When it comes to building a strong relationship, there are a lot of things you can focus on—communication, shared goals, making time for each other, or settling disputes. But so often you get caught up in day-to-day life and forget to make the time to think about these things and what they mean for your life as a couple.
If one of your goals for 2018 is improving your relationship, here are four relationship tips taken from real couples that will give you a good place to start.
1. Listen to each other
When your partner has a problem or needs help with something, it’s natural to want to step in and fix things. But this usually isn’t what they really need. 50% of people said being a good listener is the best way a partner can support them. Coming in second was helping them get things done followed by being a good problem solver.
2. Spend quality time
It seems simple, but having more quality time together as a couple is often the hardest thing to do. When asked how they’d like to spend their time together in the year ahead, 41% of people said they wanted to spend more quality time together. Other popular things couples want to spend time on? 38% said they wanted to tackle their resolutions and goals together, and 17% said they wanted to make more time for romance.
3. Be Open
All relationships hit ups and downs, even if you agree on everything. Perhaps that’s why 50% of people said honest communication is the key to a happy, lasting relationship. But shared values and goals wasn’t completely left out—it got 37% of the vote ,while other things like sympathy and compassion and great sex had less than 10% of the vote.
4. Self Improvement
It’s important to grow as a couple but don’t forget to grow as an individual too. 51% of people said that the main goal they shared with their partner was, oddly enough, self-improvement. Helping each other become better people and better partners often goes together, so while making your goals for your relationship don’t forget to focus on yourself as well.
Take the time to think about your relationship and what your goals are for the year ahead. Some of the healthiest, happiest couples are those who simply take the time to focus on their relationship and each other.