When it comes to relationships, it might seem like we should just know how to build a happy one, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder of some of the basic tried and true principles that can take all relationships to a happy place. To make your relationship stronger, take the challenge to make each one of these happen regularly.
- Take 10 minutes today and ask your partner an open-ended question such as his or her current favorite hobby or television show or a favorite vacation memory. Any open-ended question is great as long as you are taking time to reconnect and listen to your partner.
- Take time today to share something you appreciate about your sweetheart.
- Set a date to do something fun together. It doesn’t have to elaborate or even cost money. For example, you could play a board game or build a snowman together. If you have kids but no babysitter, choose an activity you can do together at home after the kids are asleep. Consider attending a USU-organized date night—a fun night out without any of the planning! (See the USU calendar for healthy relationship activities in your area.)
- Bonus challenge: Make a list with your spouse of things that sound fun to do together so you can refer back to it in the future.
- Take a moment to consider what traditions (celebrating special occasions, holidays, etc.) or daily rituals (ways to say hello/goodbye, bed time routines, etc.) you have. Is it time to add or change something that can help you get closer as a couple?
- When discussing a frustration with your spouse, use “I” statements. For example, fill in these blanks, “I think…(insert your concern), I feel…(share the emotion you feel because of this), and I want…” (share what you would like to see happen).
- Strengthen your relationship today by showing affection to your sweetheart in some way.
Author – Naomi Brower
Naomi Brower is an Extension Associate Professor for Utah State University. She has a Masters of Family and Human Development from Utah State University. Often called the relationship guru by friends, Naomi is passionate about helping others improve the quality of their lives through creating and strengthening their relationships with others.