32 Ways to Build Happy & Lasting Relationships

There are hundreds of things you can do to better your relationship. To help get you headed in the right direction, we have chosen 101 ways to build, strengthen, and enhance your relationship.

1.Be Yourself
Do not be phony in your relationship, trying to be someone or something different as a way to please your mate. For a relationship to work, both people need to be themselves and react to things naturally. Just imagine if you are really kind of on the
silly side, enjoying life to the fullest. Then you meet a wonderful person who is much more conservative than you are. Because you are attracted to them, you try to squelch your normal vibrant personality. You are miserable and eventually, the person is going to be exposed to the “real” you. You have to base any relationship on honesty or it will eventually fall apart.

2.Schedule Time
Spending quality time together is crucial. This time can be with friends, dining out, attending a sporting event, or cuddling together while watching a favorite movie. The activity is not what is important but the fact that you are together, doing something that you both enjoy. People have extremely busy schedules and between work, family, the home, errands, and everything else going on, finding time for your mate can be difficult. Just as you would schedule a meeting on your calendar, show some courtesy in the relationship by scheduling time with each other.

If you and your mate have scheduled some time for a Friday night dinner, put together a surprise instead. For example, if your mate loves professional wrestling, buy some tickets near the front or if they like concerts, purchase the tickets ahead of time, getting the best seats possible. When Friday night comes around, insist on driving and head toward the location where the event is taking
place. When asked where you are going, simply answer, “I have a surprise for you. I know you love professional wrestling so I purchased two great seats for tonight’s performance,” or “I know we had planned on going to dinner, but I wanted to surprise you with something special. I purchased tickets to see one of your favorite groups in concert.” The idea of you getting the tickets for something THEY like and then keeping it as a special surprise will touch the heart!

As important as it is to spend quality time together, it is equally important to give each other time to do something they like. If your mate loves to fish but you have no desire to bait a hook with little, slimy worms, or if you like to go to the casino but
your mate would rather do something different, encourage each other to take time apart. Try establishing a set time for this very purpose, if possible. For example, perhaps you could determine that every other Friday night is “singles” night. This is not a time to date other people, but to enjoy preferred activities. Remember that
you have to place trust in your relationship. If you try this and then drill them, to see what they did, whom they were with, and where they went, then the exercise has failed.

5.Re-establish Old Traditions
If you and your mate had a tradition of some kind when you first got together, dust it off and breathe life back into it. Perhaps you met after work on Friday at the local pub for a drink, washed your cars together every Saturday morning, or attended church together on Sunday. Whatever it was, re-establish the tradition.

When couples are having problems in a relationship, communication is the first thing to stop. It is often easier to just be quiet than to get mad. When rebuilding relationships, just as communication was the first to stop, it now needs to be the
first to start. This will require that both individuals let down their guard and pretty much throw caution to the wind. Healing in the relationship cannot start until you talk. Make an agreement that you will talk about anything and everything and that you will listen, really listen. That does not mean that you will agree with everything, which is perfectly fine. However, if you do not agree, do not yell, rather, the two of you need to calmly discuss the issue and together, work out a solution. This is hard work but within a very short time, you will both feel much better, individually, and as a couple.

7.A Night of Passion
Intimacy and passion in relationships are not only important but also healthy. Couples need to enjoy being together in an intimate way. When relationships are troubled, the last thing either person wants is to be sexual or passionate with each other. However, this is a part of the healing and rebuilding of the relationship and although it might be awkward in the beginning, it is crucial. Make your intimate time together special. Surprise your mate with a warm bubble bath, lighted candles, soft music, and a bottle of wine, or reserve a nice romantic evening at a local hotel to include a wonderful candlelit dinner, fine wine, and a beautiful room.

8.Secret Getaway
Plan a nice weekend getaway to someplace off the beaten track where you can enjoy some privacy. A quaint cottage or charming bed and breakfast would be ideal choices. Scout out the area ahead of time and choose a few things that the two of you would like to do in the area but just be sure to leave plenty of time for you to enjoy some alone time. Order a nice bottle of wine or some hot cappuccino and relax in front of the fire! Make this a romantic weekend where you can rekindle your love.

9.Just Because
Give your mate gifts “just because.” These do not have to be expensive whatsoever. For example, one woman had a miniature dish collection in her kitchen. Her husband came home and told her that he had a gift for her. Holding out her hand, he gently placed in her hand a miniature porcelain cup with her name neatly written in blue ink. She knew that this cup probably cost no more than $2.00
but the thought that he would take the time to find something she enjoyed, was worth $1 million. The small gifts packed with thought are far more cherished.

10.Say it with Words
Surprise your mate with little notes found in unexpected places. If your mate travels for work, place a loving note somewhere in their suitcase. Perhaps they have a long commute to work. If so, slip a note saying, “I love you,” in their CD case where you know they will find it. Another recommendation is sticking a note on the bathroom mirror so this will be the first thing seen in the morning. Be creative and have some fun with this.

