3 Ways to Boost Your Relationship Satisfaction

Relationships are a two-way street. We strive to make our partner happy and be someone they can rely on, and in turn we hope they’ll do the same for us.  But that doesn’t mean that our happiness in the relationship is completely out of our hands. In fact, there are things we can do individually – today – to give our relationship satisfaction a boost.

  1. Stop comparing your relationship to others’.
    Whether it’s through social media or just the assumptions and judgments we make about other couples’, it’s easy to start making comparisons. “They seem like they never fight.” “They’re always doing fun stuff together.” “His/Her spouse is probably way more understanding than mine.” These types of assumptions aren’t productive—and more than likely, they’re not 100% true.

    Remember that social media isn’t a realistic representation of others’ relationships. You’re only seeing the highlight reel, not the day-to-day grind. The number of happy couple pictures is not a gauge for how happy you or other couples are. Every relationship has its challenges, and you’re probably not seeing them as you scroll through your feed.

  2. Check your expectations.
    Sometimes our own unrealistic expectations set us up to be unhappy. Maybe it’s because of the comparison and assumptions we mention in #1. We expect our relationship, our partner, or ourselves to have it all together all the time. That’s unfair to everyone, and you’re bound to be disappointed! You and your partner are both going to make mistakes. Embrace imperfection, and challenge yourself to see all of the ways in which your partner and your relationship are actually pretty darn great.

    If you feel that your expectations are realistic, then make sure you’ve communicated them! Uncommunicated expectations are often just as unlikely to be met as unrealistic ones.  (Check out our Discussion Guide for Couples for great ways to cover this topic!)

  3. Practice some self-care.
    In order to be the best partner we can be, we need to take care of ourselves – emotionally, physically, spiritually. If we’re feeling fulfilled as individual, we are happier and have more in our tank to give to others, which has a reciprocal effect. Take time to do things that make you feel happy and balanced, and support each other in doing so. Whether it’s a favorite hobby, time with friends, or some quiet time alone, make it a priority.

Research shows that it’s completely normal for satisfaction levels to rise and fall throughout life stages and transitions. If you find that you are consistently dissatisfied in your relationship, we encourage you to seek help from a professional. Sometimes it can be just what you need to get you out of the rut you’re experiencing.

If it’s just occasional, mild dissatisfaction you’re experiencing, that’s also totally normal. It can be empowering to realize that there are small things you can do as an individual to refocus your perspective and see your relationship in a more positive – and more realistic – light.

9 thoughts to “3 Ways to Boost Your Relationship Satisfaction”

  1. Powerful stuff! Man, you hit it hard with social media being a highlight reel, rather than the truth. Great perspective for all couples to not be stuck in comparing but being grateful for the present.

    1. I think the idea of personal time out is great. Meeting a friend or just getti g some space can calm frustrations down and get things in perspective. Margaret

  2. In the first reading of this, my impression is that “happy” is a goal we should work for. Happy is so elusive and describes so many things to so many people, I am not sure “happy” is a specific goal to strive to attain. Wouldn’t satisfied, content, etc be better??

    1. Ali’s point, but I would say depending on how you define contentment and satisfaction. To me, without happinesses it’s like having hamburger without ever having a filet Mignon, running without feeling euphoric, sex without orgasm, seeing water but never the ocean.

  3. I am grateful for this post. I feel guilty every now and then when I go through the ‘rut’ of the relationship. I feel so much better now after getting this reality check. Kudos!

  4. Thank you for this post! In a world where everything and everyone is “on the go”, taking time to self-care is important. Running on an empty tank will crash both the relationship and me. I am going to have to slow down and refill, and in so doing boost my relationship satisfaction.

  5. Thank you for this post! Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. But. Usually some time apart or just a 100 yard walk can really change the way you see yourself and your feelings. Do not compare yourself to others! There will always be greater and lesser persons than yourselves. My mom has been reading The Desiderata to me since before I could understand. As I’ve aged. I really took a liking to it and have really tried to live my life accordingly. Good to keep words like that in the back of your mind for when you’re feeling down! Just step away. Take a couple deep breaths and get back to business!!

  6. Great tips. Especially the tip about not comparing relationships. We often cause unnecessary problems in our relationship thinking of other relationships we aren’t even in.lol

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Yes, along these same lines, the Movie Industry often paints these beautiful love stories with some contrast and opposition from outside forces, friends, etc that may stand in the way to true love. There is always an element of truth to these narratives, but one can often fall into the trap of comparing their current struggles in their relationship with the half truth narrative they are viewing or observing on the surface of social media. We need to to sift this information “with a grain of salt” or expose the “other half of the coin” One great example is the stark contrasts we see in our own lives, Yes, it does apply to everyone else out there, whether private or media observed.

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