Relationships are getting more complicated by the day, with a culture that is increasingly accepting of different sexual orientations and gender identities, it may seem like love is getting harder to understand. This may be true; a lesbian couple will likely face different issues than a straight one. However, at the core of any relationship is the same thing; love. If you feel that that core is weak, and would like to strengthen it, there are some universal ways to get the love flowing again. No matter what gender you or your significant other is, these tips will bring you closer and strengthen your love.
- Be More Attentive
This is an age-old strategy, but it is often misinterpreted. Being attentive does not mean saturating their life with you. If you suddenly become extremely clingy, chances are your partner will become more crept out rather than more in love. Attentiveness means listening to your partner when they talk to you (not picking up the phone mid-conversation or texting someone else while they’re trying to make a point) and listening to their needs. For some people, a little distance is a good idea. If you are constantly with your partner, they don’t get a chance to miss you or think of your relationship and may become smothered. If your partner is dropping hints that they need a little space, be attentive and pick them up.
However, it is important to remember that listening to your partner’s needs and complying with their every wish are different. Every relationship is a compromise, and your desires matter just as much as theirs do. If you disagree about the pace at which your relationship is moving or what your next step is, don’t just submit to the other person’s desires thinking that it will make them love you more. Instead, it sets a precedent that you will cave. Work to compromise, but be sure to acknowledge and understand their viewpoint, rather than steamrolling them with your own.
- Small Gestures Can Go a Long Way
Often times people become obsessed with the kind of grand romantic gestures that you see in movies and think that nothing short of these will do. However, these gestures set an absurd standard, and doing anything like them on a regular basis would be ridiculous. From day to day, small reminders of your love are a much better option. Things like an “I love you” text, or a surprise lunch or dinner together show your love without being obtrusive. Most modern couples also have their separate lives, so whisking your partner away for the weekend may not be the best idea unless the two of you have scheduled it together. Instead, go for a smaller surprise, like their favorite meal, an unsolicited massage, or something a little more creative in the bedroom.
- Be Conscious of How You Argue
Every couple fights and this is good; it is vital to a healthy relationship. However, how you fight is just as important as if you fight. Oftentimes, a fight can start out over a common issue, like finances or in-laws, but quickly devolve into a battle to see who can hurt the other the most. The next time you and your partner fight, try to stay aware of your own mental state. Are you still discussing the actual issue, or has it just become a vindictive shouting match?
You can adjust the argument without capitulating; just take a few deep breaths and calm yourself, then mention that things have gotten off track and you’d like to return to the actual issue you were discussing. Another strategy is to establish a “time-out” system, where if one of you gets too riled up, you can put the argument on hold for a decided amount of time while you calm down and think.
Arguing may seem like the most unromantic part of your relationship, but fixing the way you fight can go a long way in making your partner love you more. It shows them that you don’t want to hurt them and that you are open to resolving issues without devolving into a series of verbal jabs. Not only will this make your partner more willing to discuss hot button issues, it will make them more willing to share personal information with you, knowing that you will never use it against them.
- Don’t be Afraid to Talk About the Bedroom
At the start of a relationship, giving your partner constructive criticism in the bedroom may not be your best idea. However, as a relationship progresses, you may want to start talking about what you like and what they like. Starting an open dialogue about your sex life will show them that you’re open to suggestions as long as they are, and make them less self-conscious about sharing their desires and fantasies with you. Over time, the communication will make both of your sex lives better, and in the short run, it will make you more experimental. Even if you try something and it doesn’t work at all, you can laugh about it together and have “that crazy sex story” to look back on. Sex is an important part of any long-term relationship, so creating a dialogue about it early on will make your partner more comfortable and in love.
Your love with your partner is special, and you want to ensure that it is always growing on both sides. No relationship is perfect, so working to make your partner love you more is a worthwhile pursuit, and hopefully, they return the sentiment. These tips are simple, but they can be effective if you commit to following them and creating a stronger love with your significant other.