One of the problems couples often face is complacency in their relationship. There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable and content with your partner and what you’ve built together.
However, there’s a fine line between contentment and laziness.
That’s why so many couples struggle after being together for a long time. They think the “spark” is gone, or sometimes feel more like roommates than romantic partners.
Even if your relationship is in a good place, you should have a constant drive to be a better partner. It’s easier than you might think, and by paying a little extra time and attention to the person you love, your relationship can end up feeling stronger than ever.
With that, let’s look at four ways you can be a better partner.
1. Make Time for Your Relationship
There’s no denying most people have extremely busy lives.
Whether you work a lot, you’re trying to maintain a social life, stay involved with your hobbies, or run your kids from activity to activity, it’s often easy for your relationship to take a back seat to everything else.
While it might not seem overly romantic to “schedule” time with your partner, sometimes it’s a necessity. It’s also more loving than you might think.
By scheduling time together consistently, you’re showing your partner that you value your relationship. Most importantly, you value them, and you want to put in the time and effort to show them that.
2. Be Present
You might not feel like you have a lot of spare time, but it could just be that you’re not making the most of the time you do have.
Chances are, you’re with your partner at different times throughout the day. However, maybe you’re spending that time watching television or scrolling through Instagram.
While there’s nothing wrong with that sometimes, it’s taking away from the quality time you could be spending together. You’re letting distractions keep you from being present. Sometimes, you don’t necessarily have to talk, but making sure your presence is known, offering nonsexual physical touch, and being in the moment with your partner can go a long way.
3. Show Gratitude
People, in general, are quick to call out others when something goes wrong or when they make a mistake. We’re less likely to praise someone, especially for “little things.”
However, in a relationship, gratitude is essential. Maybe you’ve gotten so used to things being a certain way with your partner that they’ve become expectations. But, when you really think about the things they do for you on a regular basis, should you be thanking them more often?
Showing your partner gratitude for everything from making you a cup of coffee to doing your laundry can make a big difference in your relationship. They will feel seen, heard, and validated. That’s an instant mood-booster and can also boost intimacy between you.
4. Be a Better Listener
Even if you and your partner are good at communicating, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to active listening.
Active listening involves more than just hearing what your partner has to say. It should be distraction-free, and they should have your full attention. If you really want them to know you’re interested in what they’re saying, use both verbal and non-verbal reactions. Look them in the eye, nod, and ask questions when you have them. Repeat statements when you need clarification, or to validate their feelings.
You might be surprised by how impactful changing your listening style can be.
It’s never a bad idea to look at your relationship and consider how you can be a better partner. There are so many additional things you can do, but if you’re looking for a place to get started, keep these ideas in mind, and enjoy the process of strengthening your relationship. Find a couples therapist near you by using the tool located below. Click on the “Find a Therapist” button and then enter your zip code.