I used to think that it was so much easier to be in a relationship than it was to be single. “They already know they have each other and don’t have to put up with the stressors of dating.” 

After six years of a committed relationship, I can genuinely say I was dead wrong.

Falling in love is the natural part. Keeping that healthy connection and outpouring of love takes constant work. If you take the time to do the job, however, you are rewarded with a fulfilling relationship with a partner that makes you happy every day.      

Show respect for each other.

Holding your loved one in a high level of respect not only helps your relationship to thrive, but also enforces that support in your partner. Listening to your partner’s goals, dreams, and deepest desires attentively show a great deal of respect. Doing this makes them feel that you are about their life and what they want. During this time if your partner makes requests, take the time to act on them as quickly as you can.   

Express gratitude and appreciation.

It is easy to create a list of complaints you have of each other. We are all very different people and our opinions of right and wrong vary, but if we let the negative aspects of our partner’s reign supreme in the relationship. Instead, take time each day to express the things you are thankful for in each other. Remind them that there are things they do that you love.   

Take time to have deep and meaningful conversations.

After the first few months or years together you may think that you know everything about your partner. The problem with this? People change. We are continually evolving as we age. It is essential to ask your partner questions to spark an intimate conversation to grow together. Merely asking, How can I be a better partner to you? What do you desire in your life? What are the biggest things that have changed since we got together?   

Daily laughter and joking.

When it comes to relationships, we often take every single thing so seriously. Humor can help to enhance deeply connected people. Also, it helps to lighten the mood after heavy conversations or arguments. Inside jokes can also help to connect couples giving them the feeling that they know something that no one else does.   

Practice empathy.

Understanding why your partner is upset or feels a certain way ensures that they feel valued. The biggest challenge in practicing empathy is putting the other person first. Move the focus to your partner by just asking how they are or greeting them with a warm embrace.     

By adding these simple tools to your love toolbox, you can begin to cultivate a love that lasts. Incorporating each habit one by one equips you to deal with conflict and issues that may arise in the future. Do these daily and keep the bond between you strong.