When you’re in a relationship, expect that there will be ups and downs. Do you feel like you and your man are drifting apart? Here are simple ways to improve your relationship and live a happier life together.

Practice active listening.
Start by asking your partner about an issue and when he replies, repeat what you heard based on your understanding, so your partner can clarify if needed. When you take turns doing this, it can pave the way for better lines of communication.

Create intimacy.

It doesn’t have to involve physical contact or intercourse; you two could simply lie down on the bed (or just sit down) and look at each other in the eye without saying a word.

Get nostalgic.
Take a trip down memory lane and look at old photos and love letters (if you have any). Remember what made you two fall in love with each other and reminisce about the good times. See how it’ll rekindle the flame between you two again.

Say something positive–every day.
It could be about his achievements at work, the way he looks, or a simple praise for how he’s handling the relationship. Monica Strobel, author of The Compliment Quotient, says that speaking words of positivity makes you and your man feel uplifted. "To give a genuine compliment, couples must refocus their attention onto something positive. A compliment interrupts the patterns of common couples' gripes and resentments."

Cook a meal together.

Forget delivered meals and dining out; look up a simple recipe online and start getting busy in the kitchen. If you’re not into cooking, why not try baking cookies and give them out around the neighborhood. You wouldn't have just spent time together, you would have done a good deed, too.

Give each other little surprises.
Whether it’s a simple love note inside his lunch box or a sweet midday text, it’s usually the little things that matter. You could also organize big ones like sending her dozens of flowers or springing an out-of-town trip on her–just the two of you.

Open up to each other.
Tell him about an embarrassing situation, a fear that has crippled you for so long, or your deepest emotions. Opening up to each other creates a strong bond of trust between you and your man. Plus, it lets you two get to know each other more.


SCREENSHOT: Jane The Virgin/CBS Television Distribution (2014); GIFs: Giphy

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