Relationships. It is hard to live without them. Yet when we are in a relationship, we run the risk of feeling stuck or trapped, or we find that the shine wears off. Most of us are willing to work hard to get into a relationship, so why not invest some effort into making it as satisfying and successful as possible.
Here are six tips that just may raise the happiness factor in your relationship this Valentine’s Day!
1. Give each other permission to be human. Give your partner space to experience their life, their emotions, and their perspectives, and exercise your rights to do the same. We are each unique and it is natural and healthy to feel a variety of emotions and to engage in the fullness of the human experience—as long as it does not harm or infringe on others. Rejecting the thoughts and feelings of your partner leads to frustration and unhappiness for both of you in the relationship.
2. Combine pleasure with meaning. Engage in activities that are significant and enjoyable for each of you individually, and for both of you together. Plan frequent events that you enjoy doing together while also allowing for each of you to enjoy and express your unique interests with other friends and colleagues. This builds memories to share, and brings in new adventures and fresh ideas.
3. Happiness depends on your state of mind. The attitude of each partner in the relationship is a significant determinant in the happiness factor. Barring extreme circumstances, our sense of well being is strongly determined by how we choose to view our life and relationship. Are you positive and optimistic, or critical and focused on what is wrong?
4. Simplify! When possible, reduce the busy-ness and stress levels in your life, and you will notice a greater level of relaxation and joy in the relationship. Focus on the simple joys of being together and connecting, rather than on complex plans or trying to figure out every quirk and habit of your partner.
5. Nurture your body, feed your mind. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits lead to physical as well as mental health. Continue to improve and grow on all levels to remain a fascinating and attractive person and partner.
6. Express gratitude and appreciation. We all love to be noticed and
appreciated. While it may become easy to take our partner for granted over time, resist the temptation to allow the relationship to fall into atrophy. Setting up a pattern of gratitude will encourage your partner to reciprocate. Pay attention to the little things your partner does for you, and find creative ways to show them you recognize the value they bring to your life.
Whether looking for that special mate, or seeking to elevate the happiness factor in your existing relationship, I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!