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Relationships need constant maintenance to stay strong and viable.

Just like a garden, it needs attention to grow into its full potential. That means practicing strategies that strengthen your relationship for the long haul.

These don’t have to be big, dramatic episodes that display your love. It’s the little things that count most when it comes to forming a strong bond.

If you feel like your relationship could use a tuneup and a little TLC, consider these 4 strategies for strengthening your relationship.

1. Show Affection Often

Showing affection might sound so simple. But you’d be surprised how difficult it can be for couples to simply show affection to each other.

Even something as simple as a smile and “good morning” can be helpful. You can go further by saying “I love you” or “Have a great day.”

Try incorporating small moments of physical touch. Holding hands or a comforting hug are simple things that clearly communicate affection to each other.

Couple lying in the grass. Marriage counseling & relationship help is available at Blue Boat Counseling Columbus, OH, 43085.

2. Cook for Each Other

Another idea for strengthening your relationship is cooking for your partner. This is especially true if you’re the one who doesn’t cook as much.

Cooking a meal shows your willingness to put in the effort to please them. And if you don’t cook much (or at all…it’s ok!), you’re stepping into your partner’s shoes to see the amount of work it takes to do the cooking, which will be appreciated. If you don’t consider yourself a good cook, then making a meal for your partner involves taking a small risk.

Your partner will realize all these things. If you’re worried about burning the meal or it being a complete disaster, try a simple recipe. There are plenty online to choose from. Or there’s always takeout as a last resort, but the effort will still be appreciated!

Woman’s hands cooking. Individual & marriage counseling in Columbus, OH is available at Blue Boat Counseling, 43085.

3. Send or Leave Cards for Each Other

In the age of computers and smartphones, who writes cards anymore? But notes and cards are still here and they play an important role.

A handwritten note is more personal and emotional than an email or text message (even with emojis!). It’s another example of your willingness to have a personal connection with your partner.

A card or note can be simple but also thoughtful. It’s a great way to acknowledge a celebration or cope with a loss. In the end, it shows you care.

4. Make Time for One Another

Finally, when it comes to relationship strategies, one obvious but seemingly complicated idea is to make time for each other. Spending time together is probably the single best way to strengthen your relationship.

There are so many ways to carve out some time together, like:

  • taking a morning walk together with the family dogs
  • meeting up for lunch
  • spending an evening together playing a game or watching a movie
  • outdoor activities like hiking or canoeing

Try to make phones off limits during your time together. To strengthen your relationship you need to be 100% present, and checking your phone is distracting. The one exception when with your partner to use your phone is to take pictures (sunset bike ride anyone?).

Couple riding bikes together. Blue Boat Counseling in Columbus, Ohio offers couples and marriage counseling, 43085.

Marriage Counseling Columbus Ohio

When it comes to strengthening your relationship, it doesn’t take a grandiose gesture to make it happen. Show affection to each other, do things they’ll appreciate and spend quality time together.

But, if you and your partner are still struggling to form a closer connection or you’ve lost that spark, especially during circumstances that are keeping you at home and highlighting issues (like the coronavirus pandemic), you may want to consider marriage counseling. And if you decide you’re in need of marriage counseling at a practice in the Columbus, Ohio area, please reach out and contact Blue Boat Counseling today. Our skilled couples therapists are offering online couples counseling and can help you get back on track with your relationship and make it stronger than ever.