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8 Perfect ways to make your relationship stronger

by Akinola Olabode

Love is perhaps our most powerful emotion, and the need to be in a loving relationship may be one of the strongest needs we have. Being in an intimate relationship makes us feel connected, not only to our partner but also to the world at large. When our hearts are filled with love, we feel profoundly content and satisfied. We become more patient, more empathetic, kinder, gentler.

8 Perfect ways to make your relationship stronger (dreamstime.com)

8 Perfect ways to make your relationship stronger (Photo:dreamstime.com)

BE FRIENDS

Any healthy relationship must be based on a solid underlying friendship. Remember to treat your partner with the same kindness, respect, and appreciation as you would a close friend. Support, listen to and laugh with each other. Don’t allow yourselves to be rude or disrespectful.

Read Also: What to do if your Parents Disapprove Your Partner

STAY CONNECTED

“Couples need to spend a lot of time with each other,” There is no substitute for quantity of time.” I encourage couples to take a half-day a week to go out on a date. In addition, devote at least 15 minutes of your day to meaningful, one-on-one conversation — no television or children allowed.

GET PHYSICAL

Physical intimacy is a natural — and healthy — extension of a relationship. Our best sexual intentions are often put to rest, however, as we collapse into an exhausted heap at the end of the day. Instead, you and your partner need to consciously commit to turning up the heat. Learn to communicate your loving energy through touch.

CELEBRATE EACH OTHER

Saying something kind and affectionate to your partner should be a daily habit. The expression of loving thoughts nourishes your relationship by helping you both remember what it is you treasure about each other. Let your partner know how much you appreciate him or her, and be generous with compliments and expressions of affection.

FIGHT WELL

Since disagreements and arguments are inevitable, what’s important is not whether you fight but how you fight. When disagreements surface, keep them short. “No more than 10 minutes,” “After ten minutes, it gets nasty and repetitive.” Also, keep boundaries on the subject matter. Don’t dredge up issues from last week or last month-keep your dispute focused on the matter at hand.

TAKE A CLASS

Feeling like your relationship could benefit from professional advice? Why not take a class on communications skills, attend a seminar on loving-kindness, or read a book on relationship-building together? Your efforts will likely spark important discussions about your relationship and, ultimately, enhance it.

LISTEN CAREFULLY

Being an attentive listener lets your partner know that his or her thoughts and feelings are important to you. Moreover, good listening encourages partners “to open up and be willing to share, not just to “hear” what your partner is saying, but to be truly “present,” having a heartfelt desire to understand what is being said and listening without being judgmental.

MAINTAIN YOUR SENSE OF SELF

Partners must learn to balance their needs as individuals with their needs as a couple. “On one hand, you don’t want people to be too far apart emotionally. If you don’t spend time together, you become disengaged emotionally.

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