The holiday season is just around the corner. Shopping for presents, meeting friends and family...it's all so exciting!
If you're already in a relationship, this is the perfect time to pamper your partner with your time, love and energy. (And a present wouldn't hurt either, LOL!)
Regardless of whether you have a day off or you have a busy day at work, here are a few timeless tips to maintain and take care of your relatioship:
1. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
If you’re going to get upset about every little thing your partner does wrong; they’re either going to get annoyed and snap back at you, or will feel calculated around you to make sure not to upset you further. This happens only when you do it a lot so don’t invalidate your feelings if every once in a while something does trigger you; that’s okay. Remember, you’re already in a relationship so if you’re upset about something, communicate it but don’t let it become such a big deal that you fight about it all week. Think about it like this: A month from now, will we really remember this?
2. Don’t Treat Your Relationship Like A Task
I have believed in this theory ever since I heard it from Lily Singh, AKA Superwoman, on YouTube in one of her videos. I’m paraphrasing here but this is the gist of it: ‘When you’re sick and you’ve gone to the doctor and they give you an injection, it’s kind of like having a really bad day at work. You’ve had to do so many tasks and have just felt low all day. When the doctor finishes the injection, they give you a lollipop. That person that you love should be your lollipop. You shouldn’t feel like your relationship is another task to handle. Spending time with your partner is not a task. Basically, the relationship should not feel forced. It should feel natural.
3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Sounds very generic, but is super important. Communicating with your partner to just let them know about your day, what you’re up to, how you’re feeling, anything significant that happened during your day helps the other person know that they are valued. It’s a small gesture but it goes a long way. Keep up contact with them regardless of how busy your life gets. If you know your day is going to be hectic, then just let your partner know so that they have a heads up. It’s the small things that matter in a relationship so working towards having good communication makes your bond stronger.
4. Know Why You Like Them
It’s great to love your partner, but it’s important to like them for who they are. You have to keep that as your focal point throughout your relationship. Even when you’re upset with them. Yes, you read that correctly. Only when you know why you’re dating that person can your relationship last and blossom. You need to know why and what you’re spending your energy on so that there’s meaning to the time you’re investing into it.
5. Love Is Not Everything
Sounds brutal, but it’s true. Imagine your relationship like a four-legged chair. Yes there is love as one of the legs holding it, but there’s also trust, empathy and respect as the other three legs so that you don’t fall. They are dependent on one another. These four legs are what I perceive maintains a relationship but it varies from person to person and it’s important to discuss that with your partner to have balance.
6. Add Some Structure If Your Lives Are Chaotic
If the both of you have really busy schedules and barely get to meet, try the 'one, two, three rule.' This is a rule I heard a friend implement with her partner and it seems to be working perfectly.
- Date night once a week.
- A new activity to try every two weeks.
- A road trip/ staycation every three months.
This model helps gives the couple structure which they can obviously shuffle around. The point is to try to give time to nurture your relationship and spend time with one another. So, if Tuesday is date night, you stick to it no matter what.
7. Don’t expect them to be you
Remember that you are in a relationship with a living, breathing human being. Every single person is going through their own struggles and complications. You cannot expect the other person to think like you, react like you, talk like you or even eat like you do. You have to accept and love that person for all that they are: the good and the bad.
These tips are hard work, but worth it at the end of the day. Keep things simple and stay focused on being there for each other.