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Love is a verb. It’s meant to be acted on. Small mindful behaviors, especially when repeated consistently, can significantly affect your relationships. We’re either cycling upwards in growth, or we’re in a downward spiral of self-sabotage.

Let’s take a closer look at different habits that can strengthen your bond and nurture connectedness with people you care about.

Judge less, connect more

We all come to relationships with preconceived ideas of how things should be. We can become annoyed and resentful when things fall short of these expectations.

One typical example is having the expectation that a good relationship should mean that you share common interests. But what if we learn from each other’s differing passions? When we judge another person for being incompatible with us, we miss seeing them as a human.

When we take away our judgements, we’re left with pure connection. This is what a strong relationship is built on.

Genuine communication and ongoing dialogue is the ultimate key to a real-life happily ever after.

Be honest

If we need to lie to avoid confrontation or minimize the fear attached to being ourselves, the relationship simply couldn’t flourish. It may seem tactful to lie, but this comes at a cost. Your partner will know in their gut when you’re doing it, but it also diminishes your own confidence.

No happy people are dishonest, and no happy relationships consist of unhappy people.

Uplift each other’s mood

A strong relationship is an exercise in working together to continually inspire each other, support, and lift the mood. Life isn’t always easy, and if you are to share that experience with your significant other, you need to work together to ensure you both focus on the good.

Take the initiative and bring light-heartedness into the equation, even if circumstances suggest otherwise. Relationships are a ship, and if they aren’t continually steered towards joy, lightness, and fun, they might sink.

Actually listen

Most human beings can so easily become wrapped up in their own problems, challenges, or day-to-day life that they forget to direct their attention towards others. Relationships always struggle when either party is too self-absorbed for too much of the time. The other will feel under-appreciated, detached, and become frustrated.

The way to connect more deeply and ease your self-consciousness is to become more mindful, focus on what others say, and actually hear them instead of simply listening. Show that you care – this is easy to do when you become fully present. After all, genuine communication and ongoing dialogue is the ultimate key to a real-life happily ever after.

Set the example

Many relationships can struggle when either member falls into destructive habits, affecting their health and general mood. When moods are low, connections can fray. Maintaining good physical health and a healthy mind is important, yet it’s also difficult to make others want to change for the better.

The best you can do is commit yourself to positive, rewarding habits and inspire those around you. If those people struggle to rise with you, at least it’s a good indication that this person might not be ready (yet) for your growth.

Be a light-hearted challenge occasionally

Trying to compete with a partner defeats the point of a fun, relaxed, and enjoyable relationship in which you fuel and support each other gracefully. But to always be in agreement and never tease the other takes the humanity out of your friendship.

If pushback is to happen, make sure there’s a playful element to it. The relationship should reflect growth, not stagnation, and mature adults are happy to playfully tease one another in this process.

The relationship should reflect growth, not stagnation.

Do random acts of kindness

Let’s get something clear: some people choose being incessantly nice as a manipulative strategy to gain approval. And this is a recipe for disaster. Always stay honest to who you are and act in alignment with your values. This is why, when you do occasionally share a gift or do a random act of kindness – without expecting anything in return – this will be felt as more genuine.

Sometimes, what people really want is to be acknowledged and loved. And kind words said with honesty, quality time spent together, and mindfully organized experiences can be the most valuable and precious gifts.

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