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10 Tips for a Happier Relationship, According to a Psychologist

Nunavath is a content writer who enjoys reading professional development books.

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Do you ever wonder if there's something you could be doing to improve your relationship with your partner? If so, you're not alone. Even the best relationships sometimes run into speed bumps that can cause people to feel insecure and wonder what they can do differently to make the relationship happier and more fulfilling. Luck, Dr. Jones, a psychologist at the Happy Psychotherapy Clinic, has compiled some of her top tips for improving your relationship with your partner based on her many years of counseling couples in successful relationships.

1) Work on improving communication

Communication is one of (if not THE) most important factors in a healthy relationship. You can't just hide problems or pretend they don't exist. Instead, you should be communicating with your partner and improving communication on an ongoing basis. It will take some effort to fix issues that might have built up over time, but it's possible to improve compatibility in your relationship by working with both you and your partner together. Just don't get discouraged; make sure that you are taking time to connect in positive ways as well!

2) Practice gratitude

Instead of focusing on what you don't have or what's lacking in your relationship, focus on gratitude. Gratitude exercises help you acknowledge and celebrate all that is good in your relationship. When we are grateful for what we have, we feel happier and more satisfied with our lives. Whether it's cooking together every week or picking up each other's favorite coffee drink—as long as you make it a priority to show appreciation every day—you will improve compatibility by growing your appreciation of one another. Practicing gratitude keeps people happy and healthy. At its core, life is about relationships; having friends and family who support us makes us happier and healthier.

3) Take time apart and then reconnect

Maintaining your relationship can get difficult as time goes on, especially when there are children involved. But maintaining a healthy, happy relationship is paramount to ensuring that everyone in your family is thriving. To ensure that your relationship stays strong and healthy throughout even the most hectic of days, take some time apart from each other, and then reconnect. The reconnection itself can actually be one of those little moments that help you remember why you fell in love with each other in the first place!

4) Nurture vulnerability in each other

People in close relationships tend to develop what psychologists call shared secrets: things that both partners keep hidden from others. But in order for your relationship to really flourish and reach its full potential, you need to share those secrets—and do so early and often. Creating a safe space where you can let down your guard and admit how you feel takes time and effort. By fostering an environment of vulnerability within your relationship (and doing so frequently), you'll be on track toward greater trust, understanding, and intimacy. Check out our tips below!

5) Give each other credit

Studies have shown that people's ability to think about other people's mental states—including their beliefs and emotions—is one of our best predictors of relationship satisfaction. People high in mind-reading skills tend to get along better with others and are more adept at handling conflict. If you're able to show genuine gratitude toward your partner when they do something nice for you (and show it), chances are you'll also be more successful at handling disagreements. For example, if your partner does something small but thoughtful, like keeping an umbrella by your front door in case it rains or paying for dinner on a date night, even though he didn't have his wallet on him, let them know how much you appreciate what they did.

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6) Focus on building trust and security instead of fighting over mistakes

If your partner makes a mistake or has done something you're not happy about, talk with them and ask how they would like to resolve it. Sometimes, talking things out is just as important as figuring out how to fix things. A little trust can go a long way when you're trying to build harmony in your relationship. You should also try having an open dialog with your significant other so that they feel comfortable expressing their feelings and concerns. When both people are willing to communicate their needs and goals openly, it's easier for both parties involved in building a stronger bond together.

7) Be realistic about what you can change and what you can't change

One of the most important things to realize is that you can't change everything. You will not be able to change your partner's behavior, and there are some problems that you cannot solve. A good relationship is all about compromise. If you want your relationship with your significant other to be healthy, then make sure that it includes compromise. Be willing to change some things, but don't let go of what really matters. For example, if you don't like watching movies on television in bed together because it bothers you when he falls asleep and his head gets in your space or makes you feel crowded—then suggest seeing a movie at night at a theater or renting one and watching it on your own time—both options are much more agreeable!

8) Remember that children are affected by their parents' relationship, too.

A parent's relationship has a significant impact on their children as well. If you are fighting and arguing with your partner constantly, your kids will be negatively affected. Children often deal with insecurity and anxiety when parents argue frequently or if there is verbal or physical abuse in their home. Helping your child cope during these times is essential because if children see frequent conflict between their parents, they will have higher levels of stress hormones in their system and have more health problems than other children that don't see as much conflict in their homes. It's important to remember that you can't change your partner, but you can learn to handle situations differently so that everyone involved can be happier and healthier.

9) Remember, it's never too late!

With so many couples giving up on love after they've been married five years or more and have kids in tow, it's not surprising that you're feeling like your spouse is done with you. But taking each other for granted should never be an option. Instead of saying to yourself: I'm supposed to be doing these things because I'm married, try thinking of each other as if you were both single. This isn't about being needy or putting too much pressure on yourself—it's about taking time out of your day to do little things that'll make your partner feel loved and appreciated every day. And yes, sometimes sex will make their heart melt!

10) Lastly… don't take yourself so seriously. Have fun together.

Love is an action. Too often, we prioritize our wants and needs over our partner's—and in turn get caught up in our own head. Fight that tendency and make time each day to enjoy being together: Go out on a date night without the kids (or where they're asleep), take an afternoon off from work together (just you two) or splurge on tickets to see your favorite band when they come through town. These seemingly small gestures go far in making sure your connection stays strong—and that you haven't viewed your relationship as just another project that requires your attention. As long as you're doing it with care and thoughtfulness toward one another, these kinds of things will only bring you closer. Love is meant to be fun!

© 2022 Nunavath Kiran Nayak

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