How to Love Better (50 Surprising Tips)


Love is work, sometimes a lot of work. But finding and knowing love is worth the effort. Sometimes it’s necessary to evaluate where you stand in your relationship so that you can determine what can be done to make it better. Here are 50 tips and ideas to help you become better at loving.

COMMUNICATIONS

  1. Listen. Show your partner that you’re engaged by actively listening. Reaffirm what your partner is saying by summarizing what you have heard.
  2. Talk. One way conversation is not effective communication. In order to show that you are invested in the relationship, be willing to give of yourself emotionally and mentally, by sharing your thoughts and needs.
  3. Tough it out. During uncomfortable or difficult conversations, tough it out. Regardless of the topic or how much you hate talking about it, finish the discussion. If the problem is not resolved, it will fester in other areas of your relationship.
  4. Argue Effectively. Two intelligent individuals cannot agree on everything, all the time, no matter how compatible they may be. Sooner or later there will be something that leads to an argument or a difference of opinion. This should not be viewed as a problem. The important thing is how such arguments are handled. Here are a few rules that will help you to deal with arguments in a positive way.
  5. Keep your arguments private, between you and your partner only. Avoid having arguments in front of family members or friends.
  6. Never go to bed angry. Settle every argument before going to sleep if at all possible. Stay up late if necessary. It is best to get things settled and not let them fester for days.
  7. Do not allow arguments to escalate into shouting matches and name-calling. Even if you are in complete privacy, keep the tone natural and as friendly as possible. Consider who you are talking to and avoid any shouting or unpleasantness.

KEYS TO SUCCESS

  1. Be a friend. The foundation of a good relationship is a solid friendship. A successful relationship has to be founded on the qualities found in a friendship – trust, respect, a desire to spend time with each other, and the ability to lean on each other.
  2. Know your partner’s needs. Once you know what they are, work every day to meet them. Each day when you wake up, think of something you can do to make your partner’s day better, even if it’s just making his favorite meal or doing a load of laundry so she doesn’t have to.
  3. Take responsibility for yourself. Don’t focus on what your partner has to work on to be better, look inward and figure out what you can do to make the relationship better.
  4. Find the positives in your partner. If you remind yourself of all of the good qualities he has, it will be easier to get past the bad times when his less than good qualities are showing through.
  5. Forgive. In order to move forward, you have to let the past go. It doesn’t mean you have to forget, but forgive your partner so that you can move forward.
  6. Get away from your partner. Spend plenty of quality time together, but remember to allow each other to have ample time alone. Even though you are a unit, and you will want to spend time together enjoying your favorite activities, or just sit together and relax at home, each of you is still a separate individual with certain likes and dislikes. You both need time alone to enjoy hobbies that you might enjoy, but your partner doesn’t. Don’t think that because you are married, that you are joined at the hip and cannot do anything on your own. You both need equal time alone to think and organize your own thoughts or simply to wind down.
  7. Evaluate personal traits. Evaluate a potential partner as you would a friend; look at their character, personality, values, their generosity of spirit, the relationship between their words and actions, their relationships with others.
  8. Respect, respect, respect. Inside and outside the relationship, act in ways so that your partner always maintains respect for you. Mutual respect is essential to a good relationship.
  9. Teamwork. View yourselves as a team, which means you are two unique individuals bringing different perspectives and strengths. That is the value of a team–your differences.
  10. Don’t Assume. If you don’t understand or like something your partner is doing, ask about it and why he or she is doing it. Talk and explore, don’t assume.
  11. Solve problems as they arise. Don’t let resentments simmer. Most of what goes wrong in relationships can be traced to hurt feelings, leading partners to erect defenses against one another and to become strangers, or enemies.
  12. Learn to negotiate. Modern relationships no longer rely on roles cast by the culture. Couples create their own roles, so that virtually every act requires negotiation. It works best when good will prevails. Because people’s needs are fluid and change over time, and life’s demands change too, good relationships are negotiated and renegotiated all the time. Don’t judge. Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
  13. Don’t judge Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
  14. Try something (someone) different. If you have not had success finding someone special, then perhaps consider going on a date with someone who you think is not your type. Sometimes opposites attract, with differences complementing eachother.
  15. Laugh. Successful relationships develop the ability to take a light approach to conflicts. Recognizing that arguments are inevitable and normal versus catastrophic is helpful. One way to do this is to practice taking a step back when involved in a dispute. See if you can view your contribution to the situation with a sense of humor. Perhaps you can even laugh at yourself. You will also be more open and responsive to your partner’s feelings. This approach can help couples that are struggling as well as strengthen healthy relationships.
  16. Accept yourself. A large part of how we view other people is based on how that person presents him or herself. If you view yourself as sexy, and act that way, then others will perceive you as sexy. Truly look at and appreciate your own body. Sure, it has faults, just like every body does. Accept the faults, and accept yourself as a work in progress, and flaunt what you have. You´ll find that people react positively to your positive self image.
  17. Encourage growth. Two individuals in a couple are indivduals, and each person grows at a different rate and in different directions. You want to encourage each other to grow, appreciate how your growth helps you both become better people, and your relationship better because of it.
  18. Body language speaks volumes. Be aware of body language, both good and bad. Eighty percent of communication is nonverbal. Body language can be flirty and fun, but by the same token it can show frustration and annoyance, which can be counter-productive when trying to work through a problem.

