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Being part of a couple can be difficult, but the best relationship tips are really all about maintenance—keeping things fresh, finding time for each other, and coming up with ways to navigate the tricky ups and downs every partnership faces. Of course, it’s all easier said than done, so we’ve come up with 101 ways to make your relationship even better.

Plus, we asked a few of our favorite relationship experts for their tips, including life and dating coach Ankle 7 Bridal Wedding Party Girls Womens Minishion Heel Pumps Strap Shoes Lace 5cm Ivory HpPxqw, relationships author Samara O’Shea (whose book Loves Me … Not is worth a read), and former sex and relationships editor at The Frisky, Ami Angelowicz.

MORE: 9 Surprising Things That Can Keep Your Relationship Healthy

From how to deal with jealousy to how to get over a potentially deadly lull, we’ve got 101 relationship tips you can start implementing right now.

1. Listen

It might sound obvious, but when you really allow yourself to listen—and ask questions about—what your partner says, it not only leads to better conversations, but also better communication.

2. Take a Few Days Apart

Missing each other is a great way to reconnect. Have a weekend getaway with your friends every few months.

Photo: Christian Vierig/GC Images

3. Find a Support Team

Have a handful of great friends or family members you can call so your significant other doesn’t have to hear every small grievance going on your life.

4. Put Away Your Phones

One of the biggest relationship tips is to give your undivided attention when your partner is speaking. It’s is one of the most important things you can do.

5. Volunteer Together

Giving back is a great way to keep perspective of how great your relationship is—and how lucky you both are.

6. Create a Checklist

Jot down new and fun things you want to accomplish for a day as a duo.

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7. Talk to Couples Over 65 Years Old

Get relationship tips from them, and see what you can take away to apply to your relationship.

8. Stop and Appreciate All That Your Relationship Is This Very Second

Stop living for what it can be. This person is choosing to be in your life every day, not every day in the future.

9. Revisit the Questions You Asked in the Beginning

What are you hoping to accomplish in the next year? What are you scared of? These answers change, so we need to keep asking these questions.

10. Find 10 Things You Really Love About Them and Tell Them

Everyone needs a confidence booster now and again.

MORE: How to Stop Obsessing Over a Past Relationship

11. Stop Nagging

Seriously, stop. Take a step back and figure out the big things about your partner that truly bother you, and approach him/her from a place of concern and support, instead of nitpicking for sport. That’ll get you nowhere.

12. Get Over Needing to Be Right

Learning to say “I was wrong” is a skill worth learning.

13. Take Care of Yourself

No relationship can be successful if you don’t feel good about yourself, both inside and out.

14. Know What You Need and Then Ask for It

You’re dating a human, not a magical psychic.

15. Take a Class

Couples who learn together connect on a deeper level. Find some common ground (cooking? art? science?), and go from there.

16. Stop Complicating Things That Aren’t Complicated Enough

Don’t pull a Carrie Bradshaw during the Aiden years: If you bemoan the fact that your relationship is going too well, you might need to revisit why you’re constantly seeking out drama.

17. Assume That If Something Was Said That Hurt Your Feelings, It Wasn’t Intended That Way

Why would they want to upset you or hurt you? Give your partner the benefit of the doubt, but if it’s really bothering you, don’t be afraid to bring it up.

18. Write Notes

Whether you have study hall together or live together, handwritten notes are personal touches in today’s highly digital world.

19. Pitch In

Help each other with chores and other necessary, if banal, activities—cooking, cleaning, re-organizing, etc. Not doing them if you live together can create tension, and always doing them can create unfair expectations. Act as a team of equals.

20. Disconnect

Step away from the laptop during quality time. Everything on the Internet will still be there later.

MORE: My Phone Legitimately Ruined My Relationship

Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

21. Allow Things to Be What They Are

Sometimes bad days and bad moods happen. Don’t go crazy trying to make everything better. Just be supportive and loving, because just being there at the end of a bad day can make it better for both of you.

 

22. Create Mini-Traditions

Creating small rituals can really help hold up a couple because they become “your thing.” Whether it’s a fancy night out during the holiday season, or watching a certain show every week, these are things that’ll give you both something to look forward to—and it’ll bring you closer together.

23. Be an Open Book

They can either deal with it or they can’t, but if you can’t be your most honest self with this person, it’ll come out eventually.

