We don’t stop doing things in our relationship intentionally.
But life happens, and when it does, we slowly move away from each other, without even realizing that our ships might be sailing in different directions.
The beginning of a relationship is always exciting and flooded with passion. We do things that make us and our partner happy and would do anything to keep them satisfied. And so we go the extra mile and promise them to never take them for granted.
Once things settle, though, we might start running on autopilot. We assume that our partner is happy in the relationship, so we stop putting in effort. Also, when we become comfortable with each other, we slowly move toward becoming friends and stop being lovers.
But this is exactly how we jeopardize our relationships. When we stop minding our actions, our partner’s negative reactions will naturally escalate, leading to gradual disconnection and, in some cases, separation. Friendship is necessary—and required—in all relationships, but love is essential. It’s not enough to care; we need to show it too.
For those of us who become too comfortable and stop expressing our love, we might be faced with a partner who has slowly become jaded and dejected.
Asking for what they need is not always easy, so they will silently battle with their expectations and wishes. They might not always know what’s missing, but they do know that something’s off.
For a relationship to work, we need to put in equal effort and never stop doing these five things:
1. Saying I love you. These three short words might be reserved for the first couple of months, but we need to incorporate them again into our everyday practices. You might think it’s cheesy to say I love you when you’ve been together for more than a decade, but trust me, it’s not. I know that my husband loves me, but when he says it, it makes me feel valued and appreciated.
2. Hugging. How often do you hug your partner? I’m sure you know that hugging is comforting, but do you know that it boosts the immune system and can actually make us healthier? It also reduces stress and anxiety by releasing oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone. It only takes a few seconds to hug your partner and make it meaningful. Please do it more often.
3. Giving compliments. We might think that compliments aren’t necessary when we’ve been together for so long. But they make us feel special and loved, so don’t underestimate their power. So, whenever you can, tell your partner what you admire about them.
4. Playing. We might not realize how important playfulness is in our relationship because we might not practice it frequently. What does it mean to be playful with our partner? It means sharing inside jokes, acting silly, laughing, chasing after them, poking them, and so on. Being playful brings us closer and leads to a happier relationship.
5. Flirting. Flirting with our partner after a long, busy day might take effort, but it’s necessary to keep our love burning. When we flirt with our partner we show them that we’re still interested and we want them. It’s also fun and enjoyable!