FINANCES

  1. All business. Approach family finances as if you were running a business. Create a budget, track spending, save money where possible and don’t bend the rules whenever it feels convenient.
  2. Talk about it. Discuss finances when there is no emergency. If you talk about it regularly and when there is nothing to argue about, then you will be better prepared when there is a crisis or misunderstanding.
  3. One for us, one of you and one for me. Set up one joint account and two separate spending accounts. Men and women spend differently. Instead of having one person who oversees all spending, and will likely not agree with the partner’s spending, have one joint account to pay bills from, and then two individual spending accounts. You will have to decide together how much should go into the individual spending accounts, but there should be less arguing over eachother’s spending.
  4. Handle debt as a couple. Make a plan to pay off existing debt. Drawing a line in the sand and saying that your spouse’s debt isn’t your problem is not going to work because even if the debt existed before you married, your credit rating can be negatively impacted as well as the bottom line of how much money the two of you are paying monthly in interest charges.
  5. Make a fitness date. If the couple that plays together stays together, turn play time into an exercise routine that raises your endorphins and makes you both feel good about yourselves and each other. If the gym doesn’t work, try biking, rock climbing or just walking.

ROMANCE

  1. Love notes are under rated. And today you can use technology, leave a voicemail or send a txt message to say "I love you" just because.
  2. Avoid calendar conflict. Place a "community" calendar in a public place (the refridgerator) to help avoid conflicts and miscommunications. It helps to have individual calendars, but for anything that will affect both schedules, make sure it goes on the community calendar so it can be checked often.
  3. Get energized. Find a new hobby (that you can do together), plan a vacation, do something you’ve never done before like go skydiving or take a wine tasting tour. Spice up the relationship by adding some energy and excitement.
  4. Read. Form a book club of two. If you really, absolutely, truly don’t have time to read, then make time. Okay, okay, you could both pick a TV show to watch together. But keep in mind, a book provides the use of imagination, and therefore allows for a lively discussion of your individual thoughts, whereas a TV show is usually pretty transparent.
  5. Make a fitness date. If the couple that plays together stays together, turn play time into an exercise routine that raises your endorphins and makes you both feel good about yourselves and each other. If the gym doesn’t work, try biking, rock climbing or just walking.
  6. Start a new project Approaching a procrastination-inducing task together makes it less intimidating, plus you can divide and conquer. And think about it: Making decisions and compromises about a more neutral situation–such as, what color to paint the living room–is great couples therapy practice for when the more serious judgment calls need to be made.
  7. Get out of here already. It sounds obvious, but many people find it hard to get away for a weekend. Go online, book some inexpensive last minute travel, and drop everything else to go enjoy some time together.
  8. Make a love list. Ask your partner to write down what makes him/her feel loved and special. Do the same for yourself. Exchange lists. Then, every day, no matter how you feel about him or her, do one loving/caring behavior for your partner!

IN THE BEDROOM

  1. Redecorate the Bedroom. Spice up your sex life by making some changes at home. Transform your bedroom into something new. Get rid of the piles of laundry, the kid’s toys on the floor, the pile of magazines on the nightstand and add some dim lights, candles, and sexy scents. Make it a place for romance and relaxation.
  2. Slow down. The fastest, most efficient route is definitely not what you want in the bedroom. Focusing on the destination — and only the obvious parts of the anatomy — is the worst thing you can do. Make sex leisurely and playful, with no definite direction. Explore and take your time, try something new, make it a whole body experience.
  3. Take a sexual inventory. Write suggested sexual activities on two sheets of paper, then each of you rates them from hot (would love to try) to warm, lukewarm and cold. Add your own, but choose from things like spanking, role-playing, semipublic sex, tie-up games, blindfolding, talking dirty, anal sex and watching or making erotic films. When you’re done, make note of the activities that scored high(-ish) for both of you. Try one every two weeks or once a month.
  4. Don’t focus on imperfections. If your body is imperfect, don’t let it get in the way of enjoying your sexuality and expressing your desire for your partner. If you find it hard to let go of anxious thoughts about your flaws, you may want to try a few sessions of therapy to work on this issue.
  5. The most sensitive sex organ: the brain. Sexual stimulation starts with sensory inputs that trigger mental associations. Only then do the other parts of the body get involved. For each person, the sensory inputs that trigger this reaction are different. Seeing an attractive person, feeling loved, hearing a whispered word, experiencing a certain kind of touch, all can set off the human libido.
  6. Sex and intimacy are intertwined. Many people have trouble feeling sexually interested in someone until they have had time to know one another, learning to trust through words, actions, and nonverbal communication such as facial expressions and body language.
  7. Make a sex date box. Get together with your lover and each of you jot down a steamy date idea on a piece of paper and agree that each time you go on a hot steamy date, you’ll pick a card from your special sex date box.
  8. Make eye contact. The eyes are a powerful part of our body language cues and can express everything from sexual interest, to annoyance, to happiness and pain.
  9. Get busy in the kitchen. Make cooking a team sport. Plan and prepare a gourmet meal together.
  10. Buy some toys. Sometimes sex can become regular and boring. Explore something new to rev up a mundane bedroom experience. Add some spice by going together to a sex toy store and buy something you might both enjoy.
  11. Get all dolled up. Schedule a night out somewhere that requires you to get all dressed up, whether it’s a black tie fundraiser or an evening out at a 5-star restaurant followed by the Opera. Looking good often equates to feeling good.
  12. Do some housework. Do a chore that your partner is typically responsible for. Fill up a gas tank, mow the lawn, fold the laundry – surprise your partner by taking one job off his/her plate for the week.