Are you in a thriving relationship?
It is one thing to be in a happy relationship and it is something completely different to be in a thriving relationship. When you are happy, you are satisfied with your partner and what you have built. You love one another and make each other smile; everything seems good. When you are in a thriving relationship, you are happy and growing. You grow as people and as partners every single day; more importantly, you work hard on ensuring the growth of your relationship. While happiness can fade, a thriving relationship is one that lasts a lifetime.
There are 5 steps to building a happy and thriving relationship.
1. Learn to be responsive
Practicing responsiveness means learning how to give your full attention to your partner when they are expressing themselves. Making your partner feel heard shows them that you care about the way they feel and what they have to say. It is important to know that being responsive means more than just listening: it means responding. In other words, you should try to make your partner feel heard even if they were to simply comment on the weather. While verbally replying is obviously the best way to respond, simply looking at them and nodding or smiling would also make them feel heard.
2. Be careful how you use your phone
Taking the previous point further, using your phone when your partner is trying to communicate with you is something you should never do. Texting or checking your emails instead of giving your full attention can slowly but surely destroy your relationship. Nevertheless, Theresa E. DiDonato Ph.D. notes that phones could be an asset; that is, you can make your partner feel special by texting them throughout the day to let them know you are missing them or thinking about them.
3. Stay curious
If you have been in a relationship for a long time, you may feel like you already know everything about your partner. While you may indeed know a lot, you cannot know everything. The difference between a happy couple and one that is thriving is that the latter never stops being curious. Therefore, carve out some quality time every once in a while and make sure you have no distractions. Instead of spending time together watching Netflix, turn off your electronics and pay attention to each other. You will be surprised by what you discover.
4. Reminisce about the past
When you have been dating for several years, it is important to think back to the beginning. What did you fall in love with most? Which memories will you cherish forever? Talk about all of the wonderful moments you have shared. Reminiscing about the past will not only show you how far you have come but it will also encourage you to grow even further.
If your partner goes out of their way to do something nice for you, acknowledge it. With time, people get used to the kindness that they are shown and they fail to feel grateful for it. Instead, they focus on all the things that their partner could be doing but is not. Rather than judging them for what they have not done, show appreciation for what they have done. Everybody deserves to feel and know that the things they do for the one they love are seen and appreciated.