Creating a thriving relationship takes commitment, effort, and six simple steps. Let me know of steps that you take by leaving a comment below.
1: Create Relationship Goals Together
In order to accomplish a long-term goal, you must set short-term goals that will get you there. In a relationship, it is evident that the long-term goal is to stay together, but the short-term goals that will help you stay together are rarely, if ever, discussed or determined. Each month, get together and create goals for the relationship and each day be intentional about taking a step in the direction of meeting that goal. The goal can be anything, as long as it is beneficial in meeting the long-term goal of staying together.
Example Goal: By the end of this month, we want to improve our communication. To meet this goal, we will take a communication style quiz, find out our own personal style of communication, and use that information to adjust the way in which we communicate as a couple.
2: Do One Thing for Each Other that You Both Don’t Like to Do
Although I’m sure you and your partner have a lot in common, there are always going to be a few things that you both don’t have a shared interest in. Even though you may not have a shared interest in those things, if you know your partner will appreciate the sacrifice you’re making by doing something that you don’t like just to put a smile on their face, then you should make the sacrifice.
Let’s say typically while your partner watches football in the living room, you’re in the bedroom watching Sex in the City. A nice sacrifice to make would be to pause Carrie Bradshaw and make Sunday Night Football a night he’ll always remember. When he walks into the living room, greet him with a kiss, a cold beer, and his favorite football snacks. If he typically orders Domino’s, knead some dough and make him a homemade Meat Lover’s Pizza and serve him while he watches the game. Do whatever it takes to make Sunday a night he’ll never forget.
3: Conduct Check-Ins
Regular relationship check-ins give both people an opportunity to set aside time for communication to see what is working, what can be improved, and what isn’t working in the relationship. By doing weekly, monthly, or check-ins once every two weeks, you will be able to strengthen your relationship and prevent small issues from progressing into bigger ones.
Choose the frequency that is right for your relationship. During good times, you may only need them monthly. On the other hand, if you and your partner are experiencing bad times, then you may need to do check-ins weekly. These do not have to be formal check-ins where you sit across the table from each other and criticize each other’s shortcomings. You can make them lighthearted and do them during a bubble bath, over a romantic dinner or during a walk around the neighborhood. The questions below are questions that I recommend and you can use these as a guide to developing questions that are applicable to your relationship.
- How is your heart?
- What are the three things I’m doing well as a partner?
- What are the three things I could improve as a partner?
- Am I speaking your love language through my actions and words? (If you don’t know your love language, click here.)
- Is there anything that I have done that has unintentionally upset or hurt you?
- What am I doing well at sexually and what could I do better at?
- Are you stressed about anything at work, in life, or within our relationship? In what ways would you like my assistance?
- Is there anything happening at work that is currently affecting or will affect our relationship?
- What are the upcoming events in your life that I should know about?
- What do you need more from me overall?
- Is there anything you would like my spiritual help to pray and fast for.
4: Become Partners in Prayer
There is a lot of truth to the cliché that couples that pray together stay together. That is because praying with your partner increases intimacy and communication, builds trust, and establishes a foundation of faith. Make a commitment to praying with and for your partner by following the steps below at least once a week.
Step 1: Ask each other what they are struggling with, believing God for, and if there are any additional things that they need to request prayer on.
Step 2: Once you both have a clear consensus on what each partner needs prayer for, join hands and begin to pray the requests of your partner. Then, once you pray the requests of your partner, have them complete this step by praying for your requests.
The reason why I created this exercise by having your partner pray for your desires is because it requires that you both communicate amongst each other before you bring the requests to God, which truly makes you partners in prayer. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
5: Create Relationship Rituals
Rituals set aside time for your relationship and keep you in sync with each other. They also deepen the connection throughout the relationship. The rituals should include things that will increase the intimacy. For example, “Ritual #1: Each night for 1 hour, we will place our phones on silent and do an activity together.”
6: Maintain a Consistent Date Night
Although this point is last, it is definitely not least. Many couples get complacent and stop dating each other after the initial excitement of loving each other calms down, but in order to create a thriving relationship, you and your partner must never stop dating. Get creative and try doing things besides just going to a nice restaurant. Try a cooking class, workout class, or anything that you both will enjoy.