11.Split the Responsibility
Whether dating or married, weekends are always full of errands and chores. If you find that on the weekend things are lopsided, help your mate out. For example, if there are kids involved and one has a soccer game while the other has a baseball game, at the same time, offer to take one of the kids and your mate takes the other.
Make this a special time by packing a special lunch or snacks. Perhaps one of you has company coming and the house needs to be cleaned, laundry done, and groceries purchased. Set aside something you need done and offer to pitch in to help. Simply say you want to help and ask which of the jobs you can take over. This gesture will show your mate that you really care by sacrificing your time.

12.Love Means Having to Say You Are Sorry
If you make a mistake by doing or saying something that is hurtful or damaging to the relationship, say that you are sorry. Many people struggle with these words, even when they know that what they did was wrong. It actually takes a strong person to apologize. Do not wait until you think you have the courage but say it immediately, and with sincerity. Too often when couples argue, there is a long period of silence, which actually makes the anger and tension worse. You need to let your mate know immediately that you made a mistake and ask for forgiveness.

13.Do Not Repeat
Learn from your mistakes. When something goes wrong and the two of you work through it, do not repeat the same mistake. Rather than dive right back into whatever it was you did or said, think before you act. At first, this will take some discipline but as you see positive results in the relationship, be encouraged that it is working.

14.Control Your Anger
Every relationship has difficulties, and sometimes, there can be some intense arguments. For the sake of your relationship and the love you have for your mate, keep your anger in check. First, when people are angry, hurtful words fly, usually not even meant. However, after speaking, it is too late to take them back – the
damage is done. Another problem with anger is that the word divorce” can easily be thrown around. You may not mean it, but you know it hurts, thus making you the winner of the argument. NEVER talk about divorce in your relationship, even if just teasing. If you need to go to another room to cool off, and then do that, but
whatever you do, do not allow your anger to take control of your relationship.

15.The Art of Gift Giving
Everyone loves to be given a gift, especially as a surprise or “just because.” Just remember while giving gifts is a beautiful thing to do for the person you love, there are five key essentials for making your mate know that you are giving just because you love them. First, put some thought into the gift. Do not just pick up something at the last minute so you are not empty-handed. Second, make the effort. Even if you have a busy schedule, be sure to schedule a time to shop. Third, give with the right attitude. You give because you appreciate and love, not because you want something back. Fourth, plan what you are going to give. Find something that is important for your mate and not necessarily to you. Finally, add the element of surprise into the gift-giving. Using this equation is sure to impress your mate and leave a lasting impression.

Find a charity that you would both like to contribute to and give something special in both names. For example, if there is a synergy house near where you live for unwed mothers, go in together and purchase a crib or baby clothes. Another option would be if a local park needs donations, find out what kind of trees they need and purchase a tree together. Make this something special where you go
shop together and then present together. These types of kind acts are great for bringing couples closer together and help both people love and appreciate each other even more for their kindness.

17.Keep in Touch
If you are in a relationship, where your mate serves in the armed forces and is overseas or in another state on duty, away in a foreign country for school, or separated from you for one reason or another, it is important that you keep in touch with each other often. There will be stress from the separation but by keeping in
touch and informing each other of the things each person is dealing with, how they feel, etc., you will not have any break in your communication. The goal is that when you get back together, you can easily pick up where you left off. This is a very important time to provide each other with confirmation of your love and validation of your relationship. While this will require some extra effort on both parts, keep in mind that the separation is not forever.

18.New Adventures
Arrange for the two of you to try something new together If you are both the athletic type, enter yourselves into some type of physical competition. If the two of you like the fine arts, audition for roles in a local community theater. Perhaps you like to travel. If so, arrange for a short trip to someplace exotic that you have never been to before.

19.Change Routines
Understand that every once in a while, it is important to throw an exciting curve into your relationship. If you are in a routine for example of offering your mate a quick peck on the lips before you part ways for the day, try adding a soft, gentle kiss on the neck. You can be assured that throughout the day, that change in routine, is what will be on your mate’s mind.

Finding a nice place where the two of you can enjoy a slow dance is a great way to spend time together, holding each other without saying a word. Keep in mind that to accomplish this, you can stay home and simply move some furniture out of the way, light some candles, and put on your favorite soft music and enjoy some quiet,
romantic time together.

21.To Tell or Not to Tell
Experts will disagree on how much of a person’s past should be shared in a relationship and while some things probably should be shared, most people lean more toward not sharing every aspect of the past. First, it is the past. Think back to how much people grow through the teen years to mid-twenties. Offering unnecessary information from the past is a great way to create distrust, insecurity, and more questions than answers. Be wise when sharing.

