Looking for relationship advice for couples? Great – we can give you some awesome tips.
Whether you are in a marriage that has lasted for years or whether you are in a new relationship that you hope will go the distance, these pieces of advice apply to ALL relationships.
I’ll tell you right now and save you the read, if you are not willing to put in the hard work, you will probably fail as a couple. Relationships require work. Plain and simple.
But, if you are willing to make an effort and follow our relationship advice below, what can result is a beautiful partnership that lasts a lifetime. Here are our 30 pieces of best advice for couples from a couple in a successful relationship more than 15 years.
Relationship Advice for Couples: 30 Healthy Relationship Tips!
1. Pay attention to each other
It seems obvious, but one of the best things you can do for your relationship, is to pay attention to one another. Sitting next to each other, while texting on the sofa, does not count. If this is your “together time”, you’re missing the point.
When you first got together, you couldn’t wait to see and talk with them. Get back to that!
Put the phone down, and play a board game. Take a scenic drive. Have a picnic. If you want to stay together, happily, it takes more than just being in the same room. Connect, connect, and reconnect. There will always be time for texting, but what’s more important to your relationship?
2. Fight to save the relationship rather than just to be right
Every couple fights, but for a relationship to succeed, you need to fight to save the relationship, rather than to “be right”.
That means that, even though you may be right in this case, is it worth damaging the relationship to prove it? You can address the issue, without one of you having to be the loser.
It might be that you each choose a chore you don’t like, avoid spending over a certain dollar amount without discussing it, or ceasing some action at home. If you want to stay together, you’ll find a solution which works for your partnership.
3. Listen to each other
Have you ever “mmm hmmm’d” your partner, when you weren’t really listening? For a relationship to stay steady, you have to actively listen to each other.
That means, you’re not just waiting for them to take a breath so that you can say what’s on your mind. You’re hearing what’s being said, digesting it, and if necessary, responding.
More than that, you need to empathize, remain unbiased, and search for subtext. Active listening can be difficult, but it’s worth doing. When your partner feels truly heard, they will make an effort to actively listen to you as well.
One of the very best relationship tips.
See more: Signs he wants to marry you
4. Address issues while they’re small
Conflict occurs in every romantic relationship. In fact, if you aren’t seeing conflict, it may be because you’re not being honest with your partner about your feelings.
The best way to avoid an argument, is by addressing issues while they’re still small. Does your partner say or do something which feels condescending?
Does your partner repeatedly cut you off when you speak? Take an honest look at your feelings about your partner, and see if there’s anything you need to address, before it becomes a monster problem.
Be honest and open, but avoid blame. Begin statements with “I”, rather than “you”. The goal is to resolve the specific issue, so focus solely on that.
- See more: Marriage advice for newlyweds
5. Let the fight go
When you have had an argument, which you both have successfully maneuvered through, then let it go. Old hurts may not ever fully go away, but they need to stay in the past.
You may be tempted to use old arguments, to win a current one, but in the long run, you’re risking your relationship to be in the winner’s corner. It’s not worth it.
Every issue is it’s own; treat it that way. It’s also a test to see if you’re truly resolving issues as they come up, should the same issue repeat itself.
6. Don’t compare old relationships to this one
Refrain from comparing past partners to your new one, even if you mean it as a compliment to your present partner. We learn from our past relationships; they can be used to understand yourself, and what you need in a new partner.
If your past partner did something you really like, that your current one doesn’t, bring that up as an independent thought, rather than an attachment from a past life.
If we’re being honest, no one wants to hear about the person you shared your life with before them. Be respectful to your current partner, and focus on them.
7. Action speak louder than words
Actions can speak louder than words. And sometimes, words can speak louder than actions. Huh? If your partner promises you the moon, but never delivers, that’s a problem.
Most of us really need that follow through. On the flip side, if they deliver the moon, but hurt you verbally in the process, that’s a problem too.
For example, if they take out the garbage, but grumble about it every time, hurting your feelings, there’s an issue to be addressed. Our actions and words should align pretty well. We should do what we say, and say what we mean. Our partner should be someone we can rely on.
8. Trust your partner.
Trust them with your heart, your mind, and your body. One of the best pieces of love advice there is out there.
They should have already, and should continuously be, earning that trust, just as you should reciprocate.
Rely on them as a shoulder to cry on, a brain to pick, and a lover to hold. Trust them with your feelings. This person is supposed to be the one through thick and thin.
Here’s a test: If you are not willing to let your partner hold onto your purse, or drive your car, then there’s a trust issue. If your partner is honest with you, can admit when they’re wrong, doesn’t avoid telling you about their day, and makes you feel at ease, you two are likely doing okay.
9. Plan for tomorrow but live for today
The old saying goes, “Plan for tomorrow, but live for today”.
