Falling in love is one of the most beautiful things in life. From the moment you meet your new partner until you officially get together, you can’t help but have butterflies around them and be excited for what the future holds.
After the honeymoon phase settles down, though, you have to keep your intimate relationship going by working hard at it. It won’t always be fun and happiness, and it’s important to note intimacy isn’t just physical.
There are many ways to keep your love alive and encourage it to grow, you just have to find which ones are most effective for you and your relationship. Here are ten healthy relationship tips for couples to consider practicing in a relationship.
1. Be Honest with Each Other
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship.
This is what tells you that you’re ready to give your heart to someone else without worrying if it’s in good hands or not. Trust also reminds you that you can count on one another and accept who the other person is, faults and all.
To build such trust, though, you have to be honest with each other. Lying or keeping secrets doesn’t do any good in life, especially when it comes to intimacy. These habits create walls between the person who you’re supposed to be letting in; break down the walls by practicing honesty every day.
2. Talk Openly About Your Needs
Honesty doesn’t just mean talking about who you are or what you’re thinking. It also applies to the conversations you and your partner are bound to have about what you need from one another.
Sometimes, we’re afraid to speak up for ourselves. People get shy of saying what they really feel because they don’t want to put pressure on their partner or come off as “high maintenance.”
The thing is, these are just stories we tell ourselves. These are another kind of barrier worth breaking down in your relationship, which you can only do by speaking openly about your needs. Don’t be afraid to confront your partner when they’re not meeting expectations, but always do so in a healthy, understanding manner.
3. Dive into the Past from Time to Time
Another topic of conversation worth being completely open about is your past. Everyone has a past, and sometimes, there are things that have happened to a person that they may not be entirely proud of or like to talk about. Still, you can’t be your complete self with your partner if you’re hiding part of your past.
Bring up your scars, shortcomings, and heartbreaks to them when the time comes. Such details aren’t exactly first date conversations, but they do come up as you both fall deeper in love with each other.
Show your partner your wounds and ask to see theirs. As hard as it may be, it does wonders for the bond the two of you share.
4. Look at the Future Together
While talking about the past is necessary, yet often hard or uncomfortable, looking towards the future is a different story. Starting to plan your future together should feel right. These are happy, exciting conversations–ones that you should both weigh in on.
Looking to the future together could mean anything from moving into a shared space to moving closer to one another if you’re in a long distance relationship. It could also mean meeting the parents, getting a pet, or maybe taking your first vacation as a couple.
Whatever your next steps look like, plan them with both of your needs in mind.
5. Understand When to Give Each Other Space
Here’s a need worth recognizing in an intimate relationship: space.
So many couples want to be together all the time, especially in the beginning. They make more plans with their partner than they do their friends or family, sometimes entirely neglecting to spend time with others at all. But, there has to be a balance.
You need space to be yourself without your partner from time to time, and they do, too. This allows each of you to maintain your other healthy relationships and to practice self-care, both of which are incredibly important for your intimate relationship.
6. Make All Your Moments Together Worthwhile
The thing about balancing personal space and time for your relationship is that you may not always see your partner as much as you’d like. So, you have to make the most of the time you do have.
Take each other out on dates. Try new things together. Understand when you’d rather stay in and have a movie marathon versus going out.
These are the moments that build intimacy. They don’t have to be huge acts of love or special recognition. They just have to be real, and the more present the two of you are, the more powerful your time together is.
7. Have Fun in Groups and One on One
Speaking of knowing when you’d rather stay in versus go out, try to have a balance between doing things together as a couple and doing things in large groups or with other couples.
It’s nice to double date and it’s important to introduce each other to your friends, but it’s also worth giving each other your entire attention from time to time. This means no other people, no distractions. You should feel comfortable being alone together and just hanging out with one another–no plans, no one else.
8. Spice Things Up
As nice as it is to hang out on the couch all day, it’s good to spice things up from time to time, too. Get creative with your date nights when you have them or even with the meals you cook for one another.
Try new things in the bedroom and don’t be shy about learning each other’s hobbies. These are what encourage the fire of your love to grow once the embers have settled. They bring fresh, exciting things in the relationship which help you learn more about each other and the bond you share.
9. Share Appreciation
Take a moment to think about how often you say “thank-you” to your boyfriend or girlfriend, and how much they say it to you. This simple phrase has so much power.
It’s important to share appreciation for who your partner is and everything they do for your relationship. From paying for dinner to washing the dishes after breakfast or something as simple as making coffee, every hint of appreciation adds up.
Make this a habit in your relationship, and watch how well the two of you respond to this!
The final piece of advice if you’re interested in how to keep a relationship strong and happy is to apologize. Even the healthiest relationships aren’t happy all the time.
You’re going to disagree, you’re going to have a few fights, and you’re going to let each other down from time to time. It comes with the territory of committing yourself to one person and figuring out how to live life together.
Whatever the hard times are about, though, the best thing you can do is apologize. This isn’t about winning or losing or who’s right and who’s wrong. When you both learn how to apologize to each other, everything in your relationship gets stronger.
Take Your Intimate Relationship to the Next Level
Do you and your partner already practice some of the intimate relationship tips above? Are you interested in how to navigate living together or how to start dropping hints that you want to get engaged?
If you want to deepen your love even more, check out the marriage category for advice.