OUTFIT DETAILSOutfits courtesy of Outdoor Voices
On Her: Sports Bra, Green Long Sleeve, TechSweat Leggings, Kendra Scott Earrings
On Him: Green Longsleeve, Green Joggers, Jackson Figure Skates
This post was made in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions are my own.
It can get easy to get caught up in everyday life and not devote as much attention or time to our partner as we should. However, I truly believe love is a verb and it doesn’t take grand gestures to strengthen your relationship. It’s often the small things that can really show how much someone truly pays attention and loves you. For example, Johnny knows how important figure skating is to me, so when I embarked on this goal to take figure skating more seriously, he joined in! I want to share five ways to strengthen your relationship. These are not elaborate or super expensive, but they show your partner you love them and appreciate them, which in turn will make your relationship closer and stronger.
1. Say Thank You
It may not sound like much, but a simple thank you acknowledges the effort someone is putting in. There are responsibilities and roles in every relationship and even though those are set, it’s still important to recognize when a task is completed. In our household, Johnny and I have this rule: the cook doesn’t clean. So, if Johnny makes dinner, I make sure to do the dishes, wipe down the counters and dinner table.
However, when Johnny puts my plate in front of me, I’ll say, “Thank you, darling. This looks delicious!” or when I shut the dishwasher full of dirty dishes, Johnny says, “Thanks for doing the dishes.” Yes, it’s our job to make dinner and clean up, but it’s nice to feel appreciated and acknowledged for our effort. It’s a reminder the other person is noticing what you’re doing.
2. Do An Activity Together
Whether it’s trying something new or just having something to do together, being together is a proven way to strengthen your relationship. Johnny and I are currently in that phase where we’re trying to save money, so we don’t do a ton of expensive activities such as traveling or eating out too often, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strengthen your relationship. I love the idea of doing activities together and they don’t have to be new. For example, you can work-out together, go grocery shopping together or in our case, we love to go figure skating together!
I use my Chase Freedom Unlimited card to pay for our ice time or anything figure skating related. Johnny is my secret sauce when it comes to staying on track with my figure skating goals because we love going skating together. Plus, he keeps me accountable and we track each other’s progress. It’s our “date” time and being able to work toward a goal together really strengthens our relationship.
Whether I’m paying for ice time, gas to the skating rink, or researching new soakers (they protect the blades on your ice skates when you aren’t skating) to buy for Johnny, my Chase Freedom Unlimited cash back credit card allows me to earn 1.5 percent cash back on all my purchases.
3. Celebrate Their Wins
There is no room for inter-relationship jealousy. Johnny and I firmly believe we are each other’s person. It’s us against the world and we can only do that if we truly support and encourage one another. Being enthusiastic about your partner’s success, whether it’s big or small, is so important. It will strengthen your relationship by leading to more commitment, satisfaction and of course, love.
When Johnny tells me about a new company he’s working on, I enthusiastically ask about it and express my excitement. If I get a new campaign for my blog, Johnny reacts positively and if I tell him in person, he usually gives me a high five or a hug! Celebrating each other’s wins is a key way to strengthen your relationship.
4. Pay Attention
Communication is king when it comes to all relationships but if you truly pay attention and do something without the other person asking, it will no doubt strengthen your relationship. Plus, being attentive to all the little things can help you course-correct if something goes wrong so you avoid a bigger argument.
For example, when Johnny cooks, he likes to add salt. I don’t cook with salt usually, so I put it in the cabinet on a higher shelf. After watching him consistently take it down, use it, and put it back, I got him a little marble container to keep salt in and put it on our lazy Susan. Now, it’s easily accessible for him when he’s cooking. That’s love. Love is paying attention to the little things and then acting on them. Not grand gestures at rare moments.
5. Be Honest
They say honesty is the best policy and I couldn’t agree more. Expressing your true views is key to having a healthy and strong relationship. Bottling up your emotions because you’re afraid to hurt your partner can only lead to unavoidable volatility later. I believe any relationship that could get ruined by having a respectful conversation about your feelings, standards and/or expectations truly wasn’t stable to begin with.
If Johnny does something that gets on my nerves, I tell him right away. We both are so honest with one another and know we are never trying to hurt the other person, which helps us be open. We both have no problem flat out holding the other person accountable and that’s what strengthens our relationship.