Everyday I hear from couples struggling to feel happy, satisfied and fulfilled in their relationships. Sometimes the issues are complicated or carry the heavy burden of baggage caused by a betrayal but a lot of the time it’s the daily grind that takes its toll on our happiness.
So, here are 3 simple ways to get happier in your relationship right now!
1. Make time for each other
Like anything else that is important to you—you must care for it. Your finances, your car, your health and hygiene all get attention nearly every day. Why do we neglect to care for our relationship and expect it to be healthy and thrive?
Be intentional about creating time together. Pull out your calendars and schedule dates—both at home and out. Time together doesn’t have to require grand gestures of romance, spending a lot of money or getting fancy. One of my favorite times with my husband is in bed at night, each reading our own books side by side.
Pay attention to overlaps in your schedule when you are both at home or near a restaurant in town and meet there for lunch. (I LOVE daytime dates—especially on weekdays, it feels so special)
If you all of a sudden have a house without kids because they are both out playing or have finally fallen asleep, seize the moment and spend that quality time together.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your quantity time together is the same as quality time together. Seeing each other every day doesn’t mean you are spending time together!
2. Make time for yourself
It is absolutely critical that both partners are free and able to pursue dreams, aspirations, friendships and endeavors outside the relationship.
We cannot be all things to each other so experiencing connection, support and joyful connection with other pro-relationship friends is important.
When we pursue activities on our own, we infuse fresh energy and material into the closed system that is our relationship.
I know this first hand because when my husband comes home after a day in the wilderness—he has grass in his teeth, wild eyes and is so happy to see me. It re-invigorates him and who is the hero? I am, for giving him the time and space to go for it!
3. Make your needs known
Let’s face it- if all of our needs were met in our relationship, we’d be completely content and fortified. But this is an unrealistic expectation to have; we are human after all and will therefore hurt and disappoint each other from time to time.
To minimize our discontent and maximize our joy we have to do our best to meet each other’s emotional needs. We all have them and it’s not ‘needy’ to have needs.
When we understand each other’s needs—and most importantly, the behaviors, gestures or actions we can take that fulfill those needs, we are going to be successful meeting them.
Sometimes we think we are being clear when we express the need to feel loved or important. But experiencing feeling loved or important is achieved in different ways for all of us. I feel important or significant to my husband when he plans activities for our family and for time away for us.
What are your strongest emotional needs and what actions can your partner take to meet them? Share them here and definitely make sure to share your answer with your mate!