Are you really truly there for your partner in your relationships? Many people think that they are “there” for their partner, but in fact, they are not nearly as involved as what they could be. Many times, they see their relationship as just another thing on their “to-do” list. Carefully analyse yourself, are you simply giving the relationship as much as you have time and energy for?

In order to have a successful relationship you need to do your best to be emotionally available for your partner. If you are not emotionally available and do not do effort to sustain the connection then your relationships are most likely short-lived and unfulfilling because of that.

Making a relationship work takes hard work, just like anything else. You have to fully commit and own up to the responsibilities that comes with it. Many people are afraid that a relationship might fail, and because of this, they are afraid of fully committing, or even labelling the relationship. This way of thinking does not make sense if you think about it, because it sets you up for guaranteed failure to start with. Thinking like this is the equivalent of not training hard for a competition on purpose because you might stand a chance to lose. That is nonsense, if you know the chance of failure is high you will then work much harder to try to decrease the chance of failure. If you really value that person in your life, failure is not an option.

Here are a 20 ways in which you can be better in your relationship, it is never too late to change and be better. Each day is a new opportunity to renew yourself and become better:

1. Be authentically you
Many people act like someone they are not. They wear masks, trying to impress the other person. However, your partner will see through that soon enough, being real, being genuine will lead to a much greater connection between the two of you. Also, say what you are feeling, not what you think will sound good or please them. Take actions directly from your heart!

2. Speak your mind
Always let your partner in on what you are feeling, being transparent and direct is key. Otherwise your partner will never know what is truly going on inside of you, you cannot hide what you feel and expect a strong connection.

3. Keep your word
Show up when you say you will, and do what you say you will do. Little gestures like staying true to your word means a lot when it comes to building trust and a strong connection.

4. Show compassion and focus on your partner’s positives
Instead of judging your partner and making demands all the time, show empathy, kindness and understanding. This is the foundation of building a strong connection in a relationship, start by practicing compassion with yourself, friends and family members. The more you practice it the better you will get at it, just like anything else. Don’t allow negativity to ruin your relationship, we all have flaws, you do too. Choose to see the light within your partner, to look at the good. Instead of staring blindly into the negatives. Your partner will change if you create a loving environment for them, don’t bash their head in about their negatives and you become bitter and negative in the process too.

5. Be considerate
Thinking of your partner ahead of time is important. Keeping them in mind when making plans and arrangements, or doing something you know they will appreciate, or if you are at the shops and you see something that they will like, get it as a small surprise for them. Do thoughtful things for them as much as you can.

6. Learn to let go of small things
Small problems usually lead to big problems if you do not learn to look beyond the small things. They usually are not that big of a deal, always ask yourself, will this make that big of a difference in the bigger picture? Will this matter in the long run? If not, let it slide and move on.

7. Always be kind in whichever way you can
Kindness, just like compassion is a practice that you need to work on. It is easy to be kind when you are in a good mood, but you need to learn to be kind when you are in a bad mood. Learn to always treat your partner with love and respect, for example giving your partner a call late at night when they are upset about something, even though you are very tired and would rather go to bed.

8. Be spontaneous and make plans
Being spontaneous makes you fun, and it spices things up. Doing things in the spur of the moment creates excitement for both of you. It could be in the form of getting flowers, a small gift, maybe even a random hug or taking them on an unplanned date or trip. Doing things that are not expected works great to create a deeper connection. Also, show your partner they are a priority by making plans for a date or a weekend together, it shows that you care and that you are thoughtful.

9. Work on your flaws
You know what you do that your partner does not like, be more mindful of your own behaviour and be considerate by working on them to improve and strengthen your relationship.

10. Be present during conversations
Listen to every word, get lost in the conversation! Pay attention and observe, ask questions and show that you really care about what they are sharing with you.

11. Think of ways how you can help without being asked for it
Always try and find ways to help, care and share with your partner. Doing this will show that you truly care and that you are trying to make things easier for them, which strengthens the connection between you.

12. Don’t ever give the impression that you are not willing to work
Relationships go through many difficulties. Always show that you are willing to work through the tough times, and show your partner that they are worth the hard work and sacrifices. When your automatic response is to not being willing to work through an obstacle that might arise in your relationship, you are indirectly telling your partner that they are not worth the effort of working through that. Which breaks trust and creates all sorts of problems.

13. Make improvements and adjust your behaviour and attitude
If you fail today, try harder tomorrow. If something is not going that great, find out why, talk about it openly and take action to improve the situation and take things from being “okay” to being great!

14. Strive to give more and prioritize your partner in your daily life
Give more than what you gave yesterday. Find various ways to love more, share more and connect more. Also make your partner a priority, this will show your partner how much they mean to you. Which is very important in strengthening the relationship and the connection.

15. Don’t keep score in the relationship
You are trying to find a compatible partner for life, you are not trying to get ahead or win. When you are in a relationship, you are a team. Let go of your ego, and see the situation from both of your perspectives.

16. Respect yourself and take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is important, many people stop looking after themselves when they are in a stable relationship. Always strive to remain attractive to your partner, and to show them you care about the relationship. It is attractive seeing your partner taking care of himself or herself, besides; you cannot take care of another if you cannot take care of yourself.

17. Be persistent
Water cuts through rock because of its persistence. When times get tough in the relationship, show persistence and the willingness to work hard to fix things. This shows your partner how much you value them.

18. Be encouraging
Encourage your partner’s dreams, stand beside them and support them as much as you can. Encourage their good habits, goals, happiness, exercise, good sleep, good diet, peace, perseverance, compromise and love. Also, compliment them on these things as well, encouragement goes a long way and it means a lot to your partner. Having an encouraging, loyal partner can lead a person to great success.

19. Start each day on a new page
Let today’s battles and fights die today. Let the issues and imperfections of today pass. Tomorrow is a new day, start fresh and start over. Do not bring the issues of yesterday into a new day, sort them out and go to sleep with a clear mind.

20. Never use harsh words, or the words “Never” / “Always” during an argument
Harsh words will not do any good to your relationship. One harsh word can potentially destroy it, guard your mouth. It will only push you further apart and damage the connection you have, treat arguments with care, compassion, empathy and love to try to solve the problem together. Once again, let go of your ego. Rarely when we use the words never and always are they actually accurate and true. Usually your partner will get defensive and try to prove that it is not “always” or “never”. Which intensifies the argument and it doesn’t help to solve the problem at all.