Trust and communication – these are the two most important elements needed in a relationship. If you can’t trust your partner, it will lead to a lot of problems because you will end up living in paranoia and suspicion. Likewise, you need to be able to communicate with your partner and share your thoughts and feelings with him/her. There are other important elements of course, like honesty, security and respect.
Well, the big things aside, there are little things that you can do to improve the relationship. I am no expert in relationships, but here are 11 which will not take you a lot of effort but will help the relationship go a longer way:
Social media has pretty much killed a lot of quality time between people, be it family, friends or partners. I admit I derive pleasure from scrolling down my news feed in Facebook and Instagram, double-tapping as I go along and exclaiming at new gossip if any. However, I don’t think your partner will be interested in the affairs of others, especially if they don’t know them personally. Respect your partner’s time and try to minimise usage of your phone when on dates. It’s best if you can put your phone away entirely on dates, such as leaving it in the car or in the bag.
Unless you are overseas, just give a quick call at the start and end of your day. Call please, and not just text! Reading “I love you” on your phone is not the same as hearing “I love you” over the phone.
When you have a five-minute break during the day, drop a call to your partner just to say “I love you” or “I miss you“. You don’t need a reason to call, so when they answer the call and go, “Yes dear?” Just reply with a simple “Nothing much, I’m just calling to say I miss you.” Don’t give excuses and say that you are too busy at work to call; if you can spare time to go to the toilet, you can also drop this brief call.
Surprise hugs can be given easily – when your partner is brushing his/her teeth, standing in line to buy bubble tea, washing the dishes, browsing books at the store and more. That feeling of having your partner wrap his/her arms around your waist from behind and lean against you is gold.
If you have nothing to hide, openly reply your messages on WhatsApp. Turning the phone away from your partner will make him/her think something is up even when there really is nothing. If you have things that you don’t want your partner to read, they are most likely things you shouldn’t be texting then.
You might be going into a meeting or catching a plane, thus being unable to use your phone for the next few hours. Even if you have not been texting your partner throughout the day, just drop a text to say you will be away from your phone for some time, in case he/she suddenly tries to get you and worries when unable to reach you.
Some people might think, “I’m already meeting my partner after work, why do I have to meet for lunch?” Yes, you may regularly meet your partner after work for dinner, but it’s not the same when you meet for lunch. That mid-day meal, albeit shorter than dinner would be, goes a long way in helping your partner get through the second half of the day better.
Write cards or letters to your partner once in a while. Some people don’t have the habit of writing or they feel that they aren’t good with words, thus it can be as simple as leaving a Post-It note in his wallet or her handbag to say, “See you tonight love“. Somehow, a handwritten note holds more meaning than a text or an email.
Go ahead and make fun of each other, lovingly of course. All in good humour, don’t take offence at your partner when they make a joke about you. There is no intention to humiliate, so laugh along with it and tease him back!
After a long day at work, you might be feeling weary and exhausted. Sometimes, that is the best time to go for a short walk around the neighbourhood with your partner. Walk to the supermarket or just go around the block hand in hand; you don’t even need to talk much.
Girls will probably be more affected by this than guys. So guys, please introduce your partner to every friend, acquaintance or colleague that you bump into. Leaving her standing there while you talk and laugh with your friends will make her feel uncomfortable and awkward.