Today, relationships have to work really hard to remain strong and healthy. However, with determination and commitment, couples can ensure their relationship will be successful and resilient by applying the following five key principles.
1. Speak your Partner’s Love Language
First, couples need to make sure they understand one another’s love language. In his book, The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman outlines five primary love languages and how they affect our relationships. The five languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch. The premise is: each of us has a primary love language that speaks to our partners’ heart. By first becoming aware of each other’s love language, and then “speaking” it deliberately and frequently, we can nourish our relationships in a tangible way.
2. Be Intentional
With so many work and home demands, it can be really challenging to make time for your relationship. But just as you did when you first met, it is critical to intentionally carve out time for one another on a regular basis. So if you haven’t been on a date recently, schedule it, and do whatever you can to prioritize your time together. Your relationship will thank you for it.
3. Make Communication a Priority
Communication is the foundation of every relationship. Without it, the relationship will be in deep jeopardy. It’s important to set aside time regularly to see what is going on with the other person. In addition to daily conversations, there may be times where you simply need to schedule time for more in-depth conversations. These intimate times are opportunities to share what’s on each other’s heart. It’s also an opportunity to cast a vision for your future together. Embrace these special times knowing you are sowing seeds of trust and intimacy in your relationship.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
Sometimes without realizing it, we set really high and unrealistic expectations in our relationships. The truth is, our partners are human and so are we. We all get tired, grumpy, irritable, and just have bad days sometimes. None of us are ALWAYS at our ideal. Therefore, by expecting our partners to always be ready and willing to meet our every waking need, we are setting our relationships up for failure. We can often be more loving when we have a balance in our relationships by spending time in our own personal interests and pursuits. This gives our partners a break from trying to meet all our expectations.
5. Practice Frequent Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a big one. Where would we be without it? There’s a pretty good chance that without forgiveness, we would have a loveless, callous, distant relationship, or no relationship at all. We probably would be looking for an exit strategy from the relationship too. It is vital that when our partners offend us, we remember we need to be forgiven from our own shortcomings as well. Therefore, by giving our relationships the gift of forgiveness, we can keep our hearts supple and resolute providing a safe place for love to grow and flourish.
By applying these five key principles, couples can greatly improve the quality of their relationships and keep them strong and healthy for years to come.