Don’t be so busy with the mundanity of everyday life, and the eventuality of retirement, that you forget to find joy in today. We only ever had this moment.
Yes, we have to think about next week’s meeting, and next year’s wedding. College expenses, car insurance, your couples credit card and that weird sound the car keeps making. But if you miss right now, you won’t get it back.
Put down the phone, turn off the TV, and be with your partner. If you knew that you only had today, what would you do?
10. Accept your differences
You and your partner will never see eye to eye on certain things- and that’s okay.
Accept the differences between you. So long as your core values are close, you shouldn’t have to worry about these differences causing a gap in your relationship.
When you look around at other couples, you might chuckle at some of the pairings. They may seem like the most incomprehensible folks to be together, but they must have a similar value system, or it wouldn’t work.
When you disagree, look to that system, and if you’re still in alignment, this too, can be worked out.
11. Touch your partner
Touch your partner; it can create an almost unbreakable bond that can help you through anything. The human touch is one of the most under-recognized acts of love.
Since humans are considered social creatures, it stands to reason that we need each other in physical ways. Touching releases Oxytocin; you know, the “feel good” chemical.
You want your partner to have the association of your touch, with good feelings. Clasp their shoulder. Rub their back. Play with their hair. Hug them. Non-sexual touch can enhance the quality of your relationship more than you know.
12. Compliment each other
Being confident, self-reliant, and having a healthy self-esteem are all imperative to a good quality of life- just leave room for compliments.
When your partner tells you that they’re proud of you, accept it with earnest delight. Receiving a compliment should be part of your toolkit. All you need say, is thank you. The other side of the coin is that is feels good to give compliments, so don’t deny your partner the opportunity to feel good too.
You may not need the compliment, but you can still enjoy it. Partners who compliment each other have a strong connection, and genuinely like each other.
13. Grow together not apart
As we age, we change (and hopefully, grow) as a human being. One of the best ways to keep your relationship going well, is to change together.
Find similar interests which you can do jointly. It might be a physical activity, taking a class, creating a farm. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you both enjoy it, and you have quality time while engaging.
Some would argue that, if you’re not moving forward, then you’re moving backward. Allow the world around you to inspire a thirst for new knowledge; both of the world, and of yourself.
14. Don’t lose sight of yourself
While you are growing together, don’t forget to remain yourself. Being part of a couple, doesn’t mean that you have to lose your individuality.
You should still have interests outside of your couple-hood. Give yourself time to read, do yoga, take a class, or whatever floats your boat.
If you’ve always had a close relationship to your family, keep it going. Spend time with them, even without your partner. Having friends, and solitary goals, makes you happier, and ultimately, more interesting to your mate.
You may be part of a couple, but you are still your own person.
15. Laugh together
Find humor in the situation! Not all situations are funny, but let’s face it, many arguments are over dumb stuff.
Over the long haul, looking back to petty squabbles, we can likely see the humor in them. Wouldn’t it be nice to find the humor, while the argument is happening?
Rather than becoming blind with fury, especially about something trivial, try to stop, take a breath, and laugh about it.
Keep in mind that sarcasm is rarely funny to both sides during an argument. If you and your partner can find common ground, via humor, you can’t work just about anything out.
16. Give your partner quality time
Being an accomplished person is a wonderful thing to strive for, but remember that your partner is more likely to want your time, rather than your legacy.
Finding the balance between work and home life can be difficult, but the alternative is materialistic achievement, which you either have no time to enjoy, or end up enjoying alone.
A homemade birthday cake can mean more than an expensive gift. Discuss what type of relationship you want, with your partner. If you both love big homes, and first class vacations, then it may be worth the sacrifice. But if being with each other is the real value, then you may need to make some choices and changes.
17. Choose each other
Tell your partner that you choose them. Every day. You both have the option to leave the relationship at any time, so it’s a nice gesture to remind them why you’re still there.
Tell them they’re a good person, or do something nice, like leave a short note, a lottery ticket, or a cookie in a spot they’ll see.
There are a million ways to let your partner know that you choose to be with them. Small, daily gifts of love, cement the foundation of the relationship, which will steady you through the big issues.
18. Have frank discussions somewhere other than the bedroom
Have a place in your home where you can communicate openly, but probably not the bedroom! It’s said that you should only do two things in the bedroom- and sleeping is the other.
When you need to have an intimate conversation, you might think the bedroom is the perfect choice, but it may not be.
The kitchen table, for example, may be better. You want to avoid “bad vibe” associations in the room of the house which is likely to be the place where you want to feel most trusting and safe.
19. Don’t fight – collaborate
Don’t fight- collaborate. Find a solution which works for both of you. Dr. Stephen Covey calls this a Win-Win. If you can’t both get what you want, you both may still be able to get enough.
