1. Make real time for each other

That means spending time being present around each other and talking about everything and nothing, without the distraction of TV, mobiles and other things that can simply wait till later.

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2. Focus more on the good than bad

There’s so much tension and stress in our day-to-day lives that it’s all too easy to focus on the bad stuff. Couples with strong foundations choose to focus more of their energy on the good stuff instead, even it that can seem like the most insignificant thing in the world, be it in their own relationship, or in their individual lives.

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3. Forgive without holding onto grudges

There could be nothing worse than holding on to a grudge with that person you’re living with and seeing every day of your life. Make mistakes, fight it out, work through it, and move on. Resentment grows with time, and time is limited.

4. Invest in common interests

Alone time is crucial to self-development and growth, but so is time spent together doing things you both love. Investing in common interests, no matter how few those are, is important to sustaining interest in one another – especially after the honeymoon phase of your relationship starts to subside.

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5. Do things for one another willingly

Make each other tea and coffee, cook a meal without being asked to do so, and do things for your significant other willingly and gladly. It’s all about giving, without expecting to take.

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6. Show appreciation

Every. Damn. Day. Appreciation doesn’t need to come in the form of fancy gifts and packaging – simple gestures to show your gratitude for all the things your partner does for you go a long way; some people love hugs, others love kisses, others simply love it when you say ‘thank you’.

7. Communicate about everything

And we mean everything, even stupid, pesky things that you’re sure your partner isn’t interested to know about, like the tiff you had with your mother on the phone on the way to work. Good communication skills are the basis of all strong relationships – and just like relationships, they require honing.

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8. Work as a team

In relationships, as in marriage, working as a team should come first and foremost, which means setting goals for yourselves as individuals, but also as a couple. Picture where you’d both like to be in a few short years, and work together to achieve your couple goals, while supporting each other to grow individually.

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