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Big shows of affection can be fantastic and make any person feel special, but the backbone of a healthy relationship is really in the details. One person asked on a popular online forum, what are small things that have a huge positive impact on your relationship?

Here are some of the best and most thoughtful answers.

1. Being Proactive About Chores

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“Being proactive about chores and cleanliness improved my relationship,” offers one user. They go on, “Neither of us waits for the other person to say “The dishes are dirty” or “The litterbox needs scooping.” We just clean them when we walk in and notice they are dirty. Like responsible grownups – without being asked, nagged, begged, or bribed.”

“This is such a helpful thing! So much less pointless stress on the relationship and less on one individual,” adds a second person.

2. Hyping Your Partner Up

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“Hyping him up made a difference. I love telling my partner that he’s doing a great job or that I’m excited for him. It reinforces whatever positive feelings he has, and he stays in a good mood,” one commenter offers.

A second user adds, “God, yes. Having someone in your corner is genuinely the biggest boost.”

4. Having Alone Time, but Together

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One comment explains, “Each person does their own thing (tends to be a quieter hobby) but in the same room together. Could even just be scrolling on your phone while the other person plays video games. Or one person paints, and the other does work.”

“I love this. Just sharing space while also having your space. It’s like having alone time without being lonely,” a second person states.

4. Assuming Good Intentions

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One user offers the tidbit, “Assuming good intent. This works when your partner is actually generally a good person/not trying to harm you intentionally. But assuming my partner didn’t intentionally forget something or do something to hurt me (and vice versa) makes open and kind communication easier.”

5. Have Intentional Date Nights

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“It doesn’t have to be grand. It can be at home, order some food and watch a movie, and not do any household chores until the next day,” suggests one comment.

6. Learning To Take Breaks During Hard Conversations

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“Taking a break during difficult conversations when you get too emotionally overwhelmed to speak as your best self is so important,” states one user.

7. Making Time To Talk About the Day

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“Having a curiosity for the people you love in your life is such an important trait,” one user expressed.

“Talking at the end of the day is a big deal. I love listening to people tell me their stories.,” adds a second user. They continue, “Tell me what your annoying co-worker did, what silly/interesting things you’ve seen on your way home, and what your thoughts are.

Just talk to me. I don’t care how boring it might sound to you; let me into your world.”

8. Addressing Issues Immediately

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“If we have an issue, we don’t sit and stew on it. We bring it up immediately and talk it through,” says one user.

Another person comments, “This is such a valuable thing. Even smaller things, we will address it straight away with “That didn’t really land well with me; it hurt my feelings” or “I know you’re just intending to chat about this, but I’m actually not in a space to hear it without getting upset” it prevents thing escalating and allows us to communicate kindly.”

9. Expressing Appreciation for Things Together

Couple sitting down together talking while eating
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One person shares, “Having a tradition of naming one thing we’re each grateful for when we eat dinner together made a big impact. It helps us focus on the good when we’re stressed, and it helps us remain a team.”

10. Just Being Thoughtful Wherever You Can

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One user gives an example, “When one of us makes dinner, we pack some leftovers into a lunch for the other to take to work along with a little note. Sometimes it’s funny, sexy, or a little sappy.”

“When we work opposite shifts & don’t really see each other for several days at a time (we both work in different hospitals – she’s overnights, I’m midday), I purposely leave out one of my sweaters or shirts she likes to steal so she can wear it. I know it makes her happy & I like knowing I’m near her in some way,” offered a second user.

This article was inspired by this thread and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cents + Purpose.

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