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DIY Ways to Improve Your Relationship

DIY Ways to Improve Your Relationship

Human beings are generally wired to seek to connect and be with others, in packs or communities, but also in intimate relationships. Modern life has given us many advantages over our ancestors, and one of them is that we have a lot more time to spend with our partners and significant others. This can be a great blessing, but it can also lead to hurt, fights, and strife. Working with a family or relationship counselor can be one of the best ways to clear up and hurt and communication problems, but here are some simple fixes you can do on your own that will help to improve your relationship!

  1. Talk less and listen more. This sounds ridiculously easy, but in practice it really is hard. Stopping yourself from talking and just letting your partner talk may be one of the more difficult challenges out there. What this does is increase your understanding of what is going on, as well as allow them to express themselves and feel heard. It may not fix everything, but it goes a long way to making each other feel better.

  2. Show that you are listening. Ok, this one may be just as hard as not talking and listening, but to demonstrate that you are listening, and you hear what your partner is trying to say will also go a long way towards improving your relationship. You do this by making your body pay attention. This means, looking at the person, maintaining eye contact, and turning your body towards them while they are talking. Then you show you heard them by repeating it back, in your own words. It could be something as simple as, “So, you are mad because I forgot to let the dog out yesterday and you had to do that when you came home.” This again increases the understanding and connection you both have. It also allows you to make sure you know what is really the problem, as it gives them a chance to stop and think about it.

  3. Remember the promises you make. Trust is something that is easy to lose in a relationship. You need to keep that if you want to keep the relationship going. To do that, being trustworthy means doing what you say you are going to do. If you cannot keep a promise, be upfront about it and why, but always put in the effort to at least try to keep it. 

  4. Remember empathy. Humans are born with a unique ability to put themselves in someone else’s place, and imagine what it would be like to be them. Use this gift for your relationship’s benefit, and show some empathy towards your significant other. Try to imagine how you would react if you were in their shoes, in other words. You can also try to remind your partner about empathy as well, and help them see it from your perspective also.

  5. Stay in the moment with them. Do not rush towards fixing a problem, or sometimes even try to solve. Just listen. Let them talk it out. People more often than not just want to feel like they are being heard and understood. This is a communication style that is very different from the ones that many of us, men especially, naturally do. Men want to fix it. Be patient as your partner learn to slow down and just listen and let you talk about whatever is on your mind.

  6. Learn to say, “I’m sorry.” An honest “I’m sorry” can go a lot further than many other things that you can do, communication wise. It helps people learn to trust and forgive, and also helps people move past the issue, whatever that may be. One of the dangers to relationships is people holding grudges. When you apologize earnestly, a grudge can be overcome.

  7. Laugh. Just laugh. At yourself. At your partner. Learn to find the joy and humor in life. Laughter relieves a lot of tension and has been shown to improve both physical and mental well-being. If you are laughing at someone else, make sure it does not come across in a mean spirit. But try to have fun, smile, and laugh with your partner. 

These seven tips will go a long way towards improving your relationship and your life overall. They will take time and practice, so don’t give up on them or your partner if things do not go smoothly to start. If you find your relationship is still struggling, or if things are getting more and more difficult to manage, please visit our referrals section for an affordable marriage and family therapist in your area. Hope is out there!

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Jason Simpkins
Posted on 10/21/2018 by Jason Simpkins

Jason Simpkins is a writer at Open Counseling. He is a clinical social worker in Michigan and is dedicated to having quality mental health care available to everyone. And as a University of Michigan graduate, he says a hearty, Go Blue!


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