It can be hard to have a strong and romantic relationship especially when you are together for a long time. In romantic relationships, as with so much else, it’s the little things that count. Just as a mis-spoken word or odd look can throw a couple into a weeks-long feud, small and seemingly insignificant gestures can help keep a relationship on track. A little gift, an off-hand compliment, a moment of physical contact can vastly strengthen a relationship.

We all have relationship goals and seek a healthy and lasting relationship, and building habits together can ensure that you and your partner coexist, and conquer the obstacles that may surface. The reality is, relationships need to be worked on, and it requires a mutual effort and understanding between the couple. Despite the circumstances and challenges that can arise, practicing these habits can aid you on the journey of a successful partnership and romance.

Here is some dating advice to build a strong romantic relationship.

1. Show some affection.

Small acts of physical intimacy – the hand on the small of the back as you brush by in the hallway, your arm around their shoulder on the sofa, your hand on their thigh when seated side-by-side, holding hands while walking down the street – give your partner a warm feeling and convey the love and affection you feel for them. The littlest touch can be as important, or even more important, than the longest night of sexual intimacy.

2. Celebrating your partner

Jubilation can come in many ways and contexts. Celebrating one another, and celebrating achievements and milestones, can be a very significant aspect of your relationship. Recognizing important dates and milestones are a reminder of when and why you began this journey together, and it can be a special time for the two of you to express that.

3. Influence each other

 all differ in our view and philosophy of life. But couples who share a deep connection seem to have the same view of life and tend to believe in the same things.

They may start up differently but as time goes on, they begin to behave, talk and even look alike. This happens as a result of time spent together, intimacy shared and belief system discussed overtime. This also makes them able to influence each other’s lifestyle starting from the way they dress, speak and even the kind of food they eat.

Couples who share a deep bond are willing to learn from each other, they value the inputs of their mate and always want to hear what they think concerning any issue.

Studies have it that relationships that are one-sided or where the influence of a partner isn’t allowed ends unhappily. Partners who allow the influence of their mate in a relationship end up being happy and have fewer conflicts.

This works only by understanding your mate, it doesn’t mean that you always give in to the demands of your partner but that you have been able to understand each other so well that you can give up your rights on certain issues because you trust the judgment of your mate.

When a man allows the influence of his lady, his open attitude brings positivity into their relationship and strengthens the bond between them. In this kind of relationship, there is no power tussle as everyone understands their roles and follows through.

Also, a woman who is open to the influence of her man enjoys peace of mind as she can pre-empt his reaction and know how to manage him too. For example, women are more emotionally intelligent than men for biological reasons. The more open couples are to influence each other, the more they enjoy a smooth relationship with less rancor.

4.  Give gifts for romantic relationship

Take advantages of opportunities to give material tokens of your love. Just the right book picked up at the bookstore, a special dessert, a piece of jewelry or clothing you noticed at the store – anything small or large that tells them you were thinking of them. Leave a love note for them, or send them an SMS at work to “I love you” – again, the little reminder that they’re always on your mind will help your partner feel better about themselves and secure in your relationship.

5. Make “alone time” a priority for a romantic relationship

No matter how busy both of your lives are, make sure you commit at least an evening every week or two to be alone together. Have new experiences, share your stories, and just generally enjoy each other’s company.

6. Trust Each Other for a romantic relationship

Couples in sync don’t go about monitoring their spouse. They trust in their fidelity. Even when situations arise to make them lose faith, they hold on to their beliefs because they know their spouse. They don’t go snooping around their mate’s phones, they are confident in themselves and the love of their spouse.

7.  Tell each other what you need

As a couple, how often do you explicitly tell your partner what it is you’re needing or feeling? It may be less often than you think.

So many times, it’s easy to feel like our partner should automatically “know’” what it is that we’re thinking, feeling, or needing. But the reality is that feelings are messy and partners aren’t mindreaders. Even after 8 years with my husband, I still can’t always tell what it is that’s going on in his head. As intuitive as I believe myself to be, there’s always more to discover about him.

But what do happy couples do about this? They give it to each other straight.

When I am not sure what Nathan is feeling or needing, I ask him directly. And conversely, when I’m feeling stressed and could use a little extra love, affection, or time alone, I let him know just as directly.

Healthy, happy couples discuss their needs, wants, emotions, and everything with straightforwardness and candor. It’s really not a secret. The way to get your needs met and feel happy, supported, and secure, is to be able to talk about those things without reservation. To me, this is one of the most important pieces of relationship advice for couples

And when it comes to habits, this is one that a couple should practice together daily. Make time each and every day to discuss what’s going on with you and how your partner could help. This type of honest, open communications is life-changing.

8. Don’t neglect self-care

Surprisingly, one of the most important healthy marriage habits involves the individuals and not the couple. That is the habit of self-care.

You can’t bring your best to the relationship if you’re not taking care of yourself. And the same goes for your partner. Those who practice regular self-care are able to bring their very best to the table.

Marriage involves meeting the needs of your partner but it does not mean neglecting your own. In relationships, we must always be making an effort to tend to our physical, emotional, and mental needs. [Read next: What a Husband Needs from His Wife and What a Wife Needs from Her Husband.]

What does this mean? This can mean many things! It may mean that you have got to set aside alone time in your day or week, allowing you to recharge and reboot. Or, it might mean you need to schedule regular nights with friends to have some social time.

It might mean that you need to look into getting therapy. If you’re struggling with some things (and who isn’t) part of self-care may involve finding an awesome therapist to help you sort of these issues. It might mean making sure you go to bed at a reasonable hour, drink enough water, and take your multivitamin. https://059666f45018787c69cef6fe19d571eb.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

9. Look closely at why a fight may begin.

Some couples create separateness by fighting and then making up over and over again. This allows you to continue the romantic trance, creating drama and avoiding real intimacy. If you become aware of what you fear about intimacy, you’ll have a better sense of why you’re fighting—and likely will fight far less. You also have a high chance of having a romantic relationship when you have few fights.

10. Focus on giving love.

Genuine happiness is not about feeling good about ourselves because other people love us; it’s more about how well we have loved ourselves and others. The unintentional outcome of loving others more deeply is that we are loved more deeply.

11. Flirt for a romantic relationship

– Flirting is a natural way of expressing your interest and affection in your partner. Though it may be a lot more evident in the beginning of your romantic relationship, it’s important to keep it going even as you start to get more comfortable and settled.

12. Take nothing for granted

Cultivate a daily sense of gratitude for your partner and the thousands of little blessings he or she has brought into your life. Remember that, if you’re happy in your relationship, your partner is doing a thousand little things for you every day to make your romantic relationship work (as, hopefully, you are for them). Never take that for granted – a relationship is work of the highest order, and the second you stop it starts to slide away.

And that’s the last one of the romantic relationship habits you must develop for a happy love life. How many did you tick off? Did any of these habits ring a warning bell in your head? Share with me in the comments.

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