Support is critical in any healthy, romantic relationship. It’s so important for both of you to prioritize each other’s needs along with your own! In fact, research shows that having a supportive partner can lead to more relationship satisfaction.
So, how can you be more supportive in your romantic relationship? Whether it’s during bad or good times, there are 10 ways tips:
We’ve all done it at some point or another — zoned out or thought about what to say next while your partner is talking. It happens! One way to be more supportive is to practice active listening. Give them your full attention, make eye contact, and respond to comments and questions to show you are truly listening.
When something is wrong with your partner, your first instinct might be to jump in and help without thinking. It’s important to be more conscious of your reactions and how they might impact your partner.
Most times, when you jump to conclusions and assume you know how to help, it can add more stress and leave your partner feeling overwhelmed.
When your relationship goes through an inevitable rough patch, remember the reasons you fell in love. You shouldn’t be with someone in hopes that you can change them. You should never feel like you want to hurt, put down, or punish your partner. You love them for who they are, so remember to show it!
If you have your own problems to solve, make sure to do that before trying to help your partner with theirs. It’s not that you can’t show support or compassion until then — you just need to be able to fully commit to helping their situation, and you can’t do that if you’re too focused on your own.
It’s easy to get frustrated if you don’t understand where your partner is coming from, so make a concerted effort to cut them some slack and imagine yourself in their situation. Practicing more empathy shows respect for your partner, helps you feel more connected and increases trust.
During tough times, remind your partner that you’re in it together and have each other’s backs no matter what. Sometimes you can forget to remind your partner of that, especially if the relationship has lasted a while.
Don’t just let your partner assume that you’re going to be there for them — verbalize it and show them you mean it.
Research shows that the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is true! You don’t need to spend time apart on a daily basis, but you do need to find the right balance.
It’s not healthy to be overly dependent on each other, so having your partner take some time to see friends, grab a cup of coffee, or get some exercise shows that you support their personal needs and well-being.
It’s not always easy to admit when you’re wrong, but it’s important when you’re trying to be more supportive. Whether you broke a promise or didn’t do something you said you would, you need to show your partner that you’re capable of owning your mistakes.
Relationship experts have actually created a term for snubbing your partner with your phone — phubbing. It can actually damage your relationship! When you’re constantly on the phone, it can lead your partner to believe they are not appreciated or valued in the relationship. They often feel like they have to “compete” with your phone.
The solution? Make it a “rule” to put down the phones during dinner or when you’re hanging out in the evenings. Find what works best for you and stick to it!
Is there a chore your partner absolutely hates doing? Could their car use an oil change but they haven’t gotten around to doing it? Help them out! You can be more supportive in so many different ways, but one of the simplest is to offer help when they don’t necessarily expect it.
Learning how to be supportive might not happen overnight, but as long as you’re committed to trying, your partner will notice — and the more you show it, the happier you both will be.