Your relationship habits can make or break your relationship. With good habits, your relationship becomes stronger, healthier, and happier. With bad habits, your relationship becomes distant, stressful, and falls apart.
How do you greet your partner in the morning? With a smile and a kiss? Or are you grumpy and want to be left alone?
At some point, all relationships fall into a routine of habits and usually create a rut. The question is this . . . will your rut keep you connected or will it create distance?
Making a conscious effort to create healthy relationship habits will not only make your relationship stronger, it will give you something to lean on when times are tough. Mindfully shaping your habits allows you to choose the future health of your relationship. Isn’t a happy, healthy, supportive relationship worth the extra effort of creating good habits?
Working toward mindfully shaping your relationship habits can improve an already healthy, happy relationship and it can strengthen and rebuild a troubled relationship. With a few kind words and mindful actions, you can start to put your relationship back on track and get it back to where you want it to be.
To mindfully shape your relationship habits, it’s important to make a conscious effort every day until the things you do become a habit and happen naturally. Here are a few good relationship habits to start creating today:
Think loving thoughts. The thoughts you hold in your mind about your partner will have a huge impact on your relationship and its sustainability. Thinking loving thoughts may not always be possible, especially if you’re having a disagreement, yet look to find your way back to those good thoughts as quickly as possible. Remember all the good things about your partner and your relationship to help you put things back in perspective. The thoughts you think will be translated into the words you speak so keep them loving, kind, and thoughtful.
Express gratitude. Gratitude is an important part of any relationship; it helps the other person know they are not being taken for granted. Tell your partner something you appreciate about them every day. Thank them for something they do or say. This kindness builds a solid, unshakeable foundation for your long-term happiness.
Share a touch: Touch is a necessary part of the bonding process. Hold hands, hug, rub your partners back or put your arm around their shoulder while you’re watching TV together. Touch their hand during a conversation to let them know you’re listening. It helps your partner feel secure in the relationship and expresses love in a non-verbal way.
Be a team. You’ve chosen this person as your partner, your teammate, so work together and remember that you’re on the same side. You may not always agree, yet you do share the same goals for your relationship. Acting as a team means less finger pointing and more joint effort to overcome challenging times.
Spend quality time. Be mindful about your time together. Even if you spend a lot of time apart, making the most of the time you have together will strengthen and bond your relationship. Whether you’re on vacation or just sitting on the couch, be in the moment with your partner. Let go of other thoughts that may be distracting you and just enjoy the moment together. Try to spend a few quality minutes together each and every day.
Put down the electronics. Similar to spending quality time together, make sure that quality time is screen free. Enjoy a few moments together over your morning coffee without the phones or laptops; just talk about the day ahead. If your partner is talking to you about something important to them, put the phone down and give them your undivided attention. Never allow your device to be more important than your partner.
Stay active. Spend time being active together. Go for a walk after dinner, work in the garden together, or go for a bike ride. Improving your physical health together will bring you closer, increase your energy and happiness, and possibly improve your intimacy.
Show respect. Even if you’re having a disagreement, above all else, show your partner respect. Always. Being disrespectful, even once, can break down your communication and create distance between you due to hurt feelings. It’s okay to have different opinions and to argue, however it’s never okay to be disrespectful of someone you love.
Know your partner’s love language. We’ve previously discussed the Five Love Languages, how to know your partner’s and your own, and how to show love using these languages. Speak your partner’s love language each day to remind them how much they are loved. From small gifts, to words of encouragement, to soft touches, speaking your partner’s love language will bring you closer together.
Speak kindly. How you talk about your partner to others shows your partner how you truly feel about them. Make sure the things you say are kind and loving. Even if your partner isn’t there to hear them. Somehow, your words always find their way back to your partner’s ear so make sure they are full of love, kindness, support, and respect.
Be supportive and helpful. Whether your partner needs help with the chores or a pep talk before their first day at a new job, be there to offer whatever help and support they need. If your partner knows you always have their back, no matter what, it will bring you closer together and create a private little world that only the two of you share. Look for opportunities every day to offer your support and show your partner you’re there for them.
Create a judgement free zone. In our busy lives where we’re always interacting with other people and having to prove ourselves, it gets exhausting to always be showing your best side. Create a safe space, a judgement free zone, in your relationship where you accept each other for who you are and as you are. We all need a someone to love us for exactly who we are, without expectations. Offer that kind of love to each other.
Don’t try to change. In creating a judgement free zone and accepting your partner for who they are, that also means not wanting to change them. We all have bad habits and we usually end up with people who have different bad habits, so we’re always annoying our partner and they’re annoying us. Instead of looking to change each other, find your strengths and weaknesses where you can compliment each other. Maybe one of you likes to cook dinner yet hates cleaning up, where the other one doesn’t mind the clean up so much. If one of you is always dropping dirty clothes on the floor in the same spot, place a laundry basket in that spot instead of fighting to change your partner’s habit.
Don’t be afraid of the hard conversations. We often shy away from the conversations we think will be difficult. We’re afraid they will start a fight or possibly even damage the relationship. Keeping things inside will only damage the relationship more by creating anger and resentment. Some conversations will be harder than others. Usually the ones that revolve around money or family. Some of these conversations don’t happen just once, they happen over and over again. Find a way to deal with them together by learning to discuss them calmly and respectful. Make an appointment for a difficult conversation instead of just springing it on your partner. Tell them, “I’d like to talk to you about our budget for next months and some additional expenses we might have. Can we sit down Saturday morning and look at it together?” This will give them time to mentally prepare for the discussion and come to it with their own ideas to resolve the issue.
Everyday life becomes a series of habits we do over and over again each time we wake up in the morning. When you mindfully shape your relationship habits, you can improve and deepen your relationship each day you’re together. Want some extra help with your relationship the horses and I can help. Call for a FREE exploratory session today to see how we can support you in your relationship and take it to a whole new level.