10 Simple Ways to Grow a Relationship and Thrive as a Couple

grow a relationship

Navigating a long-term relationship is no walk in the park. Any couple that has made it past the honeymoon phase knows that keeping the love alive requires effort, commitment, and a sprinkle of creativity.

Today, let’s talk about embracing the challenge to improve and grow your relationship. This guide isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about leveraging your own power to instill lasting joy, excitement, and love in your relationship.

The following are ten simple and powerful ways to grow a relationship and thrive as a couple:

1. Give up the need to be right.

We’ve all been there. My husband’s shoes find themselves everywhere — under the coffee table, in the entryway, and beneath the kitchen table. For years, I fought for the “rightness” of having a tidy space. But one fine day, I made peace with his habit. I began picking up his shoes without any resentment. This simple act of letting go not only helped me grow in a relationship but also gave me a newfound sense of contentment.

2. Take an interest in what interests them.

Growth in a relationship often occurs when you take an active interest in your partner’s passions. For me, this was stepping into the world of sports, an area my husband absolutely loves. I even went as far as taking golf lessons to share experiences that bring him joy. Taking a genuine interest in your partner’s activities doesn’t just make them feel valued; it also enriches your shared experiences as a couple.

3. Make love with your thoughts words and actions.

Sex isn’t the only way to make love. Your words, thoughts, and actions hold immense power in strengthening your bond. Your brain is, after all, your most potent sexual organ. Speak love, think love, and act lovingly — and you’ll find the emotional and physical intimacy in your relationship growing stronger.

4. Learn to be playful and plan fun.

Life is filled with challenges, but that shouldn’t stop you from having fun together. Learn to be light-hearted and keep the spirit of playfulness alive. Make an effort to plan weekend getaways or simply spend quality time doing activities you both enjoy. The more fun you have, the easier it is to grow your relationship in the midst of life’s complexities.

5. Practice gratitude.

Don’t underestimate the power of gratitude in helping you grow as a couple. Consider keeping a journal that documents each loving act or word that your partner shares. Better yet, make it a habit to share what you’re grateful for while driving or walking together. This mutual exchange of appreciation will help you see the glass as half-full even when times are tough.

6. Catch your partner doing good.

One of the best ways to grow your relationship is through positive reinforcement. Take a moment each day to say ‘thank you’ and celebrate the good in each other. By focusing on what’s going well, you naturally encourage more of the same behavior, strengthening your love for one another.

7. Get help.

The idea that you can or should handle all relationship challenges on your own is a myth. Sometimes external perspectives are needed to grow as a couple. Don’t hesitate to consult a relationship counselor or therapist when you hit a rough patch. Remember, it’s not about pointing fingers but about understanding how you can grow a relationship together.

8. Go the extra mile.

If there’s one couple that epitomizes the concept of ‘going the extra mile,’ it’s Christopher and Dana Reeve. Dana gave up her singing career to care for her paralyzed husband, embodying the essence of unconditional love. Relationships are rarely a 50-50 game; they’re about giving your all when your partner needs it the most.

9. Give each other space.

While it’s essential to grow as a couple, individual growth should never take a backseat. My husband and I have always respected each other’s independence. Whether it’s following our dreams or maintaining friendships outside the relationship, the freedom to be ourselves has made our bond unbreakable.

10. Cherish each other.

Life’s journey is best enjoyed with a loving partner by your side. Support each other, laugh together, and grow together. This strategy has proven effective for me, as I’ve been happily married for over 37 years, with four daughters and three grandchildren to show for it. And our relationship keeps getting better!

There you go. By implementing these strategies, you’ll not only grow in a relationship but you’ll also flourish as a couple, enriching each other’s lives in more ways than one.

16 thoughts on “10 Simple Ways to Grow a Relationship and Thrive as a Couple”

  1. Going the extra mile for the person who your dating can increase the pleasure of being with the person. Putting forth the extra effort can only strengthen the relationship and show how much you care about this person.

  2. Definitely great advice for all relationships, and they all are surprisingly effective. It’s amazing how putting in just a little bit of effort can make a world of difference.

  3. Great pointers. I like the making love with words and actions.

    I’ve found with expanding awareness, and release, a lot of what you have pointed to comes about naturally.


  4. Excellent tips,
    How about spending quality time with your partner. When you are hanging out with them – get rid of distractions…Turn off your TV, phone computer ect.

    Focus more on the good moments and experiences. You can bring up challenging situations but don’t dwell on them…See the glass as half full.

  5. Jonathan,
    It’s so important to be prepared for our ego to scream “It’s not fair” any chance it gets. Of course it prevents us from that extra mile and the joy it gives to both the giver and receiver.

    Your welcome and of course the secret is in the “using” or taking action!

    It’s easier to grow a relationship than pay the consequences of taking it for granted. Yet it’s so tempting to sit back, relax and forget we need to be active participants.

    Making a world of difference would definetly shrink the divorce rate!

    Absolutely, expanding awareness and release work wonders. Another article could be written on both.

    Jai Kai,
    Yes no electronics creates a space for love. Imagine giving a loved one time and attention by shutting those off for a weekend! It would be like a vacation.

    Thank you for stopping by and picking them up.

  6. Great tips Tess!

    One of the greatest way I’ve found to make a relationship better, is conversation. I mean a real open conversation, where both you and your partner bring all their deepest feeling to light and discusses about them.

    It can be hard sometimes, but it gets rewarded with the deep feeling of love between each other.

  7. Thank you Tess for these wonderful little reminders that we can all apply to improve the quality of our relationships with our loved ones. There is nothing more important in life than to experience Unconditional Love and I believe it deserves work on both partner’s ends to maintain the health & balance of that relationship. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Hi Tess! I just discovered you about 15 minutes ago and you’ve made my day! I loved what I read because ALL are so true! Its funny because this morning I was telling my boyfriend that I’ve been doing things that he likes to do and that he should also do things that I like…which happens to be on your list. I forwarded this to my boyfriend, ofcourse! Thank you!

  9. I don’t completely agree. Especially on #8 Go the extra mile. Doesn’t this lead to a super attached and super dependant relationship? Been there, done that, you know. I’m interested on your opinions on this.

    PS: Excuse the overload of superlatives, lol.

  10. Hey Tess,

    I liked when you said you are good with your husband having female friends and colleagues and how trust makes for a great relationship. I have a problem due to my insecurities and a lot of memories from my past that make me scared for my fiancé to actually hang out alone with his female friends. And the part that frustrates me is that I really know he would never cheat on me. I’m just jealous of him having a personal connection with a girl. This is something I want to remove from my thoughts and I kno would improve our already much amazing relationship.

    Any advice?

    Thank you

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