Building a strong relationship is one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of a happy life. While there is no instruction manual for assembling your ideal partnership there are a few simple things you can say to your partner everyday to get you on the right track. Make a habit out of saying the following 12 things to your significant other (without sounding like a robot) and pretty soon you will be that adorable couple that make all your friends sick.
1. “I love you.”
“I love you” is the easiest and most obvious thing to tell your partner. It even requires the least creativity on your part. Just make sure you mean it. Saying those three little words too often and without thinking will rob them of their meaning. Try to bust out an “I love you” whenever your partner makes you laugh or whenever they do something that reminds you why you are together. If you say the words while you are really feeling them your better half will hear the difference.
2. “I was thinking about you.”
It’s important to let your partner know that they are on your mind even when you aren’t necessarily in the same room. If you see something cute or funny over the course of your day that reminds you of your partner, let them know. Inside jokes are a great way to connect the mundane “real world” to the world you share with each other. Send your significant other a text as it happens or save the story for downtime on the couch. Just don’t underestimate the effect that a “I saw something that reminded me of you…” can have on a relationship.
3. “How was your day?”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of repeating this phrase verbatim every day, but if you put some thought into it you will feel more connected to your partner. Ask about specific things your better half deals with in their day-to-day. Ask about that annoying co-worker or about the big assignment they’ve been working on. Giving your partner a way to share other parts of their life with you will help connect the dots between the times when you are together. It may also help you understand why they are always in a bad mood on Thursdays so you can be ready with their favorite dinner.
4. “I support you.”
Encourage your partner by letting them know you support their decisions. Even go one step further and try to help them accomplish goals they have set for themselves. Life is full of obstacles and feeling like you have another person in your corner can go a long way to helping you overcome them. Don’t just be a couple, be a team. Reminding your better half that you have their back will strengthen the ties between you.
5. “You get my motor going.”
If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time it is easy to fall into a less than thrilling routine. That makes it all the more important to remind you partner that they still excite you. Letting them know that “You look smokin’ hot in that dress.” or saying “You should not where a shirt more often.” will make them feel better about themselves and remind you why you started dating in the first place.
Everybody screws up and everyone is wrong sometimes. Occasionally we even dig our heels in about something only to later discover we had no idea what we were talking about. Stubbornness has no place in a happy relationship, so apologize when you make a mistake. Apologize for getting angry. Apologize for hurting your partner’s feelings. Even apologize for things that aren’t your fault. Letting your significant other know that you are sorry that they had a crappy day is another way to remind them you are on the same team.
7. “You’re the best.”
Your partner should be one of (if not your best) friend. If you don’t like hanging out, you definitely shouldn’t be in a relationship. It may not come as naturally as some of the other items on this list, but let your partner know that you think they are great. This is another one that works great paired with a laugh. A chuckling “You’re the best.” can be sincere and heartfelt. Don’t be afraid to throw in a “You’re my favourite.” during a quiet moment, either.
8. “I love your mind.”
Something that is easy to overlook when dolling out compliments is your partner’s mind. We live in a superficial world with models and bodybuilders at every turn, but that is no excuse to let your relationship be superficial too. Tell your partner that you value their mind. Let them know that you think they are smart, funny, romantic, or talented. The goal of any healthy relationship is to have it last until well after beauty fades, so remind your partner that you’re in it for the long haul by valuing their mind equally with their body.
9. “I respect you.”
Just like with your non-romantic friends, respect is a critical piece of your relationship with your significant other. Let them know that you hold them in high regard by asking for their opinion on things that are giving you trouble. Let your partner know that you admire something they did that took a lot of courage. When a person feels respected they also feel happy and safe, which are two cornerstones to any good relationship.
10. “I disagree.”
Part of respecting your partner is letting them know when you disagree with them. No one wants to marry a push over and no one wants to raise children with a yes-man. You may be a team, but the strength of any team is in the thoughts and actions of its individual members. Maintain your own opinions and voice them in a respectful manner. Offering a different perspective may help your partner find solutions to problems that they might not have otherwise considered.
11. “We should go…”
As we learned in phrase #5, excitement is an important part of a fun relationship. You and your partner should share experiences and memories as well as thoughts and opinions, so plan adventures together. Daydream about hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro or snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. Try new things together. The only thing that gets the heart racing more than love is skydiving!
We live in an age when communication has never been easier. With the push of a button we can send impulse thoughts across oceans, so there is no excuse for not saying goodnight. It not only serves the practical function of letting your partner know you are now trying to sleep, it also lets them know that you are thinking about them. Even if you haven’t spoken all day, and even (especially) if you’ve been arguing, end the day on a positive note.
Featured photo credit: Andi_Graf via pixabay.com