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25 Ways Men Can Improve Their Relationship | Ask Your Counselor

25 ways couples can work on their relationship. Common struggles experienced in marriage and in relationships are the key focus in the 25 relationship strategies listed below.

 

ONE

Your first strategy is to focus on the commitment that you are devoting to your relationship.

 

TWO

Saying “I love you” often is not enough.

The words are powerful, but at the end of the day they are just words. Find creative ways or even simple and direct ways that will speak to your partner. Make sure that what you are doing represents “I love you”. You can even do the action and close it by using “I love you”.

–  Leave a note inside your partners’ car while they are at work. Keep it short, sweet and to the point.

–  Pick up extra household duties. Remember you are a team!

–  Invite mutual friends for a surprise lunch, dinner or even small get together at your local Starbucks.

 

THREE

Take your partner on a date night. Think about the places that your partner has fond memories of.

It doesn’t always have to be a romantic date or the typical dinner and movie. It could be something as simple as just the two of you putting an hour aside volunteering.

–  Take your partner to a past location that brought upon past memories. Using a small note card, write down a past memory from the location that would speak to your partner on an emotional level.

 

FOUR

Make sure that the date night is different and creative. Think outside of the box. Emotional connections are created by experiences that forge two people together. Find new activities or places to encounter.

–  Go to groupon.com and find an activity near you that you two have not participated in before.

–  Push yourself out of the “comfort” funk.

 

 

FIVE

Ask questions about past conflicts. More often than not, you probably engage in some sort of dispute. There probably is a resolution to it and most likely you and your partner have simply walked away from it.

Although what you have done is great, there continues to remain some built up anger or frustration from the past.

Ask your partner to sit down with you and talk about past conflicts.

–  What started the conflict?

–  How did you react as a result of the conflict?

–  How did your partner react as a result of the conflict?

–  What ended the conflict?

–  What can be gained from the conflict?

Find answers to these questions for awareness. Building emotional connection requires understanding who your partner is and how they react. Conflicts are a result of a trigger which in turn cause some sort of emotional, physical or psychological reaction. So again, I encourage you to ask questions.

Do not simply brush it under the rug.

 

SIX

Although you want to address past conflicts, don’t dwell on them. Spend more time on the “good times” then on conflict.

Think about the last time you and partner did not see eye to eye.

Did you spend a lot of time dwelling on it?

I’m sure you did. Now think about a great date night or an occasion you had with your partner. More often than not, more time is spent on the negative then on the positive. Become aware of this and make a change.

–  After a great lunch, send your partner text reminders on how much you enjoyed the time.

–  A few days after sex leave your partner a note card reminding them of the experience.

–  Hack your partner’s phone and input reminders of special occasions. For instance, the first time you kissed or made love.

 

SEVEN

Give yourself time off.

Men need time to be men. This may mean that you need to spend a few hours playing video games, reading or playing sports. You need this time to recollect and find balance within your life. In return, when you feel balanced so will your relationship.

 

EIGHT

Remember your partner also needs time off. Make sure your partner takes time with friends or has their alone time.

–  Be mindful and respectful during this process.

– Supporting your partner with time off aids in understanding that you value what they bring to the table. In a recent article by Dave Elliot of Your Tango, displaying and acknowledging value was focused on as it holds importance in strengthening the relationship.

 

NINE

When you return from your time off, communicate with your partner on the experience.

Talk about why you picked your activity and what you got out of it. By disclosing this content to your spouse, you are creating and maintaining emotional connection.

 

TEN

Ask your partner when they return from their time off, what did they do?

Why did they enjoy it?

Remember, you truly want to invest in your partner.

 

ELEVEN

Have you heard the saying, keep your friends close but your enemies closer?

In a relationship their tends to be a pattern that in the simplest steps go as follows:

  1. Two people come together and learn all about each other.
  2. Two people feel that they have learned enough about each that they are committed to remain or create a relationship.

After you made the decision that you are committed to your partner there tends to be a lag. This lag is seen as one’s ability to feel comfortable and at ease in terms of not continuing to learn about/with their partner. So as the saying goes; keep your friends close, but your partner closer.

