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4 Changes to Improve Your Relationship and be Happier Together

4 Changes to Improve Your Relationship and be Happier Together

Want to be happier with your significant other? Improve your relationship and feel more connected with your spouse when you make these 4 changes to improve your relationship.

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love is that condition in which the happiness

    Grow together as a couple

    Often, after a couple has been together for a while they don’t make as much time to grow together. We grow in our business life, or as a parent, or in the areas of our individual interests, but what are you doing together to grow? If you only grow individually and aren’t sharing some of these experiences together you will probably find yourselves growing apart. There won’t be as much to talk about, and you’ll have a more difficult time understanding where your significant other’s point of view is coming from.

    Not sure how to “grow together”? Consider a few of these ideas:

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    • Take a class together, such as painting, home repair, cooking, or music. The possibilities are endless.
    • Experience new things together: you might want to attend a lecture and then discuss your thoughts and ideas on the presentation, or take up a shared physical activity like salsa dancing, hiking, or fishing.
    • Build something together.
    • Design your dream house on the computer.

    Create habits as a couple where you show your love to each other

    Here are three simple habits you can create with your significant other to improve your relationship by showing and sharing your love in small ways throughout the day.

    • Kiss each other in the morning. Have a ritual in which whoever leaves the bedroom first gives the other a kiss. This way if you don’t get a chance to see each other again before one of you leaves for work, you’ve shown appreciation and love for each other.
    • Cuddle up together. When you sit down to watch a movie or TV show together, sit together on the couch and hold hands or touch for a while. You don’t have to stay this way the entire time, but show your partner that you want to be near them and touch them.
    • Kiss the cook. Whoever makes dinner receives a kiss before dinner, which shows appreciation for their effort. Make it a point to express your gratitude for the meal as well.

    Eliminate distractions when you are together

    If I’m talking to someone and they are checking their phone or on the computer it doesn’t feel like they are listening. When you are with your significant other, put the gadgets away. Have a strict rule during dinner that you don’t answer the phone or the doorbell, or check text messages. Focus on each other.

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    If you have a lot of distractions at home—possibly from your children—schedule time away together regularly when it will just be the two of you and you can focus on each other. Try to leave talk of work and your kids behind and focus on the hobbies and interests you share together. Need more ideas for when you are out together on a <gasp> date with your significant other? Find some here.

    Laugh together more

    I bet you have a lot of funny moments and inside jokes with your partner, so be sure to bring those up and laugh together more often. If you have a cute name for your spouse, use it (but not too often). What were the funny moments that occurred while you were first dating, when you got married or when your children were born? Remembering and laughing about these times together strengthens your bond and make you feel happier.

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    Last year my husband discovered the song “It’s Business Time” by Flight of the Conchords. Lyrics from this song have become a running joke that brings a smile to both our faces. We also love Jonathan Coulton’s “Shopvac” for its funny take on suburban angst.  These songs are also great for reminding us what we don’t want our lives to turn into.

    Find some music, videos or shows that you can both laugh at together and  reference them to bring in more laughter.

    Looking for more keys to a successful relationship? Find 10 here.

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    Last Updated on August 6, 2020

    6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

    6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

    We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

    “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

    Are we speaking the same language?

    My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

    When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

    Am I being lazy?

    When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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    Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

    Early in the relationship:

    “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

    When the relationship is established:

    “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

    It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

    Have I actually got anything to say?

    When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

    A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

    When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

    Am I painting an accurate picture?

    One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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    How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

    Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

    What words am I using?

    It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

    Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

    Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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    Is the map really the territory?

    Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

    A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

    I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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