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15 Rules That Will Deepen Your Relationship

15 Rules That Will Deepen Your Relationship

When it comes to relationships, there are certain rules that should be met if you want to deepen your connection. With everything in the media, we can easily forget what is important in a relationship and what isn’t; we might focus on superficial aspects of the other person such, as how much money they have to spend on you or how sexy their body is. Although having money and being attractive are both good qualities in a partner, a relationship isn’t all about superficial things.

Below are some rules that can help deepen your relationship:

1. Be Real.

It seems like common sense, but we tend to shape ourselves based on the other person. Since we want to impress the other person, we may do things or say things that we usually wouldn’t. Being real will help determine if the two of you are a good match. Wouldn’t you rather find out now if it’s worth your time instead of investing years of your time and energy? Be real with the other person. Show them the real you, not the fake you.

2. No Games.

This rule is connected to the first rule of being real. When it comes to a relationship, you can either play around or invest yourself in deepening the relationship. When you play games, your relationship will most likely fall apart. Why invest your heart into the other person, when the other person is all about playing games? This will result in dishonesty, lack of trust and arguments later down in your relationship. When it comes to strengthening a relationship, it’s vital to develop trust, honesty, effective communication and commitment.

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3. Know and understand the difference between men and women. 

This rule is very important when establishing a relationship. Men and women are born differently and psychologically, we tend to have different characteristics. Most men enjoy their alone time when they are stressed and uptight, whereas many women enjoy talking out our feelings so that we can let them out. When you don’t acknowledge the differences between men and women, you may butt heads and become frustrated. Eventually, you might just give up because you don’t know what else to do. When you’re able to understand the differences, you will better understand your partner and thus be able to strengthen and deepen your relationship. I highly recommend reading the book, “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” by John Gray. He has helped me in my marriage in understanding more about myself and my husband.

4. Know your partner’s love language. 

When you are in a committed relationship, it’s important to understand the way they feel love, and how they express it. When you understand  your partner’s love language, you will be able to speak their language. It’s also  just as important in knowing your own love language. How do you feel most loved? Maybe it’s through spending quality time together, or by physical touch. A lot of couples lack intimacy and love because they are speaking different love languages to their partner. Once you’re able to speak fluently in your partner’s love language, you’ll be back on track of developing and deepening your relationship. I suggest that you go to your local library and take out the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.

5. Effective communication. 

This goes back to the rule of knowing and understanding the difference between men and women. When  you can understand your partner, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with them. Men and women react to stress and life differently, and since women tend to express more of their emotions and enjoy talking in order to solve problems, they expect their partner to also talk and share their emotions. Learning how to be an effective communicator with your partner will help strengthen your relationship.

6. Turn off the TV! 

There is nothing wrong with watching TV with your partner every so often, but when it gets to a point where you are finding yourself always watching it after work, you will form a bad habit that will be difficult to break. Once you allow TV to be part of your relationship, how can you possibly develop greater intimacy? Turn off the television and do something fun! Go outside and ride a bike together or even just sit down on the couch and play a board game. Whatever the two of you enjoy doing is a much better habit to form than sitting and watching television. Nourish your relationship!

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7. Take care of yourself.

When it comes to being in a relationship, we can sometimes focus so much of our energy and time towards the other person that we forget about taking care of ourselves. Make sure that you take the time to focus on developing your own mind, body and soul. Don’t let go of who you are just because you’re in a relationship. Continue to love, respect and develop yourself.

8. Honesty.

If you are planning on investing your time and energy into your relationship, being honest  is a core rule. When there is no honesty, you will establish a weak foundation and eventually things will fall apart. Being honest and truthful will help establish a strong foundation in your partnership.

9. United Front.

When you and your partner are out in public, keeping a united front will help strengthen your relationship. Who wants to hear all your dirty laundry and on top of that seeing the two of you argue? It not only expresses to others the type of connection that you two have but will also cause problems within your relationship. Keeping a united front means you will work as a team and never embarrass your partner when out in public, as doing so will make your partner uncomfortable and will create resentment. Commit to having a united front so no matter what comes your way, you’ll know that you can get through it together.

10. Show your appreciation.

All of us want to be appreciated with what we do, especially in our relationships. Showing our appreciation for what your partner does will help deepen the connection between the two of you. Imagine if your partner expresses  their love but you never show your appreciation. What will happen? Your partner will eventually not want to express his love because he doesn’t feel that it makes any difference. When you are able to acknowledge what they do, they will feel more motivated to continue loving you and supporting you. Once you take their love for granted, they will eventually stop loving you. Express your appreciation every day, even a small gesture such as thanking him for coming home early so that the two of you can have a nice dinner together. Whatever it may be, show your appreciation and love that you have for your partner. Trust me, they will feel motivated to continue loving you and supporting you.

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11. Create Fulfilling Routines.

It seems like as the days go by, our relationships get pushed from the foreground to the back burner while daily life stresses take precedence. When we create fulfilling routines in our relationship, we are able to reconnect with what made us fall in love with our partners in the first place. A fulfilling routine can be as simple as always going to bed at the same time and waking up early at the time same. This may be challenging, but when you commit to sleeping at the same time and waking up at the same time, you can spend some quality time before starting the day and before you go to bed at night. Another fulfilling routine would be to walk together in the mornings. Creating fulfilling routines are meant to reconnect with your partner, especially if the both of you have busy schedules.

12. Dates!

A great way to add more flavor into your relationship is to go out on date nights. It doesn’t even have to be at night, it can be at any time of day! As we go through life, we can easily forget about what brought us together. What do you enjoy doing with your partner? There are casual dates like staying at home and cooking together or you can have more of a formal date like getting all dressed up and going out to eat, or going for a hike and a picnic. The point behind this rule is to reconnect with your partner. Don’t talk about bills or life stresses on your date: just be free and have fun. Smile, laugh and enjoy your partner’s company.

13. Grow together.

Couples often grow apart, which leads them to a point in their relationship in which they don’t feel that it’s worth investing any more time in. Be consciousness and supportive of what your partner wants to accomplish. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to truly stay connected with what our partner wants to achieve.

14. Be patient.

Sometimes our partners make mistakes and we automatically get upset or frustrated. It’s important for you to be patient and encouraging rather than being negative and critical. You partner wants you help, but it’s how you approach the situation that makes a difference. When you’re patient, it encourages your partner to want to change with your help.

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15. Be on the page same with finances.

If you have a joint account or share your finances, make sure that both of you have a similar philosophy when it comes to money. The #1 cause for divorce is financial issues. Learn to be open when it comes to talking about money and how the both of you can best work as a team. Practice effective communication and have financial goals set in place, and focus on what matters to the both of you. Maybe you both enjoy going to the Bahamas every other year, or maybe you enjoy giving lavish Christmas gifts. Set aside a fund that you build throughout the year, so when Christmas time comes along or flights go on sale, you can use the build in your fund accordingly. Be a united front with your finances and communicate effectively.

These rules should be looked at as a stepping stone to developing your relationship, and are meant to help establish a strong foundation between you and your partner. We all have flaws and mistakes, but when we can follow these rules in our relationship, we will better understand our partner and also ourselves. When you’re in a relationship, not only do you develop the connection with your partner but you also connect deeper within yourself. You grow just as much as your relationship grows. Be an inspiration for your partner: motivate them, challenge them to reach their fullest potential, and the end of the day, be happy.

One a final note: “What do you love most about your partner?” 

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Tiffany Mason

Tiffany is a life coach empowering women to unleash their feminine essence & design a meaningful life & marriage.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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