Virtually all relationships can use a little improvement, even if they are going along great. Bad relationships may need some serious changes before they can improve, while good relationships can always use a few small changes to make them even better.
On the other hand, as has been said many times before, it’s the small things that add up and determine the quality and character of the relationship. So even if your relationship can’t exactly be described as a good one, making it a habit to do the small things listed in this article and others like them may bring it back from the brink, and turn it from lead to gold.
Let’s just get started, then, so you can get started on figuring out how to use these (or coming up with more… if you do, please comment!) 7 small things you can do to improve your relationship:
Say “I love you”
You do love them, and they know it, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to hear it. I generally find that the amount I tell my wife that I love her varies directly with how close I feel to her… though I think it’s the being close that causes me to tell her more, rather than the other way around. Either way, it lets her know that I am thinking about her right then.
One thing to watch out for, though, is overdoing it, especially if your significant other is not feeling particularly close to you at the moment.
You can really show how much you love someone by dropping everything that you’re doing to go give them attention. This works especially well if you do it right when you see them after being apart, such as right when they come home. There’s very little that makes me feel better than when my wife drops whatever she’s doing when I come home and meets me at the door, throwing her arms around my neck.
This is another one of those whose effectiveness varies considerably depending on the recipient’s mood, however.
It feels good when somebody notices what you’ve been working on… so pay attention and see where they’ve been spending their time, energy, and attention. You should notice when your significant other gets a new item of clothing, a new haircut, a new scent (ie perfume/cologne), or anything else that changes. Let them know you noticed, especially if it’s something they did for you (like if they bought that new item of clothing because they know it’s something you like). It doesn’t hurt to thank them, either, when it’s something for you, or even something that’s not for you, but IS something you appreciate.
Let Them Know When You Are Impressed
This one is actually a big deal, though in my experience it seems to be a bigger deal for men than for women. It doesn’t really matter how small the thing is that impressed you, everyone likes to know that they did something that you find remarkable… it could be that you threw something to them and they caught it, in spite of it not being the greatest throw, all the way up to them getting a promotion or a new job.
There’s a corollary to this, as well… let them know when you are proud of them. If your significant other spends a significant amount of time and energy on something, and achieves a significant results, such as losing a lot of weight, completing a long and involved project, overcoming their anger, or something else involving a difficult accomplishment, let them know that you are proud of them for what they’ve done and for sticking with it… it will make them feel much better and provide more motivation for their next serious effort.
Remember Special Moments… And Share
When you’ve been together for a while, even a short while, you will have special moments together. As you’re together longer, you will pile up more and more of these, and while some of the initial, lesser, special moments may fade, you will always have a collection of these moments. While going through your daily life, it’s quite likely that something will make you remember one of these special moments… when it does, take a moment to really remember it. If you are with your significant other, share the memory right then. If not, try to remember the circumstances… what brought up the memory, how it made you feel, etc., and tell them later.
Buy Them Something Small Spontaneously
This is always easy… pick up something small for them that they like, for no reason. Buy your wife flowers (or chocolates… as long as she’s not working hard to lose weight… if she is it will make her love you AND hate you), your husband a new gadget, or whatever it is that they like. Your definition of small may vary… to me something small is something that costs less than $20. If you make more money than me, that might be $1,000… if you make less it might be $5. Whatever amount small is to you, it’s just something to show that you were thinking about them and willing to go out of your way in order to get them something they like.
Make Them Their Favorite Thing For Dinner
This one really doesn’t take that much effort and can really have a big effect, especially if you don’t do it all that often (it makes it more unusual, and that makes it of greater significance). This is another way of showing them that you were thinking about them, and willing to spend your time, effort, and attention on doing something specifically for them.
This also works if their favorite thing for you to make for dinner is reservations.
These are all small things you can do… they don’t take more than a few minutes, mostly, with the exception of number seven. When you do them regularly, though, mixing them up and making them a part of who you are and what you do, they can really add up to a serious improvement in your relationship.
This is not a complete list, by any means… it’s more a list of some of the small things that I do for my wife (and she does for me) that I know really add up to make a big impact over the long run. I’m always looking for new things, though, so if you have any additions, please leave them in the comments for me.