Top 10 tips for relationship bliss

It’s the little things you do together that keep your relationship happy and healthy. Just like a living thing, your love needs to be nurtured and protected. Here are a few tips to help you keep that focus and make your romance picture perfect.

1. Keep it kind. When you love someone, there really is no reason for harshness or being mean when you are interacting. If it’s coming from you, it’s time to own it and make it go away. You are strong enough to break this bad habit, and it will make things so much nicer.

2. Spruce things up. The place you live reflects the joy you feel. The thinking is that if you show your home a little love as a couple, those walls will reflect it back to you. Taking pride in anything you do together is only going to make your bond stronger. Whether you own or rent, the process works.

3. Understand medical differences. We all deal with our bodies differently. My wife likes to go to the doctor (and lingerie shopping) by herself, while I enjoy having her along when I go to the doctor (and she does buy my underwear). When I’m sick, I want attention, whereas she mostly likes to be left alone when not feeling well. We all heal differently, and that needs to be respected.

4. Dine together often. For me, having dinner alone is a drag, and it’s even a bigger one if I’m dining out. Fortunately, we both love sitting at our dinner table, with the candles lit, and enjoying each other. Sometime we have music playing, and sometimes we even watch the news. What’s important, and life-enhancing, is that we are together being a family.

5. Encourage your partner. Life can be hard, and when it feels like the world is throwing shade at you, having someone in your corner can make all the difference. I know that, no matter what, my other half will be there for me. We totally trust each other this way, and it makes dealing with any worries so much easier.

6. Mistakes are okay. We all mess up, sometimes in a big way. If you apologize appropriately and don’t do it again, you should be forgiven and you should also forgive yourself. Saying “I’m sorry” is important if you want to be in a loving relationship —you just don’t want to say it every day. If that starts happening, there’s some imbalance and you need to talk.

7. Get a checkup. Once a year, go back to your therapist, minister, high school counselor, or whoever best gives you relationship advice. Bring them up to speed on what’s been happening and how you are resolving issues between you. It will serve as a confirmation of your good relational health.

8. Do new things. Couples who do new things together build the brain chemical oxytocin, which is also known as “the cuddle hormone.” And who doesn’t want more of that? It also builds during lovemaking, in case you run out of other things to try. We recently decided to eat out only at restaurants that are new to us. There are many other little things you can change up to make doing something new together a regular habit. Happy cuddling.

9. Put your partner first. I know that I can be selfish, especially when I’m allowed to wander around in my own head unsupervised. By always putting my partner first, I eliminate it from happening when we are together. The nice thing is that this practice naturally becomes reciprocal. If you know the one you love puts you first, then you naturally want to return the favor.

10. Out-nice them. I like being nice to my love, and I thought I did it very well. As it turns out, I married someone who actually out-nices me. Being in a relationship where you get that kind of caring is truly heaven on earth.

Not everyone is capable of making their relationship blissful, but most of us can have a positive impact. All it takes is some conversation and a little effort that is far from unpleasant. You have the tools. Now put them to work.

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