’m not a very good listener and I am learning to consciously close my mouth during a conversation and hear the other person out. Not just hearing but actively listening to understand.
Sometimes your partner won’t need you to fix anything or say anything. All they need at that time is for you to listen and be there. Listening is an important part of communication. It builds trust, promotes understanding, and prevents conflict.
It would save you a lot of misunderstandings. It also gives your partner a safe space to talk and be vulnerable. It is important to listen without judgment and with love and empathy.
7. Forgive Each Other
Going into a relationship and expecting a rosy experience is setting yourself up for disappointment. One relationship advice for couples I usually give is this. Your partner will offend you a lot and you should be willing to forgive and move on. Now I don’t take forgiveness as an easy thing to do, I know it’s sometimes hard to forgive but it’s also very possible.
One of the qualities of love is forgiveness and if you love someone you should show them grace. Your partner will make mistakes and so will you. The willingness to resolve your issues and let go of the hurt is Something that will be required of you in the relationship.
Unforgiveness leads to resentment, bitterness, and even hate. It would steal your peace and weigh you down so sometimes forgiveness isn’t even for the person that offended us but for ourselves. Remember, To err is human and to forgive is divine.
8. Do Not Leave Conflicts Unresolved
This is very vital Relationship advice for couples and I want you to pay attention. The way you fight is as important as every other aspect of the relationship.
Conflict is an inevitable part of relationships. You will disagree and fight but it is important to fight well and resolve conflicts before they escalate. I like to resolve every issue before I go to bed because I won’t be able to sleep and the argument will not linger for too long.
You and your partner may have differences in terms of resolving conflicts, you should discover your differences and find ways to work around them.
For example, I’m one to walk away from conflict, sit alone, process my emotions before I can meet my partner to talk about it, whereas he would rather talk about it immediately. This difference caused us a lot of problems. He didn’t understand my need to run and process and it weighed on us for a long while.
Resolving conflicts will involve uncomfortable conversations and bitter truths but you must be able to sit through the discomfort and resolve your issues. Leaving conflicts unresolved will cause a gap and cause you to drift apart. It can lead to resentment as well and increase the frequency of your fights.
Any unaddressed issue will end up coming up whether you like it or not. My advice to you is to address and resolve your conflicts in a respectful and timely manner while also bearing in mind that you’re a team and your partner is not an enemy.
9. Support Each Other
Support in all facets of life from your partner will do wonders for you and your health. Having someone cheering you on, invested in you and your journey, guiding you and standing by you, ready and willing to catch you if you fall is what a relationship should be like. You’ll constantly need each other and supporting each other is vital for your relationship. You’ll not always be on equal footing.
There will be a time when one of you is down and needs the other, there will be times of sickness, financial issues, family problems, work problems and mental breakdown. It is very important that in your partner’s dark time, they see you and feel supported by you.
Support doesn’t mean you will fix the problem or even make them feel better, it means that when they need you you’ll be available, before they call out for you, you’ll show up, it means loyalty and having their back always.
Your partner may also need support with their dreams, goals and aspirations and you should be present and available to push them towards achieving their goals and be their biggest fan and cheerleader. Support is an essential part of creating a long lasting relationship.
10. Express Your Love for Each Other
The last relationship advice for couples that I’ll give you is to express love for each other. Love is more than a feeling, it is not the butterflies you feel in your stomach when you see your partner. Love is an action word. It involves sacrifice, compromise, giving, sharing and caring. There are several ways to express love to your partner.
First, you have to know their love language. If you haven’t read 5 love languages by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend it. It explains the 5 loves in detail and what you could do to speak to your partners. The 5 love languages are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Figure out the way your partner likes to be loved and love them that way.
My love language is words of affirmation so I feel more loved when my partner writes me a letter or tells me he’s proud of me or he sees my efforts and appreciates me. Yours could be different from mine and even your partners. You should discover your love language and find ways to constantly remind each other that you love each other.
Remember that no relationship will work without communication, honestly, trust, respect, appreciation and love. Relationships are hard work and as long as you and your partner are putting in the work and fighting to protect what you have, you’ll be good. There is no rule book for these things and no two relationships are the same.
The problems I faced in mine may be different from yours, however, these relationship advice for couples are generic and can apply to the dynamic of any relationship. I wish you the best in yours and I’d love to see you win.
How to improve relationships?
To improve your relationship, you should endeavor to spend quality time together, be kind and supportive to your partner, make them feel special as much as you can, remember a tiny gesture can go a long way, avoid the middleman and in your fights, ensure that you attack the problem and not your partner
What is the best relationship advice you received?
Loving your partner means that you make them fall more in love with themselves than with you. Pretty good huh?
How do you fix relationship problems?
It is best to openly communicate and talk about how you both feel about the problems. Accept responsibility for your own part of the problem and make amends. If either of you needs a break, it’s okay. Sometimes time apart helps you to think, evaluate and heal.
What are signs of true love?
When you are not sure if the love is true, here are some signs to look out for
1. Their words match their actions
If the love is real, you will see it in the things they do. They won’t just say they love you but express it and show it in different ways, some of which are; in the way they respect you, listen, support or serve you, little gestures like calling and texting, buying gifts etc.
2. They stick around in your dark times
For better or worse is easier said than done. A true test of love is in its perseverance in bad times. If they stick with you and stand by you in your dark times, especially if they have every reason to run, they really love you. A fake lover will run when things aren’t favorable to them anymore.
3. Your communication is on point
This simply means that you communicate easily. You both enjoy talking to each other, listening to each other and you have a safe space where you can be open, honest and vulnerable.
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