When it comes to relationships, it might seem like we should just know how to build a happy relationship, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder of some of the basic tried and true principles that can take all relationships to a happy place. Take the challenge to make each principle happen in your relationship today!
1. Communicate. Checking in with each other every day and sharing your joys and frustrations will help you strengthen and maintain your friendship.
☑ Take ten minutes today and ask your partner an open-ended question today such as their current favorite hobby or television show is and why or what one of their favorite vacation memories has been. Any open ended question is great as long as you are taking time to reconnect and listen to your partner.
2. Be positive. Even on tough days we can make the choice to be positive and to build up and praise others.
☑ Take time today to share something you appreciate about your sweetheart.
3. Take time to play. Having fun together helps us to remember why we chose to be together in the first place and builds our friendship that will help us be strong even in the tough times.
☑ Set a date to do something fun together. It doesn’t have to elaborate or even cost money. For example, you could play a board game or build a snowman together. If you have kids but no babysitter, just choose an activity you can do together at home together after the kids are asleep. Consider attending a USU organized date night—a fun night out without any of the planning! (Check out the upcoming activities listed in this newsletter).
☑ Bonus challenge: Make a list with your spouse of things that sound fun to do together so can you refer back to this list in the future.
4. Build memories and rituals together. Traditions and rituals add meaning to our lives, create memories and help us appreciate the small moments together.
☑ Take a moment to consider what traditions (celebrating special occasions, holidays, etc.) or daily rituals (ways to saying hello/goodbye, bed time routines, etc.) you have. Is it time to add or change something that can help you get closer as a couple?
5. Discuss expectations and resolve conflicts when they are small. Everyone has disagreements but when we communicate with love and respect and discuss frustrations when they are small we can usually resolve conflicts much more easily than after they build.
☑ When discussing a frustration with your spouse, use “I” statements. For example, fill in these blanks, “I think…(insert your concern), I feel…(share the emotion you feel because of this), and I want…” (share what you would like to see happen).
6. Be affectionate. While we all have different ways we’d prefer to express and receive love, all relationships flourish in an atmosphere of love and affection. We can show that we care in many small ways such as leaving a note for a loved one, sending a text just to say hi, holding hands and kissing hello and goodbye.
☑ Strengthen your relationship today by showing affection to your sweetheart in some way.
Take one small step today toward the marriage you would like to have this time next year!