Are you curious how to have a strong relationship? How can you make your relationship bulletproof, no matter what?
If you recently got into a relationship, you might wonder how to make sure you both stay happy together. Or maybe you have been in a relationship for some time, and you’re wondering how to make it even stronger.
Either way, let’s get one thing straight. A lot of the relationship advice you find out there is ill-advised. But why is that?
It’s probably because real, strong relationships don’t happen by accident. It’s not enough to be in love, because real relationships aren’t like the ones you see in Hollywood movies.
Most people would rather believe that having romantic feelings for each other is enough. Yes, this is important, but for a strong relationship, you need more than that. Strong relationships are usually based on mutual trust, a strong sense of commitment, and the ability to be vulnerable with each other.
To maintain a strong relationship, both partners need to do their part to make it work. So, the harsh truth is, strong relationships require work, time, and effort.
Now, Dan Lok and his wife Jennie Lok have been together for 13 years. Many of their followers look up to them for having an extremely strong relationship. How do they manage this?
What is their secret? How do they manage to stay so happy despite their busy lives and limited private life? How can Jennie continue to be so patient with Dan?
Luckily, Dan and Jennie shared 6 of their top tips on how to have a strong relationship. Read their advice below.
1. Active Listening
The first tip on how to have a strong relationship is active listening. At this point, you might be wondering how this is different from any other relationship advice out there.
We admit it might sound generic at first. The thing is, everybody is talking about ‘active listening’ – but are you really doing it?
Is your brain really active while you listen to your partner? Or, are you nodding your head while you think about something else?
Genuine, active listening is easier said than done. Yet, it’s a vital part of successful communication between partners. So, what can you do to take your communication and partnership to the next level?
The first thing is, you have to actually care. If deep down, you don’t care about your partner’s problems or what’s going on in their world, then you will have a hard time listening to them.
But that’s also not a great foundation for a strong relationship. If you don’t care, really ask yourself why. Why wouldn’t you care about the person you love? How can you care more?
When you are listening to your partner, ask questions that allow you to understand them better. Instead of nodding your head and pretending to listen, make it your goal to understand where they are coming from.
You also want to understand the difference between listening and problem-solving. Maybe you are a person who loves to solve problems fast. So, when your partner tells you about their worries you offer them solutions.
What you have to understand is, your partner might need to talk it out first. For many people, talking it out is a way to process what happened.
Why Does Active Listening Make Your Relationship Stronger?
If you offer a solution too fast, it won’t help them, because they aren’t ready to move on from the talking phase yet. So instead, help them process it. Listen to them, ask questions, and let them share and feel validated. Then you can still make your suggestion for possible solutions.
Yes, this might sound like it takes more work. But here’s why it will strengthen your relationship:
On the one hand, it will make you understand your partner even more. You are asking questions and working hard to understand them. So naturally, you understand better why they think in a certain way. You get to know them on a deeper level.
On the other hand, your partner will be positively surprised. Most people aren’t very good listeners. Yet, most people just want to share and feel understood. You will be one of very few who can actually listen.
2. Love Your Parents and Love Their Parents
Wait, what now? Love their parents? This tip is often overlooked when it comes to how to have a strong relationship. But think about it this way: How many couples do you know who have problems with their in-laws? Maybe it’s the mother who doesn’t get along with the wife. Or maybe it’s the father who can’t stand the husband.
Whatever it is, such fights are really common. The problem is, they put a huge strain on your relationship.
Let’s assume for example that your father and your partner fight with each other a lot. Wouldn’t you always feel like you are caught in the middle? You love your partner, but you also love your father. Nobody likes to pick sides between loved ones.
Yet, staying out of the fight is difficult. Your partner and your father will both come to you and vent about what the other did.
This is only an example, but clearly a worst-case scenario. Even the strongest relationships can be damaged if there is too much fighting going on.
So, how can you teach yourself to love your in-laws? It greatly depends on the situation at hand. But in general, it’s a good idea to find something you are grateful for.
Find something about them that you can appreciate. Maybe they always bring food when you invite them over? Maybe they have a strong sense of justice that you can appreciate?
Try to find something likable about them – no matter how small – and focus on that. Make an effort to start liking them instead of continuing to fight.
How Does Loving Your In-laws Create a Stronger Relationship?
We already hinted at it. Too many fights in the family strain your relationship.
You or your significant other will always stand between the two who are fighting. It’s very hard on all who are involved.
That’s why creating harmony in the family makes your relationship stronger.
This is even more important in cultures where your partner’s family becomes your second family. As is the case in many Asian families, for example. They might even move in with you.
If you see them daily, you won’t want to break into a fight every single day. Even if it’s hard, learning to love your in-laws will strengthen your relationship.
3. Practice Vulnerability
How vulnerable are you with your significant other? Do they know about your fears, flaws, and past mistakes? Do they know what you are afraid of, or know about your “dark side”?
When it comes to how to have a strong relationship, being vulnerable is key. It allows both of you to truly be yourself, without being afraid of rejection.
A strong relationship is a deep relationship. Maybe you know couples who are almost too formal with each other? You don’t want to be like them.
In such a relationship, usually both partners keep things from each other. Perhaps there is no malicious intent behind it, but they are almost afraid to be completely open with each other.
Their communication feels too formal, and they are afraid to open up, even if they have been together for a long time.
The strongest relationships are those where the partners know everything about each other. Think about it, if your partner knows your secrets and flaws and they are still with you, doesn’t that mean they are here to stay?
