Relationships are easy in the beginning—you fall in love, can’t stop thinking about each other, and can’t wait to see each other every weekend. You buy your partner gifts, like new jewelry, plan dates together, and do sweet things for each other for no reason at all. Eventually, though, you’re bound to argue, disagree, or need some space. Unless your partner starts revealing some major red flags, the end of the honeymoon phase marks when you decide whether you’re truly committed or not.
Committed relationships offer countless opportunities to go to the next level—and it all starts with you. Whether you’re planning to pop the big question or move in together, here are eight tips that are a good idea to think about as you take your relationship to the next level.
1. Plan an adventure together.
Planning an adventure together is one of the best ways to learn more about each other and spend quality time together. As is the case with any trip you take together as a couple, it’s important to plan your adventure together—from snacks to pit stops and playlists. For example, if you’re planning a cross-country road trip, set aside some time with your partner to pick out your must-see attractions and sleeping accommodations as a team. Take a minute to decide on your vehicle, too. Do you want to drive your regular car or rent an RV travel trailer to take on the open road?
While you’re packing snacks, filling your RV, and creating road trip playlists, it’s important to think about the logistics of your trip as well. Whether you and your significant other have been planning a road trip for months or going on a spontaneous adventure, investing in an RV protection plan can give you peace of mind during your trip. America’s RV Warranty plans protect RV drivers from unexpected repair costs, covering a wide range of mechanical components, including air conditioners, accessories, and engines. Having an RV warranty is just the smart thing to do before you head out on an adventure with your love.
2.Set boundaries in your relationship.
Establishing healthy boundaries can help you and your partner feel more comfortable with each other. To set boundaries, you’ll need to be clear about who you are, what you want, your values, and your limits. In relationships, most people tend to focus on pleasing others, taking time and attention away from focusing on ourselves. However, setting boundaries for yourself that reflect your values will only enhance your relationship.
While setting boundaries can be daunting, don’t be afraid to say no to things you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do. That being said, saying yes to helping your partner, saying thank you without apologizing or feeling shame, and asking for help when you need it are all important boundaries as well. Make sure that you’re delegating tasks between you and your partner and asking for space when you need time alone.
3. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Sometimes, your biggest enemy in the road to relationship progress is yourself. Remember, you can’t expect to move forward in your relationship if you’re not willing to take risks. To successfully take your relationship to the next level, you’ll need to conquer your fears, anxieties, and insecurities.
That being said, if you’re thinking about proposing, there are a few things to consider before popping the question. You can’t propose without an engagement ring, even if you’re just planning on using a placeholder. Some partners prefer designing the perfect engagement ring together before the proposal, but many still prefer surprising their partner with a stunning diamond ring, perhaps with a few sapphires in the gem setting if your partner loves blue gems. Maybe your mother has given you an engagement ring or your partner has already sent you ideas to give you an idea of what they’re looking for so you know whether to get rose gold, white gold, or yellow gold for the perfect engagement ring.
After buying the ring, decide when and where you’d like to pop the big question. You might take your partner on a romantic dinner, or you might plan a day full of their favorite activities and pop the question at the end of the day. Above all else, your proposal should be personal and meaningful.
4. Show them how much you care.
One of the easiest things you can do to show your partner how much you appreciate them is writing them a cute note. The note can be simple, like a thank you for something nice they did, or you can even pack a cute note with their work lunch for them to find later.
Alternatively, try surprising your partner with a thoughtful gift. For example, gifting your partner an everyday ring like a simple sapphire with stunning clarity is a great way to give them daily reminders of how much you love and care about them. With gorgeous, one-of-a-kind color combinations and extraordinary light refraction, the Montana Sapphire Ring is sure to take your partner’s breath away.
5. Find out your partner’s ‘love language.’
Everyone has a primary, or preferred, “love language.” When somebody communicates with us in that particular language, we feel the most loved and appreciated.
In Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages, he suggests that love can be expressed through the following languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Spending quality time together
- Performing acts of service
- Physical touch
If you’re not sure what you or your partner’s primary “love language” is, Chapman’s website offers a quiz that can give you a more definitive idea. After you and your partner take the quiz, you can both work on actively communicating your love to each other.
6. Always make your relationship a priority.
At the end of the day, we’re more likely to find success in the things we prioritize. Take the time to check in with your significant other throughout the day. Because it’s easy to go on auto-pilot and drift apart, it’s essential to plan date nights, weekend trips, and romantic getaways with your partner.
To counter the mundane, create good memories, and have something to look forward to, you and your partner need to set aside time during the week for each other. Ultimately, if you make a point to prioritize your relationship, you’ll find that success will come easily to both of you as a couple.
7. Celebrate your partner’s wins with them.
Most people understand the importance of supporting their partner through difficult times. Interestingly, research suggests that the way you respond to your partner when things are going well for them may have a more significant impact on the quality of your relationship.
For example, if your partner tells you about a promotion they just got at work, it’s essential to engage with them in a positive, wholehearted manner: “That’s awesome! I’m so happy for you—I knew you could do it. When do you start?” Supporting your partner wholeheartedly is a healthy way to bring your relationship to the next level. In addition to higher relationship quality, celebrating your partner’s wins is also associated with increased intimacy.
8. Actively listen to your partner.
There’s a big difference between hearing what your partner says and actively listening to them. In most cases, our ears automatically perceive sound, but active listening is something you consciously choose to do. Instead of passively absorbing what the other person is saying, a good listener pays attention to the intention of understanding the other person and actively participates in the conversation by asking thoughtful questions.
Active listeners also pay attention to how their significant other is telling them something. Sometimes, body language can reveal more about how your partner is feeling than their words. By actively listening, you’re showing your partner that you’re genuinely interested in how they feel and what they’re saying.
While it’s not hard to show your partner how much you appreciate them, it does require some thought to take your relationship to the next level. When you’re ready to take the next step, showing your partner how much you love and appreciate them can help you foster a healthy committed relationship.