Silver Havaianas Womens Luna Navy Sandals 24. Compliment, and Often

You’re there to make each other feel like your best selves, so let the genuine praise flow freely. Like their outfit? Say it! Like their hair today? Let them know!

25. Make Promises That You Really Can Keep

Say things that you want to follow through with out loud. It’ll make you work harder to make them happen. Having—and setting—levels of reasonable expectations for your relationship is a healthy way to keep it strong.

26. Acknowledge Positive Actions

When you and your partner see positive actions, solutions, or behavior in one another, acknowledge it and remind each other to keep it up.

27. Establish Genuine Connections with the Other’s Friends and Family

Hang out together with both of your friends and family. This is the stuff that makes the world go ’round, people!

28. Pay Attention to the Tiny Things That Bother Your Partner

We’re not talking changing your laugh or your style, but if you know that your partner really hates it when you leave the kitchen counter cluttered, try to make a point of clearing it off before he/she gets home. It’s an easy enough thing to do and it makes their day better, so why not?

Luna Womens Silver Havaianas Sandals Navy 29. Never, Never Forget to Ask About the Other Person’s Day

It’s such an easy slight to avoid!

30. Be Considerate

If your partner’s day sucked and yours was just “eh,” let them have the pity (and the control of the remote, and the choice of take-out). If it’s you, announce it early and let them know you need the support. If it’s a toss-up, trade stories about why your days were so awful, and you’ll end up laughing while trying to figure out who wins.

MORE: 11 Ways Relationships Change Between Your 20s and 30s 

31. Small Gifts Go a Long Way

Bringing home a pack of their favorite candy/magazine/book by a favorite author never gets old.

32. Graham Parsons Has a Song Lyric That Says “I Just Want to Hold You/I Don’t Want to Hold You Down”

Let that be your motto when you’re giving your partner advice.

33. Log onto Instagram and like All Their Photos

Just because.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

34. Plan a Date Where You Revisit the Spot You Went on Your First Date

Remember all the amazing things that brought you from then to now.

35. Go on a Walk Together Somewhere Beautiful

And don’t forget to turn off your cell phones.

36. Surprise Them with Dinner

One unexpected night, surprise your partner with a home-cooked meal and a nicely-set table.

37. Review Your Top Five Favorite Funny Things Your Partner Has Done

Because your partner is funny! That’s part of why you like them.

38. Go to a Yoga Class Together

Or other exercise class together. Your body and relationship will thank you!

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39. Go on a Road Trip, Even If You’re Not Going Anywhere Far

It’s nice to get out of town sometimes.

40. Pick up a Six-Pack of Toilet Paper or (Even Better) a Six-Pack of Beer

Without even being asked.

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41. Keep the Surprises Coming

Think of your relationship as a creative challenge. To keep the romance fresh, come up with new date ideas, new sex positions, and new ways to demonstrate your love.

42. Plan Small Outings

Whether its brunch this weekend or a trip to a new neighborhood.

43. Make Out

Kissing is something that is often set to the side the longer a couple has been together. Out of blue one day, initiate a high-school style make-out session.

44. Let It Go

Don’t hold onto that thing your S.O. said or did six months ago and bring it up each time you get mad at him. Do both of you a favor, and let it go.

45. Don’t Interrupt

Even if what you think your significant other is saying is uninteresting, don’t bulldoze over his or her words. Being able to listen to each other—even when the details are mundane—is important.

46. Say “Thanks”

Let him or her know that you notice the little things he or she does by saying “thank you” for routine tasks like walking the dog or picking up groceries.

47. Cook a Meal Together

Come up with a menu, shop, and prepare the food together.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

48. Have Fun with Hypotheticals

Conversation can become routine. Break from the ordinary and have a silly dinner conversation made entirely of imaginary situations—for example, ask, “If you were on an island and could only bring five movies, which movies would you bring?”

49. Keep a Couple’s Journal

Write down your desires and fantasies, and leave them out for your significant other to find—then encourage him/her to write back.

50. Agree to Disagree

This is one of the most important relationship tips, as you both have strong opinions and therefore some issues will never be resolved. Respect each other’s point of view and agree not to argue about the same issue, unless it’s something that could get in the way of your future, like politics, religion, or values.

MORE: 10 Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship

51. Set Goals

In addition to setting life goals, set relationship goals. For example: We aim to spend more time together outside rather than in front of the TV.

52. Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness

Love is grand, but at the end of the day, the only person we can hold accountable for our happiness is ourselves. Do volunteer work, exercise, host dinner parties—find what satisfies you, and go from there.

53. Learn Each Other’s Conflict Habits

Make an effort to understand you and your partner’s conflict habits, so you can break bad patterns and find a middle ground that’s productive and respectful.

54. Define Love

While “I love you” is an extraordinary thing to say—and an equally wonderful thing to hear—it means something different to each person. Tell each other what you’re saying when you declare these magic words. It could be a list of many sentiments such as, “I would do anything for you,” and “I trust you completely.”

55. Take Turns Planning Date Nights That Are Actual, Real, Capital-D Dates

Takeout and TV doesn’t count.

56. Approach Your Partner’s Issues in the Context of How They Affect the Relationship

It’ll reduce the chances they feel personally attacked for no reason.

57. Cuddle

Make ample time for cuddling. Whether or not it leads to sex, physical affection is important.

58. Don’t Forget to Say “I Like You”

The greatest compliment you can give a partner (especially a long-term partner) is reminding them that not only do you love them, but you also like them.

59. Have a Spontaneous Midday Tryst

Send a text as they’re about to go on their lunch break, take time out on a Saturday, however you want to play it.

Photo: Imaxtree

60. Travel Together

Seeing the world together creates amazing shared memories.

MORE: 6 Couples Share How They Make an Open Relationship Work

61. Tell Them Exactly Why You Love and Appreciate Them as Often as Possible

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“I love you” is good. “I love the way you make sure no one ever feels left out” is even better.

62. Stay out of Their Family Drama

It’s so not worth it.

63. Really Look at Each Other

We spend a lot of time with our partners, but sometimes we don’t actually see them. Take the time to actually look into one another’s eyes.

64. Give Each Other a Pet Name

It may be super annoying to other people (and you may want to reserve it for when you’re in private), but a pet name can add an extra layer of intimacy to your relationship.

65. Spend Time Alone

Havaianas Silver Sandals Navy Womens Luna As important as it is to spend quality time with your partner, it’s equally necessary that you develop a good sense of who you are without them. Kahlil Gibran said, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness,” and we stand by that.

66. Eat at the Dinner Table

Do you eat in front of the TV? Try actually sitting down to a meal with your partner at an actual table. You may find it a welcome change.

67. In Fact, Turn the TV Off Altogether

Why not try instituting a TV-free night in your apartment? See what else happens when you spend time together sans the talking box.

68. Ask for Clarity

If you’re confused about what your partner means, ask for clarity instead of making assumptions about what they mean. Use an open phrase like, “What did you mean when you said, ‘xyz,'” rather than instantly going on the offensive.

69. Own Your Feelings

Passive-aggressiveness is a total relationship killer. Squash it by practicing assertiveness and clarity. Saying “I’m fine” when you’re not fine is a prime example of not owning your feelings.

70. Communicate in a Constructive Way

For instance, we think the phrase construction, “When ____ happens, it makes me feel ____” can be particularly helpful.

Photo: Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

MORE: Are Millennials Less Open to Interracial Relationships Than They Think?

71. Take an Interest in What Your Partner’s Into

Into chess, or cheese, or cheese that looks like a chess board (maybe?). You don’t have to love it, but give it a shot. You may surprise yourself.

72. But Also Cultivate Your Own

You and your partner don’t need to have everything in common. Seriously. That’s actually really annoying.

73. Let Your Partner Teach You Something They’re Good At, and Vice Versa

Everyone—everyone—loves the feeling of being able to teach somebody they like about something they’re good at.

74. Bring Your Groups Together

It’s easy to silo your social lives and create separate worlds, but bringing your friends, siblings, or colleagues together can be a fun thing.

75. Don’t Forget About Sex

Work, stress, and other responsibilities can get in the way of your sex life, and before you know it, you’ve gone a month without getting busy. Don’t let this happen. Schedule it in if you have to, just make sure to connect in an intimate way.

76. But Do Forget About Jealousy

Jealousy can be completely toxic to relationships, so keep yours in check. If you’re always jealous, figure out if it’s your personal issue, or if your partner is doing things to appear less trustworthy.

77. Cultivate Your Appreciation

Spread what you love about your partner. Practice your appreciation by sharing it with others— not in a gross, gratuitous, braggy way, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to tell others why your partner is awesome. In turn, it’ll remind you why you like them, too.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

78. Laugh—In Bed

Sex should be sexy, sure. But it should also be fun. Don’t be afraid to have a laugh if things take a turn for the ridiculous.

