How to make a relationship work?
Don’t you have anything better to do other than fighting with your loved one? Are you worried that maybe sooner or later your relationship will end? You are not alone.
Recent statistics reports the increasing number of divorce incidents around the world. It seems that making a relationship work is so hard. Thus, many people would easily give up and find other new people instead. Sometimes it becomes a question whether or not people do not feel real love anymore.
However, some people succeed in their relationships. This leads to another question as to what do these people have. But if one looks at them, they are not supernatural. Certainly, successful people have distinct characteristics or practices that make their relationships work.
What makes a relationship work? Well, this question is pretty subjective. Thus, the answer depends on the two individuals in a romantic companion. No one has the most accurate formula. But, making a relationship work is definitely beyond love and lust.
Tips to make a relationship work
Dr. Gary Chapman, a well-known author of “Five Love Languages” said that successful relationships often work if people do certain practices similar to his relationships tips. He argues that to make relationships work, you must have the following:
1. Words of Affirmation (saying nice loving things)
Most couples don’t realize that it does not just love that keeps the fire in a relationship. Besides love, there are many often forgotten things such as saying the nice and loving words.
The Paired Life has the perfect list of affirmation words. Consider the following:
- “I love being addicted to you.”
- “You did a difficult job really well.”
- “I look forward to waking up with you every day for the rest of my life.”
- “I love being in love with you.”
- “Thank you for looking after me.”
- “Thank you for always being there for me.”
- “I can’t get enough of you.”
- “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
- “You are simply gorgeous.”
- “Thinking of you makes me smile.”
- “It makes me happy when I remember the time when we went to… / when we did…”
- “You have the cutest nose, ears, eyebrows…whatever.”
- “You mean the world to me.”
- “I love the way you pay attention to detail when…”
- “You’re doing great—don’t give up.”
- “Your effort and persistence is astounding.”
- “I’m so glad you chose me.”
- “I really appreciate how I can always rely on you to…”
- “I admire the way you…”
- “You look great.”
- “You smell delicious.”
- “Thank you for listening.”
- “Your support means so much.”
- “You’re a great mother/father/stepmom, etc.”
- “Thank you for going the extra mile.”
- “No one does it quite like you—you’re the best.”
- “I’m here for you.”
- “You have a talent for…”
- “I love you, need you, want you.”
- “I feel blessed to have you in my life.”
- “You are the love of my life.”
2. Acts of Service (doing nice things)
In order to make a relationship work, there are a lot of works to be done. In fact, a relationship is laborious. It involves doing nice things to your partner. It’s a whole sacrifice. And those sacrifices are not limited to physical most of the time it involves emotional aspect. Because in some cases, choosing to hold your emotional outburst can be the best choice.
Actions speak louder than words. Doing nice things to your partner could be very beneficial to your relationship. The Nurturing Marriage has the list of examples on how to speak the words of love in a more meaningful way.
- “Help with the dishes / laundry / yard work / chores / homework / cleaning / yard work / lawn mowing / dog-poop clean up / grocery shopping / meal planning”
- “Take the trash out”
- “Iron the shirt that’s been crumpled in a heap next to the iron for months”
- “Make your spouse’s favorite meal”
- “Clean the car”
- “Back scratch / foot rub/ massage”
- “Stock up on his/her favorite treats”
- “Do the stuff he or she hates! Like killing spiders, filling the car up with gas, weeding, or scrubbing the shower”
3. Quality time (giving someone your time/undivided attention)
Time is undeniably one of the most valuable resources of any relationship. Sharing it with your loved one can have a very good impact. The couples who do not spend quality time with each other would find their relationships on the brink of detachment.
How can you have quality time with your partner? The Simple Marriage has the answers. Consider the following:
- “Schedule the time each week”
- “Give up your TV”
- “Disconnect the Internet”
- “Walk together in the evening, you can even take the kids”
- “Send emails or quick messages to each other during the day”
- “Listen to music (my wife and kids love this one each evening)”
- “Cook dinner together”
- “Stick to a bedtime routine with your kids (even have them go to bed early some nights)”
- “Trade evenings with another family – watch their kids so they can be together and vice versa”
- “Find a regular babysitter”
- “Use your vacation time, even half days in order to be together in the afternoon”
- “Play board games as a family, or with your spouse”
- “Enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine together on the couch”
- “Sit together outside and look at the stars”
- “Read together”
- “Play card games”
- “Sneak away from a party or gathering and go make out”
- “Snuggle together and watch a movie”
- “Go to a movie and make out like teenagers”
- “Reminisce about favorite memories together”
- “Have dinner by candlelight, even with the kids”
- “Hold hands often”
- “Have lunch together during the week”
- “Turn off the radio riding together in the car”
- “Take a shower or bath together”
- “Bike ride together, you can each have a headset for your phone and talk to each other the entire time”
- “Have an affair with your spouse“
- “Play poker, be creative with your betting”
- “Leave little notes for each other around the house”
- “Say “I love you””
- “Have a picnic, you can even do this in the living room”
- “Go to bed early”
- “Have sex“
4. Physical touch (cuddling/holding hands)
A working relationship involves passion. And passion leads to a more intimate behavior such as touching. This is an important indicator that you are longing for physical engagement with your partner. Thus, touching is observable among successful couples.
The Paired Life has some examples of affectionate physical touch.
- “a light tap on the nose”
- “a foot massage”
- “a shoulder massage”
- “gently stroking of the hair, eyelashes, face”
- “a light kiss”
- “holding your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend in your arms”
- “tender caressing of ear lobe”
5. Gift giving (pretty self-explanatory)
Do you still remember when you and your partner were in the courting process? Those were the days when you gave and received gifts, right? Both of you were excited. However, most couples, as they go along with their relationships, forgot that giving gifts can make a difference in their relationships.
Giving gifts does not necessarily mean expensive. You can give simple notes, a self-made piece of art, a poem, etc. The most important thing here is for you to be able to let your partner know that you don’t forget him/her.
How to make your relationship work? These five languages of love will be a great help to make your relationship thrive. But of course, you are free to achieve things in your own way. Be creative!
I love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment below.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.