22.Respect Privacy
When two people come together in a relationship, each person has their own set of history. There are yearbooks, maybe love letters from first love, other objects that may not seem important to one person but to the owner, they have a special meaning. It is important to respect the privacy of your mate’s “stuff.” Do not dig
through boxes of things owned by your mate out of curiosity. Instead, allow them to bring those things out if they feel it is necessary. By helping yourself, you are disrespecting something sacred to your mate, which is not healthy for any relationship.

23.No Place for Abuse
Regardless of how much you love your mate and believe in who they are, there is NEVER an appropriate time for abuse, whether physical, emotional, or verbal. If your mate shows aggression or any form of abuse toward you, seek counseling for both of you immediately to try to work through things. If your mate refuses to go, even if it is hard, leave. First is your safety. Second, it is possible for people to learn ways in which to manage their aggression. If this is the case, the life of the relationship has a much better chance of surviving!

24.Be Flexible
Remember that relationships are giving and take situations, not a competition between two people who love each other. There will be times when your mate is right and times when you are right. When you feel the conversation getting a little on the edgy side with each of you trying to hold ground, do not forget that there can be
many ways to accomplish the same task. The result is that each of you might learn something new from the other person. Put your heads together and do what makes the most sense instead of battling for ownership of the solution.

25.Cut out the Excuses
A major turn-off in many situations, not only relationships, is people who have an excuse for everything. Forget that. Do not make excuses in fear of your mate not liking, loving, or respecting you. Be yourself and if you messed up with something, just admit to it. Say you had promised to make dinner, got home exhausted, and just did not feel like making it do not tell your mate, “I had to work overtime.” Be honest and say, “You know, I got home after a busy day and I was too tired. What sounds better, Chinese or Pizza?” This has taken you out of the situation of lying and reconfirmed your honest nature to your mate.

Statistics show that couples that spend time in church together usually have strong relationships. Bringing spirituality into your relationship is important. Allow the love of God to be your ultimate guide and spend time having devotions together at night. If you are just starting out dating, religious preference may not seem like a big deal at first, but soon into the relationship, it can be a big trouble spot. Make time for God in your life and consider dating someone who shares the same faith!

27.Work and Home Do Not Mingle
How many times have you heard this? It is true. While sharing experiences about your day with your mate is perfectly normal, living your work at home is not. If you have to bring work home, set a specific amount of time it will take you to complete, let your mate know, and then when quitting time comes, quit! It is important to separate the two parts of your life and keep you work at the job, and when at home, pay attention to your mate and/or family.

28.Embrace Change
There is no relationship on the face of the planet that goes for years and years without change. People change as they mature and view life differently, therefore reacting differently. Rather than get upset with each other over change, embrace change. You may not always like the changes that happen, but do not throw away a perfectly good relationship just because the trail starts to wind. Be patient and encourage new directions while being honest about concerns that might arise.

29.Adore your Mate
Beyond telling your mate that you love them, that they are special, and having passion in your relationship, you should adore your mate and what they bring into the relationship. What that means is to appreciate and love them for the person they are, faults and all. This is true devotion to your mate and a demonstration that you do not take them for granted.

30.Make the Men Feel Good
For the man in your life, here are some recommendations for making him feel special:
ƒ Flirt with him in public places
ƒ Just once, leave the toilet lid up
ƒ Lavish him with compliments
ƒ Tell him how sexy he is
ƒ Act jealous once in a while, even if you are not
ƒ Remind him that he is a wonderful mate, husband, father, whichever applies
ƒ Tell him how handsome you find him

31.Make the Women Feel Good
Just like men, women love feeling good about themselves. These
recommendations might help:
ƒ Tell her how beautiful she is
ƒ Compliment her on her many skills (be specific)
ƒ Just once, leave the toilet seat down
ƒ Tell her how much she means to you
ƒ Let her know that she is your best friend
ƒ Show affectionate to her in front of family and friends
ƒ Let her know that you find her to be sexy

32.Showing Love
Although hearing the words, “I love you” is special and important, sometimes you
wish you could tell your mate as well as hear from your mate those words, but in
special and unique ways. Here are some ideas of how this can be accomplished:
ƒ Rent his favorite movie, even if it is something you do not like, and plan an
evening alone where you can be with him as he enjoys his special treat.
ƒ When he gets out of the shower, hand him a warm, cozy towel just heated in
the dryer.
ƒ When you make him pancakes, first pour the words, “I Love You” on the griddle
and cook for a minute to brown. Then, pour more batter over the words to
create a round pancake. The result will be a pancake displaying those three
special words when you flip it over.
ƒ While he is out of town, wash his car and surprise him by picking him up in a
clean, shiny car at the airport.
ƒ Take him out to lunch.
ƒ Have his favorite breakfast on the table along with the morning newspaper.
ƒ Instead of bugging him to go to the grocery store with you, let him stay home.
ƒ Display your favorite picture of the two of you on the refrigerator.
ƒ Buy him a subscription to his favorite magazine.

As you can see, relationships take work. However, with the right attitude, a lot of hard
work and some unique ideas on how to make is successful, couples can have a strong,
lifelong relationship!