79. Let Yourself Be Taken Care of When You Need It

We all need special care on occasion. Let your partner help you when you’re feeling sick or down. It doesn’t mean you’re not strong, it just means you’re willing to accept help.

80. Check Your Competitive Edge

You and your partner are there to support each other, not compete with one another. If you find yourself comparing yourself or competing with your significant other, check your behavior. That’s not healthy!

MORE: Why Seeing a Sex Worker Can Be Good for Your Relationship

81. Have a Bed Day

Allow yourselves a totally lazy day where you lie around and do nothing of note except enjoy each other’s company.

81. Be Kind to Yourself

The best way to develop positive patterns in a relationship is to develop them first with yourself. Don’t be so critical of yourself, and you’ll set a good example for your relationship.

82. Express Gratitude for the Little Things, and for Specific Things

Big gestures are great, but it’s great to recognize the little things your partner does that make you feel happy and loved, too.

83. Date like You Dated in High School

Ask each other out. Get excited. Take forever to get ready. Make out. Repeat.

84. Be Present

We can ruin a perfectly great relationship by focusing too much on the past, or worrying too much about what may happen in the future. Learn to enjoy where you are, and who you’re with right now.

85. Don’t Try to Control

A relationship isn’t a battle of wills, it’s two people who are choosing to be together, so don’t treat your partner like they’re some kind of wild animal you’re trying to tame.

86. Embrace Your Common Goals

What is it that you both want to accomplish? Can you support each other to reach those goals? That’ll be a big piece of what will hold you two to together as a couple in the long run.

87. Have a Cultural Experience Together

See a movie, a play, or an art exhibition together—and then talk about them afterward. You may be pleasantly surprised by how differently—or similarly—you viewed things.

88. Go on a Long Bike Ride

Sandals Womens Havaianas Silver Navy Luna Bike rides are deeply freeing experiences, and it’s nice to be able to do that with someone you love.

89. Try Talking on the Phone

Yes, we know this sounds crazy, but phone calls are a different sort of communication than texting, or even in-person communicating will allow. You may actually deepen your connection through a phone chat.

90. Make a Mix for Each Other

It’s cute, romantic, and something out of a rom-com. Although in this day and age, you might want to make a Spotify playlist rather than a mixed CD.

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

MORE: The Relationship Advice No One Ever Tells You—But Should

91. Keep Yourself in Check

We spend so much time paying attention to how our partners behave, but take a second to notice how you’re acting—especially if you’re fired up or in a bad mood. And then give yourself a second to…

92. …Breathe

Before you say something you don’t mean, take a breath, and ask yourself if that’s really the way you want to move forward. Chances are, taking a second out will help you recalibrate and think of a more constructive way of handling the situation.

93. Help Each Other

This one is so easy, but if your partner is having a hard time with something—whether it’s doing their taxes or organizing their closet—offer a helping hand.

94. Be Their Biggest Cheerleader

If your partner accomplished something amazing, let them know it—and let them shine.

95. In Your Craziest Moments of Frustration or Anger, Remember What It Is That You like About Them the Most

There’s a reason you’re with them, after all—right?

96. Remember That a Relationship Should Always Make Your Life Better on the Whole, Not Worse

And aim to make sure yours is doing just that. If it’s not, it may be time to reconsider.

97. Enjoy the Quiet Moments You Spend with Each Other

Not everything has to be a big adventure or a big deal. Sometimes the best times are the quiet unplanned things you do together.

98. Make Sure You’re Taking Care of Yourself

Don’t let yourself get so invested in your partner that you forget to take care of yourself.

99. Let Go of the Past

We often let our past hurts dictate our present. Learn to let go of past resentments and fears in order to live more fully with your partner right now.

100. Touch Each Other Often

Simple touch builds intimacy — especially non-sexual touch. It’s a non-verbal way of saying, “Yes, I’m here for you, and I care about you,” and it helps reinforce your emotional bond.

MORE: 18 Worst Mistakes People Commonly Make In Relationships

101. The Best Relationships Are Ones in Which Both Partners Feel like the Luckiest Person in the World

Find ways to communicate that and foster that feeling in each other, and you’ll be good.

A version of this article was originally published in November 2013.

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