If you can share everything, it makes you even stronger as a couple and it makes you feel secure. Secure because your partner accepts you as you are – with your good and bad sides.
Vulnerability also goes back to open communication. If you practice open communication you will fight less. If you already talk about everything openly, what else is there to fight about?
Can Vulnerability Prevent Friction?
We all agree that communication is key in a relationship. Being vulnerable with each other is a form of deep communication.
So, being vulnerable is important from the get-go.
Dan Lok and Jennie Lok used to fight a lot in their first few months of dating. But only until they realized they simply had different expectations from each other.
So what did they do? They decided to be vulnerable with each other and openly discuss their expectations. Now they are at a point where they hardly fight at all.
4. Physical Affection
Physical affection is an interesting one. When it comes to understanding how to have a strong relationship, physical affection is vital. With physical affection, we mean small gestures like hugs, kisses, or holding hands.
Now the thing is, physical affection is one of five love languages. So maybe you want to look into that and find out in what way you and your partner communicate your affection.
Still, science has proven that physical touch boosts the production of feel-good hormones. For example, it helps with oxytocin production. Hormones like oxytocin make us bond with other humans even more. Hormones like that make us bond with other humans even more.
That means physical affection makes your relationship stronger. And it even does so from a scientific standpoint.
Most couples are very physical in the early stages of their relationship. But as time passes, it becomes less and less.
However, studies have found so many benefits from physical touch, it would be smart to make it your goal to touch your partner at least once per day.
It strengthens the bond between you two, and it can even lessen physical pain. In the long term, it makes you both happier and healthier.
Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, put it like this: “We are just built to touch—the brain is built to do this.”
5. Relationship Meeting
What is a relationship meeting, and how does it help to make your relationship stronger?
Once a year, your significant other and you take time to discuss your relationship in a meeting, kinda like in a business meeting. It’s almost like a business review.
You discuss what is working well for you, what didn’t work so well, and how you want to continue on from here.
It’s very important that in the relationship meeting, you don’t talk about work, your kids, or other things. It’s really a space about the two of you and your relationship.
If you have any conflict in your relationship, you’d usually want to wait for the meeting to address it. Or, if it’s really urgent you could call an emergency meeting.
The point is, don’t fight on the spot. Instead, write the issue down. You’ll notice that sometimes when you write it down and wait until the meeting, the problem already solved itself or you don’t care about it anymore.
That means, having this meeting can save your partner and you a lot of energy. You don’t fight over insignificant things.
Keep in mind that the relationship meeting is not meant to be a blaming session. It is for your partner and you to share your thoughts on the relationship. You want to talk about both, the good and the bad.
You want to start with the positive and go over these three questions:
- What’s working in the relationship?
- What’s not working in the relationship?
- What can you do together as a couple to improve?
Are You Together Out Of Obligation?
The final component of the relationship meeting is to discuss if you want to stay in the relationship. It might sound extreme to discuss this every year.
The point is, to have a strong relationship you both need to be able to talk about this. There is no good in staying together out of obligation.
If both partners decide to stay and you do that every year – that’s the foundation of a strong relationship. Essentially, you are deciding to stay together every 12 months. It’s a powerful commitment.
If you and your spouse ever want to talk about divorce then it should also happen during this meeting.
So, the relationship meeting allows both of you to reflect and see where you want to go together as a couple.
Why Will A “Relationship Meeting” Make Your Relationship Stronger?
Many couples get into a fight because they don’t have an outlet to express their frustrations. Their lives are so busy with work and children, they don’t really get to talk. The tension builds up and they just explode on each other.
The relationship meeting helps you to avoid that. Instead, you have a few hours together where you just talk and focus on each other. There is no need for fighting and screaming because you can have a proper conversation.
It will also make you stronger as a couple because you decide together on how you will proceed. It’s a powerful exercise.
It also ties in with the other tips. During the meeting you communicate, so you need your active listening skills. It’s also a safe space to be vulnerable with each other.
The final tip on how to have a strong relationship is playfulness.
Playfulness in a relationship can take many forms. For example, it can be like it is for Dan and Jennie. They tease each other often, but they don’t take it personally.
Or it can take other forms, like playful nicknames, inside jokes, or sometimes even stealing a piece of your partner’s food.
What’s so interesting about playfulness is that its effects are backed up by science too. Researchers wondered why human beings are playful at all and what benefits it has in a relationship. Their studies showed that most people look for playful partners.
Being playful feels good. It can de-escalate situations where you might start a fight. Finally, humor can also be a way to bring up issues without criticizing each other too directly.
In further studies, they found out that playful couples feel closer to each other and communicate better.Playful couples feel closer to each other. Click To Tweet
When you think about it, being playful is also a way of communicating with your partner. R. William Betcher put it best when he said, “It is through playing that we learn how to approach someone’s more intimate self.”
So, playfulness is actually very important when it comes to how to have a stronger relationship.
Ready To Unlock Your Full Potential?
You just read some fundamental tips on how to have a stronger relationship. A happy relationship is a vital component of a fulfilling life.
But maybe you want to unlock your full inner potential? No matter if it’s about your relationship or work or happiness, you should strive to reach your full potential in life.
Showing you exactly how to do that is one of Dan Lok’s greatest missions. That’s why right now you can get his best selling book, “Unlock It” for free.
Yes, the book is already paid for you, you only need to cover shipping and handling. Get your master key to wealth, success, and significance here.