I’m certainly no relationship expert but since you so many of you guys have been asking me on Instagram about my relationship, I thought I would share some of my tips on how to build a happy and fulfilling one. The list will only cover romantic habits rather than the more “real” and tough habits that are also essential to building a strong and long-lasting relationship – if you’re interested in that, let me know in the comments!
We all have different needs and preferences in a relationship so I understand not everyone will agree with my tips, but here is what has enabled Toby and I to build an extraordinarily strong bond with love and intimacy that keeps getting better and better as the years go on:
1. Make Starting the Day or Ending the Night Together a Priority
Even if you don’t need to be up as early as your partner, put the effort into getting up when their alarm rings. Toby and I never fail to have a little cuddle session, get up and have breakfast together. If mornings are too difficult, try your best to sit down for dinner together instead. It’s been said that sharing a meal with a loved is one of the best ways to boost good feelings. And if you can’t eat together, try to go to bed at a similar time, reflect on your day together and fall asleep together.
2. On Special Occasions, Gift Each Other Your Time Instead of Material Objects
Instead of buying each other material things on your birthdays, try to make or plan something. It could be a scrapbook, planning your partner’s dream vacation or purchasing a book that enlightens them with the knowledge they’re interested in.
Toby once created a version of “The Amazing Race” where he organised activities and surprises around the city. I went from pit stop to pit stop picking up clues that would lead me to my next surprise. The planning took weeks and it was an incredibly fun day. There’s no better gift than knowing that your partner spent his time on crafting something especially for you. Scrapbooks, love letters and such things that can be stored as a memento of your relationship are much more meaningful than the shiniest and sparkliest of material objects.
There is, of course, a time and place for gifting material things. Receiving gifts such as jewellery, clothes or cosmetics on a random occasion can come across as very special and warming surprise! But leave birthdays and special occasions for the really thoughtful gifts! 🙂
3. Be Polite to Each Other
Politeness should always be practised in a relationship. Whether you’ve just met or been married for 20 years. Hold doors open, lend a helping hand, say thank you.
Ok, so Toby and I are also super impolite with our farting contests and we don’t really try to hide our disgusting bodily functions (TMI?), but we’re polite in the way that we always offer help when the other looks like they need it. Or, if one of us is already at home, we greet the other one at the door, take their coat and welcome them home. These little polite habits show that we appreciate each other’s presence and goes a long way in making the other feel respected and loved.
4. Show Love in Your Partner’s Love Language
If you haven’t already done so, take 5 minutes out of your day to do The 5 Love Languages Test to find out what your love language is.
It’s said that there are five ways that people speak and understand love:
Toby’s top love languages are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. He feels most loved when I tell him what a great job he’s doing and how much I appreciate him. My top love languages are Acts of Service and Quality Time. I feel very loved when he refills my cup of tea when I’m busy working at my desk or when I’m about to give myself scalp massage and he offers to help me. As we both have Quality Time as a top love language, we understand that it’s important to make time for each other. We’ll put away our devices, listen intently to each other and make the most out of our time together.
The love languages may sound cheesy, but understanding your partner’s way of communicating love is key to truly connecting with intimacy and fulfillment.
5. Be Each Other’s Best Friend
I don’t say this lightly: find the truest, strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with. Someone who thinks the world of you but understands that you are human too.
Be the person your partner can laugh with. The kind of laughs where you pull the ugliest faces. You know, those laughs that make your belly ache and your nose snort? Take interest in their hobbies, support their interests, be their biggest cheerleader. Also be the shoulder they can cry on during rough times. Just be there through rough times. It all starts and ends with friendship.
6. You Both Need to Want It and Commit to It
Relationships are a two-way street. If you want to build an extraordinarily fulfilling and loving relationship, you need to be in it with someone who wants the same thing. It’s a daily commitment that you both need to dedicate your time to. When aimed for, this commitment enables you and your partner to achieve a love that makes you want to dance on rooftops ✨
Do you and your partner do anything on this list? Have you got anything to add? Do you disagree with anything? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!