Relationships are difficult; they can be incredibly fun and rewarding, but they also require work to maintain a strong bond between you and your partner. The amount of work and dedication that you put into a relationship will increase the depth of your and your partner’s attachments to one another and result in a closer relationship. A strong relationship can be started and maintained through key behaviors such as communication, understanding, intimacy, and trust.
Learn how to better your relationship with your boyfriend so you can keep the relationship strong and fulfilling.
1. Open up to him.
Your man has to feel comfortable confiding in you. In a world where most men feel they have to act tough just to make it through the day at work or survive a night of beer and football with the guys, they really need a place where they can be vulnerable. As a woman, you should be the one who creates that vulnerability, inviting space for him. You should create a place for him to take off his “man mask” and just be himself. We all know that men are not like women in the way we talk at length about our problems and speak directly about our feelings, but they do need an outlet for their built-up stress and negative feelings.
2. Encourage him to open up.
Now it’s time to encourage him to open up on a deeper level. But poking and prodding him to spill his guts will surely lead you down a road to disaster. Just remember, most men are not as open with their thoughts and their feelings like women are. Allow him to divulge bits and pieces of his past to you at his own pace. This is a process that can take months or even years. You’re in this for the long haul, right? So there really isn’t any rush in making him tell you his whole life story all at once. When he does begin to open up, encourage him to discuss how those experiences changed him. When he starts to let his guard down, and he begins to let you get a glimpse at the more personal side of his life, your emotional bond will continue to strengthen.
3. Find creative ways to put your feelings into actions.
Try not to confuse emotional intimacy with physical intimacy, and don’t let sex be the only way you translate your emotions into actions. Find more interesting ways to show how you feel other than just being physical. Do nice things for each other as often as possible. For example, you might make a special dinner for each other on a Saturday night, start a hobby together, or spend one evening giving each other back massages. Learn and do the little things that bring you both joy.
4. Ask for their opinion
This might seem like a silly thing to do because if you care about your partner, you probably want to know their thoughts on things. However, many people don’t ask for their significant other’s opinion on important stuff. If you’re debating getting a new job, you should ask what your partner thinks. Ask if they’d switch careers. Make sure you know what they think about the major things in your life. Not only does this make them feel valued, it affects them, too. And that helps to build a deeper bond because you’re acknowledging that your lives are connected.
5. Appreciate him.
After you have been with someone for a long time, you might start to take for granted that he knows how you feel about him. Maybe you’re not in that honeymoon phase anymore, but you want him to know how you feel about. Let him know that you care and appreciate everything he does. Most men don’t ask for much. All they want is to feel loved and appreciated for protecting and providing for you. After being in a relationship for years, saying “thank you” is a phrase that sometimes gets lost.
6. Soft touches
Emotional intimacy builds over time with a little bit of help from the physical side of things. Men are accustomed to rough housing. They spend the majority of their childhood and teenage years getting bumped around, bruised, and breaking bones while playing contact sports and while goofing off with their friends. So when he chooses to be in a relationship, he will crave the kind of soft and gentle touches he probably hasn’t felt since the days when he was just a small child. As you go in for a hug before he heads out for work, allow your touch to linger as you slowly pull yourself away from him. He’ll be thinking about you all day long and counting down the hours until he can experience that soft touch once again. The way you caress him will become addicting, and he will forever want to be in your presence.
7. Never fight dirty
Fighting dirty with your guy will immediately destroy any trust the two of you have built throughout your relationship. So the next time you have a disagreement, don’t start throwing things back in his face, such as “that’s why your mother hates you!” or, “that’s exactly why your ex-girlfriend cheated on you!” These kind of damaging statements can be detrimental to the emotional bond you two share. Instead, stay on topic and focus on the issues at hand. Fighting your battles with a level head and without hurling insults shows your maturity and emotional stability. He will know that even at your angriest, you won’t go out of your way to really hurt him.
8. Be playful.
One way to make your relationship better is to keep it light. Being playful with one another is a way to deepen your connection and communicate. You don’t just have to be serious with one another to improve the relationship. Joking with each other, acting silly, and engaging in lighthearted activities that make you both laugh can make you feel closer to one another. Lightly tease each other about things, bring up inside jokes, and smile or laugh when the other one says something funny.
9. Do not try to change him.
You cannot change your boyfriend. He cannot change you. If you think the relationship will be better by changing him, then you need to change your thinking. Trying to change him will only lead to conflict. Instead, talk about things that bother you. The two of you can work together to find a solution. Compromise is a way to work towards a better relationship without forcing change on anyone. Talk to each other and come to an agreement about how to handle the issue.
10. Try new things together
This is actually proven to help you two bond even closer. When you’re both at the starting point of something, you can connect over it. Think back to the times you tried a new sport with a friend. You probably got a lot closer being involved in something you were both unfamiliar with. It works the same way in a relationship. Go out there and take come cooking classes. Join a sports league neither of you has tried before and grow stronger as a couple.
11. Continuously fall in love
If you think you can’t keep falling in love just because you’re already in love, you’re wrong. I know it sounds weird but it’s something you should work on to maintain a healthy relationship. Remember all those things you did at the beginning of your relationship to fall in love in the first place? Keep doing those things. Work to make your partner love you every single day. When you’re both doing this, you’ll always feel loved and appreciated and that’s what keeps your relationship happy and strong.
No matter how long you’ve been in a relationship, it’s never too late to start increasing the emotional intimacy to ensure his love for you never dies. Having a deep bond with your significant other isn’t just something that happens. You have to make it happen. Work hard to maintain your connection.