Neither your feelings, nor your partners’ are more important than the other, thus, to settle an argument, you have to think of a resolution which makes you both happy, and won’t lead to resentment down the line.
Know that it’s okay to be angry, but yelling doesn’t help in finding a solution. Be honest, but as calm as possible.
20. Realise your partner is not a mind reader
Communicating clearly is something many of us struggle with. We may (misguidedly) think that our partner should just “know” something, but none of us is a mind-reader.
Be straightforward in your communication to lessen the chance of misunderstanding. Have an open stance, remain calm, and try not to mince words.
And on the listening end, listen without interrupting, then repeat back to them what you believe was said, to confirm you understood correctly. Many future disagreements can be avoided by this practice.
21. Be grateful
Be grateful for all things- big and small. Does your partner make sure there’s your favorite peanut butter in the cupboard?
Do they get the oil changed, and check the tire pressure? Do they attend events with you, even though you know they’re bored to tears? Be grateful for all of those small things, not just the big ticket items.
The reality is, as time passes in a relationship, it’s very easy to slide on gratitude. We may subconsciously think that they’ll always do “that” because they’ve always done “that”. But remember that every little thing they do for you is because they love you, and that’s their way of showing it.
22. Be unbiased
Take a look at what you expect from your partner. Is your vision of what a relationship should be keeping in sync with who you are as individuals? For example, if you’re expecting commitment from a self-proclaimed player, then you’re only hurting yourself.
Examine your relationship from the view of an unbiased party. If you were outside, looking in, what would you see? This perspective may give you some insight on where things need adjustment.
23. Relationships take work
Surprise! The first few months of dating are glossy imagery we place over our brains which keep us from seeing the “real” person.
Once the shiny newness of meeting someone has worn off, we begin to see who the individual actually is. If we’re lucky, the person is still worth our time, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.
No relationship is free of arguments, stress, or pain. The level of these things may be controllable by how well you cooperate, communicate, and choose to love each other. Doing a good job in the relationship now, will cause less headache in the future.
24. Learn to truly forgive.
This may be one of the most important pieces of advice any couple can get. In order for a relationship to move forward, it must let go of the past.
If your partner has the qualities you want, and a similar value system, then when they mess up (and they will) you can work through it, if you learn to forgive.
You can rebuild trust by setting new parameters on the issue (money, an affair, etc.), and you can try to see their side of it, in order to better understand. It will take time, and a real desire for the relationship to continue, but you and your partner can get through it.
25. Ride the Up Wave of the relationship.
If you think of your relationship as an ocean wave, you can understand that there will be ups and downs. It’s nature.
In general, you should be having a nice time with your partner, that’s why you’re together; you get each other, and want to spend time.
So, if you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop, you’ll miss out on all the love and joy that’s in your life right now. Strife is a part of every romantic relationship, at some point. When it comes, it comes. But when things are good, let yourself be happy.
26. Err on the side of positive.
When something is happening in your relationship, assume the best, unless or until you discover differently. Rather than thinking that your partner did something just to annoy you, for example, assume they didn’t realize it would upset you.
Then, when you are both able to focus on a conversation, bring up the issue in a calm manner, explain what you are feeling, and ask them to refrain from the behavior/activity in the future.
They may or may not agree, but at least you are being true to yourself, and you’ll know that you didn’t misunderstand.
27. Be friends with your partner.
Some of the best couples advice if you ask me.
Some might think, I’m not friends with my partner, I’m in love with my partner. Yes, that’s true, and love is important.
But, if you wouldn’t want your partner as a friend, they may not be the right person for you. Over the course of months, years or decades, you’re going to need a rock. Ideally, your partner is that rock for you.
Because the flame of passion will fade (ask anyone in a long-term relationship), you’ll need that foundation of friendship to see you through.
28. Take the best care of yourself- whatever that means to you.
When you’re in a relationship, sometimes we forget that there has to be a balance in all things. Meaning, you cannot focus all of your attention on your partner, if that means you’re failing to take care of yourself.
Along those same lines, your inner voice is the most important of all. Not even your partner’s voice should be louder than your own. If you’re happy with your body, education level, work, and friends, you don’t need to change, even for your partner.
29. Follow through with your word, as often as you can.
If you tell your partner you will do something, or be somewhere, make sure you keep your word. Your partner needs to know they can rely on you, just as much as you rely on them.
In the future, when trust has been established, it’s one less thing to worry about in your relationship. If you lose that trust somewhere along the line, do your best to revive it.
30. Keep asking questions and learning
The number one piece of advice is, keep asking questions, keep learning, keep being impressed and keep respecting, your partner.
Over time, we all change. If you’re not paying attention, your partner might change, and you might drift apart because you no longer see who they really are. The opposite is true, too.
Tell them when things have changed in you- your viewpoint, your goals, etc. They want to know you, so tell them in your own words.