7 Things To Do With Your Partner To Keep Your Relationship Strong
There's nothing better than the feeling of being totally head-over-heels in love with someone — except during those fleeting moments when you imagine the frightening possibility of someday breaking up. Figuring out how to make a relationship last isn't easy, but the first step is realizing that no matter how gaga for each other you are, it still takes a lot of work to maintain a healthy, happy relationship. The good news? Sometimes, strengthening your relationship simply means spending time together and doing ~fun~ stuff.
"Spending time together means sharing in experiences together," Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert at Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. "Experiencing things helps you grow as a person, and when you can share those experiences with someone — particularly someone who loves doing the same things as you do — you grow together. Ultimately it is our experiences and memories that help shape us as people — when you share experiences with your partner, you are in effect being shaped, evolving, and growing together."
If you want to help ensure that you and your partner stay together for a long, long time to come, here are seven things you can do with your partner that can strengthen your relationship.
1. Take Vacations Together
If you've been daydreaming about taking a romantic getaway with your partner, it might be time to stop fantasizing and start planning — because according to Backe, going on vacation with your partner every now and then can be super healthy for your relationship as a whole.
"Vacation is the ultimate ‘R and R’ — the break you need from a daily nine to five grind to keep you going and to give you something to look forward to," Backe says. "Going on vacation is almost always enjoyable and relaxing, and going on vacation with your partner helps you associate those feelings of fun, enjoyment and relaxation with your partner."
And of course, you don't have to break the bank or plan anything extravagant to reap the benefits. Check out these cheap getaways to take this spring.
2. Have Regular Date Nights
To keep things fun and fresh in a long-term relationship, it's crucial that, no matter how long you've been together, you never stop 'dating' your partner. Even when you're both busy, having regular date nights can help you stay connected — particularly if your go-to night out involves a trip to the movies.
"Going to see a movie represents an escape from the mundane — a chance to take a break and get lost in a film for a few hours," Backe says. "By going to the movies with your partner, you're essentially making them your partner in retreat as well as in the daily grind. That is a very positive thing."
3. Share In Each Other's Important Moments
One of the biggest perks of having a long-term partner? Always having someone to share in your successes — and comfort you in your failures.
"The most important moments and experiences in life are meant to be shared with your partner," Backe says. "If you're experiencing these moments alone — whether they be landmark vacations, holidays, birthdays or otherwise, it will only chip away at the weight and significance of your bond with your partner."
4. Tackle Challenging Experiences As A Team
If you and your partner love to travel, find your way out of escape rooms, or get dirty running through mud-filled obstacle courses races together, you're in luck: tackling challenging situations as a team is a great way to grow your relationship and learn more about each other.
"We learn the most about a person when they are placed in stressful situations; that’s when someone’s true colors show," Tiffany Toombs, Relationship Expert and Director at Blue Lotus Mind, tells Bustle. "Couple[s] can practice...resilience and team problem solving by engaging regularly in leisure activities that push them to grow as a person."
5. Do Chores Together
There's nothing that can ruffle your relationship's feathers quite like figuring out how to divide up the chores when you live with your partner — but why divvy up the chores at all, when tackling them together is a great chance to bond?
"If you are cohabiting, someone can end up feeling like they do the brunt of the chores," Donna Oriowo, Sexuality Educator and Therapist, tells Bustle. "If you take the time to do them together, you can get the work done faster, spend some time together, and reduce chances of resentment that can come when you feel like you do all the chores. Triple win!"
6. Regularly Talk About Money
If you want to stay with your partner long-term, learning how to talk to them about money is absolutely crucial — after all, money is the number one source of relationship stress.
"Relationships are built on trust and the ability to be our true selves with those we love," Brianna McGurran, personal finance expert at Nerdwallet, tells Bustle. "Taking time to learn each other’s financial histories and money personalities, even if they’re embarrassing, helps create a foundation of transparency. A relationship can’t grow without that."
7. Indulge In Each Other's Hobbies
An easy way to bond with your partner and deepen your connection? Spend some time indulging in each other's hobbies — even those you aren't necessarily crazy about.
"Take a genuine interest in one of your partner’s hobbies," Oriowo says. "This gives you a chance to learn a little more about them and why this thing, which can seem totally silly, really matters to them. It gives you a chance to learn and them a chance to explain their love of it, which can also spark deeper feelings of commitment!"
Ultimately, there's no secret recipe for relationship success: as long as you and your partner love, respect, and trust each other — and are always working on improving your relationship and growing closer — then you're almost definitely on the right path to a long-term love story.