10 Ways To Quickly Improve Your Relationship

I think a lot about love, and feelings, and anything pertaining to romantic relationships. I was that little girl who obsessed over the love plots of Disney movies, and I am still that girl who cares way too much about celebrity love triangles and the romantic happenings in the lives of my friends and family. It's all about love, after all. Unfortunately, I can get a little cranky and negative in my own relationship with Matt sometimes. (I know, it even happens to us hopeless romantics.) So, I wanted to share some wonderful tips I found in this article from Time, which gives ten ways you can instantly improve your relationship. I've been trying them out, and hey! They work! Especially for us boring, old married couples ;)
1. Turn off your gadgets! Studies have found that there is a negative correlation between heavy use of social media and happiness in a relationship. Also, text messaging can convolute conversations that should be done in person. I personally think excessive social media use can cause unnecessary envy and comparison, which can lead to all sorts of personal problems, and can easily carry over into relationships. I've been trying to spend less time on my phone and extinguish the incessant need to update my whereabouts and give the play-by-play of every detail in my life. My initial fear was that I would be missing out on documenting my life and in turn forget all of the wonderful, ordinary things that make my life so happy. But, it turns out I am enjoying my life more thoroughly instead of living with anxiety in fear of missing out on capturing everything, and my memories are more meaningful. Matt appreciates it, too.
2. Go to bed at the same time. People who sleep less than the recommended amount of time each night have been shown to argue more with their significant other. Plus, it is oftentimes the one point in the day where you get to see each other one on one. I suppose I should take this advice to heart. I am a night owl — always have been, no matter how hard I try to go to bed early! Although, I could not agree more that good sleep is the solution to many of life's problems. We're all just grouchy because we need sleep! You know the "Be nice, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" quote? We need to change it to, "Be nice, for everyone you meet needs more sleep."
3. Do frequent, small acts of kindness for your significant other. It's the little things that make your partner feel loved and appreciated. A marriage researcher from University of Michigan studied 373 over the course of 28 years and found that these frequent, small acts of kindness resulted in overall relationship quality and happiness. So, go write your love a small note, or make them some breakfast. It will make both of you happy.
4. Talk about something funny from the past. Laughter truly is the best thing for any relationship, and it has been found that reminiscing together about funny things is even better than focusing on just positive memories. Laughter can help you relive those moments and give higher relationship satisfaction.
5. Exercise! I am pretty sure this is on any list that talks about improving any facet of life. And we all know why! Working up a good sweat increases those endorphins, and leads to a rush of adrenaline and arousal. So channel that arousal into a good time with your love! Which leads me to the next point...
6. Have sex in a different place. It's good to switch it up every once and awhile, and new experiences elevate your levels of dopamine, which is a positive reinforcer. Don't worry, there is no need to go wild and do it in a public bathroom or coat closet at a holiday party (although if that is your thing, more power to you!) — simply finding a new room can do the trick.
7. Try new things together. Learn to cook an exotic dish. Play a silly game together. Go explore a new place in the area you live. The activity can be big or small, but the point is that couples who frequently experience new things together are shown to have higher-quality relationships.
8. Give each other hugs. Touching is extremely important in letting your partner know they are loved and it allows you to feel more comfortable with one another. It also has a calming effect, and increases intimacy.
9. Talk about new ideas. We all get caught up in the humdrum of everyday life; work, kids, family, friends, etc. Sometimes we forget to have captivating discussions or don't have the time, so find a moment to strike up an interesting conversation. Ask engaging questions and try to learn something new about your partner. We change over time, so it is essential to have good chats and reintroduce your current likes and thoughts.
10. Say thank you. If you are anything like me, I expect my husband to read my mind. And that includes him sensing my gratitude for him! But, that is silly! It is incredibly important to express our appreciation for our loved one. It makes them feel important and of worth, and lifting each other up is one of the most valuable characteristics of any solid relationship.
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