11 Ways to Deepen and Grow your Relationship
1. Never go to sleep angry. Try a little tenderness.
2. Apologize, apologize, apologize. Anyone can make a mistake. Repair attempts are crucial—highly predictive of marital happiness. They can be clumsy or funny, even sarcastic—but willingness to make up after an argument is central to every happy marriage.
3. Some dependency is good, but complete dependency on a partner for all one's needs is an invitation to unhappiness for both partners. We're all dependent to a degree—on friends, mentors, spouses. This is true of men as well as women.
4. Maintain self-respect and self-esteem. It's easier for someone to like you and to be around you when you like yourself. Research has shown that the more roles people fill, the more sources of self-esteem they have. Meaningful work—paid or volunteer—has long been one of the most important ways to exercise and fortify a sense of self.
5. Enrich your relationship by bringing into it new interests from outside the relationship. The more passions in life that you have and share, the richer your relationship will be. It is unrealistic to expect one person to meet all of your needs in life.
6. Cooperate, cooperate, cooperate. Share responsibilities. Relationships work ONLY when they are two-way streets, with much give and take.
7. Stay open to spontaneity.
8. Maintain your energy. Stay healthy.
9. Recognize that all relationships have their ups and downs and do not ride at a continuous high all the time. Working together through the hard times will make the relationship stronger.
10. Make good sense of a bad relationship by examining it as a reflection of your beliefs about yourself. Don't just run away from a bad relationship; you'll only repeat it with the next partner. Use it as a mirror to look at yourself, to understand what in you is creating this relationship. Change yourself before you change your relationship.
11. Understand that love is not an absolute, not a limited commodity that you're in of or out of. It's a feeling that ebbs and flows depending on how you treat each other. If you learn new ways to interact, the feelings can come flowing back, often stronger than before.