Always remain aware of who they are, their interests, their hobbies, and what created the spark between you two.

 

TWELVE

Stop brushing it under the rug. If there is conflict or a problem that in some way impacts your relationship, you must address it together.

Sit down with your partner and go over the subject at hand with the mutual understanding that you two are a team and are working together to solve the problem with the end result providing you and partner positive feelings.

 

THIRTEEN

As technology continues to take a stronger hold within society, why not use it to build emotional connection.

Send your partner pictures from moments that speak to you.

Send your partner a picture with a short statement describing an experience and what that moment meant to you.

 

FOURTEEN

Stop saying “I’m just not that type of guy”.

You don’t have to be a romantic man to build emotional connection. You simply have to want to be with your partner. If your end goal has a solid picture of you and your partner taking on life together, then you can to make a change.

 

FIFTEEN

Do not allow your romantic life to be overtaken by work or other obligations.

If you feel that you are too tired or overly worked to the point that your romantic life has been impacted, then there is a problem. This problem, if not addressed, will continue to grow and may impact your relationship in a negative manner.

Go back to the drawing board and practice your time management skills.

 

SIXTEEN

Keep your partner guessing in your romantic life.

Find new ways to show your partner that you are always “trying to catch them”. Maybe sneak a kiss in at a place that would not be expected. Or, pick your partner up from work for a “quickie”. I’m sure the idea will spark a smile. It works.

 

SEVENTEEN

Remember when you were 17 years old and had a crush on that one person?

Do you remember how often you thought about that person?

Do you remember the thoughts you had about that person?

I’m sure your adrenaline at the time was high. Show your partner this type of attention. If you feel that this is difficult to accomplishment, try and take a 10 to 15-minute break in a quiet place. Reflect on what it was like at 17 years old. Think about the thoughts that you had during that time. Envision your partner in the role of the crush.

At this point you should be experiencing strong emotional and physical feelings towards your partner. If not, go back and spend more time reflecting.

 

EIGHTEEN

If you have kids or have someone else in your home that pulls attention away, I’m sure that you are experiencing your share of difficulties as they impact your relationship.

People in this situation can work on their emotional connection by having date nights that are care free. Go somewhere where you and your partner are truly alone and are free to focus only on each other.

 

NINETEEN

Dating rules that should apply when you are on a date with your partner:

–  No cellphones.

–  No tablets.

–  No technological devices.

–  No work related content.

–  If the date is personal or intimate, then make it you and your partner only. No third wheels.

 

TWENTY

When something good or awesome happens in your relationship, spend more than enough time on that subject. This helps create longer lasting, positive feelings which in return cause you and your partner to feel more and more emotionally connected to each other.

 

TWENTY-ONE

Recognize that you do have feelings and that you understand how they impact you. Avoiding confrontation or being emotionally numb does not help your relationship. Identify and discuss your feelings with your partner. The feelings can be positive or negative, it does not matter.

The important thing is that you are talking and creating emotional connection.

 

TWENTY-TWO

Stop saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t care” when you do know and when you actually care.

Creating and maintaining emotional connection requires you to expose yourself emotionally to your partner. Next time something rises in your relationship, try something new, and express your feelings.

 

TWENTY-THREE

If you are the type to raise your voice or feel the need to have the last word, there is more harm than benefit being done. Again, I ask you to do something different in your relationship. When an issue or conversation rises, take turns during the conversation.

Allow your partner to finish their sentence before you begin yours.

 

TWENTY-FOUR

Try and reflect on what your partner is saying more often. Listen and hear what they are telling you. Show your partner that you are fully invested in what they are saying.

You can do this by recollecting on what they have said.

 

TWENTY-FIVE

Emotional connections are heavily tied with communication. Within the construct of communication there are two core values:

Respect and Understanding.

You can practice respect by being an active listener and understanding by showing empathy and regard for what your partner is saying.

Are you feeling hurt or misunderstood in your relationship?

Connect with couple’s counselor Juan Santos (336-707-1723) or (email)

author of 100 Ways Married Men Can Remain Emotionally Connected, Life Without Stress, The Journal, and Parenting Education for Hispanic Families.

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