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3 Tips for a Healthier, Stronger Relationship

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” This common moniker is often applied to many facets of life, including relationships. If something is going so well in a relationship, why would you want to change anything?

Studies often say that money is a leading cause for divorce, but therapists and other couples agree there are often other problems that make money such an issue. It’s not as if your bank account is suddenly all the reason for trouble. Other issues like communication, time commitments or over dependency could be driving a wedge in the relationship long before money is.

Well, you may not want to change anything but you can always improve on what you have and make sure you’re rock solid with each other. You can become stronger together, more in-tune with one another and find new interests together.

Whether you are in a brand-new relationship or you’ve been together so long you can recite their daily routine from memory, you can always be finding ways to improve your compatibility and become the best partner you can.

Be the Best Listener Out There

In this day in age, it’s so easy to be distracted. An Instagram notification, a text message coming through or the new Game of Thrones trailer on the TV in the background. Sometimes, giving the other person your undivided attention is easier said than done.

That’s why so many salespeople say to really listen to someone, look into their eyes like you’re trying to figure out their eye color. That way, all your attention is focused on them and you’re distraction free.

When you’re listening, just do that…listen. Like your grandmother always says, there’s a reason you have two ears and one mouth. Don’t try to solve their problems unless they ask for help. Sometimes, they just want to talk about how two different clients didn’t show up for a meeting or they missed their last-second shot in a rec league basketball game. These events may not seem important in the grander scheme, but they’re important for that person.

Invest in their Interests

I’m sure you’ve had the moment where you hold up two dresses to your boyfriend and say, “Which one do you like better?” He looks at both before offering a noncommittal grudge and points to the one on the left. Or, you ask him about his friends and he gives a basic answer of, “They’re doing alright” and little else.

But, ask him about sports or the latest video game, and it’s like he couldn’t stop talking. Amazing how that works.

Even though you may not have the slightest interest in computer games, fishing, baseball or poker, another way to be a great partner is to invest and encourage them in their hobbies. You don’t have to become an expert and know if a flush is better than a straight or what the best kind of lures are out there, but showing that you care about the other person’s interests.

A simple question here or there, even if you don’t understand the answer, is a great way to show a person that you care not only about them but what they enjoy. In turn, they will show greater interest in what you enjoy doing. Who knows, one of you may discover a brand new hobby or thing you enjoy doing!

Be Willing to Compromise

You may often hear the question “Well, who wears the pants in the relationship?” Some couples may have a distinct answer or may not, but why can’t two people wear the pants in the relationship?

There shouldn’t be one person dominating or making all the decisions outright. Be willing to talk about the big decisions and not hide anything from each other. In less-important areas like what movie to watch or where to eat, why not develop a trade-off system? Even though you may have to stomach a few violent zombie movies, it’s still a way to get the best balance in your relationship.

Even though there is an “I” in relationship, it should be all about the “we”. In order to maintain and build a healthy relationship, it has to be a two-way street where both people are putting in the same time and effort for each other.