Let’s talk about why we should focus on maintaining our intimate relationships. You see, relationships are an essential part of our lives. They help us grow, learn and experience life in a way that we couldn’t do alone. In fact, research shows that people in good relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. But maintaining healthy relationships is not always easy. It takes effort, time, and commitment to keep the spark alive.
Well, for starters, our intimate relationships are what give our lives teach us what it means to care for someone and be cared for in return. So, whether it’s your spouse, partner, or best friend, try to make time to nurture your relationships and enjoy the benefits that come with it. We all need someone to lean on, someone to share our joys and sorrows with, and someone who will be there for us through thick and thin. In today’s fast-paced world, it is easy to neglect our relationships in favour of our careers or other obligations. By focusing on maintaining our intimate relationships, we can ensure that we have a support system that will stand by us no matter what. Here is a checklist of 20 things that you can do to make sure your intimate relationship stays vibrant and goes the distance.
- Communication is key: Make open and honest communication a priority. Share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with each other regularly. This may not come easily to many people. Communication is a learned skill. There are many experts who can help you learn the tools of open communication.
- Active listening: Practice active listening by giving your full attention when your partner is speaking and seeking to understand their perspective.
- Express appreciation: Show gratitude and appreciation for your partner’s efforts, love, and support. Small gestures can go a long way. Never get assume that your partner knows that you appreciate their efforts. My personal mantra in this regard is: Never get tired of saying Thank-You
- Quality time: Dedicate regular quality time together, free from distractions, to nurture your bond and strengthen your connection. This doesn’t mean time in front of a T.V. or screen. Try going for a walk around the block together instead.
- Foster trust: Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Be reliable, keep your promises, and maintain transparency.
- Respect boundaries: Respect each other’s boundaries and personal space. Encourage open dialogue about boundaries and consent. You cannot force vulnerability on your terms.
- Practice forgiveness: Learn to forgive and let go of grudges. Holding onto past resentments will only poison the relationship.
- Embrace vulnerability: Be willing to be vulnerable with each other and share your fears, hopes, and dreams.
- Keep the romance alive: Keep the romance alive by surprising each other with gestures, date nights, or love notes. Show affection regularly.Sometimes the more cheesy the better.
- Maintain independence: While you’re in a relationship, it’s important to maintain your individuality and pursue personal interests and goals.
- Resolve conflicts constructively: Disagreements are normal, but aim to resolve conflicts respectfully and constructively. Seek compromise and avoid personal attacks. Try to view disagreements as the two of you as a team against a problem, instead of one against the other.
- Support each other: Be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Offer support, encouragement, and reassurance during both the ups and downs of life.
- Maintain a sense of humour: Laughter can be a powerful bonding tool. Find joy in each other’s company and cultivate a lighthearted atmosphere.
- Practice empathy: Try to understand and empathise with your partner’s perspective, even when you disagree. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Prioritise intimacy: Intimacy goes beyond physical affection. Cultivate emotional, intellectual, and spiritual intimacy as well.
- Share responsibilities: Share household chores and responsibilities fairly. Create a sense of partnership and equality in your relationship. This is one of the most overlooked, and often contentious issues in relationships. It is an important one to work on.
- Practice self-care: Take care of your own well-being, both physically and mentally. When you’re happy and fulfilled individually, it positively impacts your relationship.
- Continual growth: Encourage personal growth and support each other’s aspirations. Celebrate each other’s achievements.
- Accept imperfections: Understand that nobody is perfect, including yourself and your partner. Embrace each other’s flaws and love unconditionally.
- Never stop learning: Relationships are a continuous learning process. Stay curious, be open to learning from each other, and adapt as needed. You and your partner are always growing as people, this means that you will never run out of things to learn about each other.
Remember, every relationship is unique, and we all make mistakes and get stuck sometimes. It’s OK to be in a relationship dip, as long as you are working together to come out of it. If you feel that your relationship is stuck in a rut, it is also OK to ask for help.
If you would like some more ideas, or more in depth coaching in relationships and intimacy you can check out my online courses, book a private session or reach out via email!