A happy relationship takes a little thought. I hesitate to quote the cliché that you have to work at your relationship—it sounds so onerous. And it\’s really not work to make an effort—it\’s an investment of time and energy to make your relationship as great as it can be. Here are a few resolutions you might want to try:

Resolve to treat your partner with at least as much respect as you would a complete stranger. Admit it. You\’re unfailingly polite to people you don\’t know, always remembering to say “excuse me,” or “please” and “thank you.” But familiarity does sometimes breed contempt. Or at least a tendency to take your partner for granted. So make an effort to notice when your partner does something nice for you, no matter how small the gesture, and say “thank you.”

Resolve to listen all the way through your partner\’s conversation without interrupting. It\’s so tempting, because you\’ve been together enough to know what your partner\’s going to say, right? And you already have the wheels turning in your own head to find a solution to the problem, right? And you don\’t need to hear the rest because you\’ve got a fix. Well, slow down. Take the time to notice that your partner may not want answers or even advice. Just someone to listen—really listen—to their concerns may be all they need.

Resolve to do something nice and unbidden. It\’s the little things that count. Bring your partner coffee in bed. Pick up his favorite fruit at the farm stand. Shine her shoes while you\’re doing yours. Tell him how handsome he looks in that sweater. You get the idea. The grand gesture isn\’t necessary to show someone you love them. Sure, it\’s great to surprise him with plane tickets to London, as long as you\’re sure he wants to go. But it\’s not about expensive purchases. It\’s about showing your partner you think of them and want to do loving things for them.

Resolve to put more romance in your life. First make an effort to find out what your partner thinks is romantic. A candle lit bubble bath might be less appreciated than a snuggle in front of the football game on TV. The point is to take a little time away from the bustle of life and focus on your partner\’s desires. Every once and a while a surprise gesture is nice—a romantic dinner with soft music or maybe a bouquet of her favorite flowers. A little romance can go a long way in cementing a happy relationship.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional.  If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch.  You can reach her here: https://nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.