1. Be yourself. Authenticity is the key to growing a relationship. If you cannot be yourself then you end up playing a charade that ultimately will end badly for you.
2. Be honest. No one likes being lied to and a relationship build upon lies will create an environment of distrust. It is better to be honest and upfront, then try to weasel out of a lie latter on.
3. Know your values. Spend time examining the type of person that you are and the type of person that you would like to be. If these ideas are not congruent with your current relationships that it is time to do some examination.
4. Schedule Time. Relationships take work. It is important to schedule time with those that you care about. It shows them that they are important to you. It also ensures that you both have time to stay connected throughout the busyness of the life.
5. Touch. The power of touch is amazing. A hug, handshake, holding hands, or even a kiss when appropriate can make all the difference in the world. Reach out and touch someone.
6. Create space. Everyone needs space and space is not a bad thing. It gives a person the area to be themselves and to be an individual.
7. Learn to listen. An active listener is focused on what the other person is saying and is not concentrating on their own snappy comeback.
8. Learn how to be heard. Good speakers are able to order their thoughts and emotions in ways that can be understood. Speak in small segments and ask for feedback to see if the listener understands you.
9. Know the differences. Men and women are different. Moms and dad are different. Find out what those differences are and celebrate them. Differences make life interesting and exciting.
10. Give space. Know when to give your loved one the space they need to cool down after an argument. Let them know that you are there for them when they are ready to talk, but do not pursue them.
11. Give time. Dedicate yourself to spending quality and quantity time with those that you care about. Money is fleeting, but time can be controlled and given.
12. Avoid debates. To most issues there are two sides and never the twain shall meet. Learn what is important and what you can agree to disagree about.
13. Remember that you’re on the same team. If you approach topics and discussions with the thought in mind that you both have to win for one of you to win, it will help both of you gain insight and understanding to the other.
14. Create shared traditions. Find something that you can do together that neither one of you bring from your home. Make it just yours.
15. Use the element of surprise. A surprise kiss, card, or act of kindness can cover a multitude of sins.
16. Laugh together. Laughing not only releases various amounts of dopamine, but it also relives stress and create a shared moment.
17. Share emotions. Many arguments can be avoided if you share how something made you feel with the person you care about. Feelings drive actions.
18. Cuddle time. Spend time getting close and enjoying non-demand touching. A movie and popcorn can create great cuddle opportunities.
19. Do things just because. Do not keep score, returning good action for good action. Do something for the one you care about just because you can, without any strings attached.
20. Have a special greeting. Guys have special handshakes; girls often kiss checks or hug. Find a special way to great your loved ones that show that they are individually valued by you.
21. Passion. Sex is important in a relationship. Ask your partner what turns him or her on the most. Share fantasies. The best place to do this is NOT in the bedroom, but while you are out for a walk or working in the yard.
22. Learn about your partner. Interview them as if you were going to write a biography about them. Ask about their childhood, favorite teachers and the like.
23. Write them a letter. And mail it. Everyone loves to get mail, and everyone loves it even more to get mail from someone they care about. Just let them know you are thinking about them. It need not be fancy.
24. Show affection. First, ask your partner what affection is to them. There is no right or wrong answer here. Then, try to fill that need for affection for them.
25. Tell others what you like about them. We often only share what we like about people at their funeral after they are dead. Spend time each day sharing with people you care about what exactly you like about them. Be specific.
26. Compliment the other person. Compliments do not build a strong relationship, but they sure can keep it from squeaking. Be honest and be nice.
27. Find their special need and fill it. Everyone has one or two special needs that they value more than any other need. Find out that need in your partner then seek to be the one they can come to get it filled.
28. Be kind. Sounds simple, and obvious, but we are often kinder to strangers than we are to those we care about because we do not want to seem rude. Be kind to those you care about first, the others in your life can wait.
29. Find a hobby to share. Having an activity that you can share will create shared memories and moments that can carry you through tough times.
30. Find out their love language. People try to express their love in different ways, some by service, some by touch, and others by their words.
31. Read a book together. It can even be the same book. One highlights in blue the other in pink. Things shared that are important to both are in purple, now discuss!
32. Share childhood moments. Most people have moments in their childhood that were significant to them. Take turns sharing such moments and enjoy the closeness that it brings.
33. Share responsibilities. Help each other out and lend a hand. There is no competition or score keeping in a relationship. It is a team effort!
34. Buck tradition, find a good fit. If one likes to do the dishes or one likes to stay home and the other likes to work, so be it. Do not worry about what society says one person should or should not do. Find out what works best for you, then do it.
35. Say you’re sorry. The infamous words we long to hear and are afraid to utter. These three words can quickly deflate any argument, especially if said in sincerity and love.
36. Take care of yourself physically. Know when you need to take a break, get some rest or get a bit to eat. Relationships work 100% better when both partners are well rested and well fed.
37. Take care of yourself mentally. Everyone has a mental breaking point. Know yours and share that point with your partner. Let them know when you need some space and what they may need to do or not do to help you out.
38. Take care of yourself emotionally. When emotions run wild, all logic is out thewindow. It is healthy to cry, to be angry, disappointed, and frustrated. Just do not hold it all in and let it all out at the same time.
39. Face spirituality together. Often this is the one thing couples discuss last. Whether you share beliefs with your partner or not, this is a discussion that is a must.
40. Leave baggage behind. It is okay to share things from the past, but drudging up old skeletons is no way to build a relationship. Leave your past behind you.
41. Create realistic expectations. Share with the one you care about your expectations for the relationship. Then as them to do the same. Then discuss which ones might be far fetched and which ones might be closer to reality.
42. Create a warm fuzzies box or folder. Keep cards, letters, and mementoes from your relationship in a box or folder that is easily accessible. This will help you through those rough times.
43. Control anger. Do not let anger control you. When you feel yourself getting anger, let your partner know what is going on for you and call a time out. Then return to the conversation when you have had a chance to cool off.
44. Control finances. Children, sex, and finances are the top three reasons couples get divorced. Budget together as a team. Share the burden and responsibility.
45. Forgiveness. Forgive and be forgiven. No one can forget the past, but you can stop holding it against them. Learn from the past and move on.
46. Learn to fight a good fight. Fights are not always bad things. Refrain from name calling, putting down, and needling sensitive areas of the other person. It ups the ante so to speak.
47. Find mentors. Look for people who exemplify the type of relationship that you want. Ask them how they do it and see if they will help you do the same.
48. Family history. Overview each other’s family history.. Understanding leads to empathy.
49. Keep in touch. By email or phone or through notes, let each know that you are thinking about the other throughout the day. Just a quick I’m thinking of you will suffice.
50. No jealousy allowed. Jealousy will rip a relationship apart quicker than a starving man on a Christmas ham. Talk about your feelings, rather then let them brew until they turn into jealousy.