Relationships take some work, but how much work you’re willing to put in is entirely up to you.

If you truly care about your significant other, putting in the time is something that you’ll want to do, and it won’t be that hard either. However, there is definitely a line that can easily be crossed.

A good relationship that’s worth staying in won’t feel like work at all.

There will be things that both of you do for the other, but no one will be working more as an individual, you’ll be working together.

Take a look at these seven ways you can step up your relationship, and put in a little effort for the person you care about the most.

1. Be Thoughtful

Being thoughtful is something that you should practice in all your relationships, but it’s essential when it comes to your romantic relationships.

Loving someone means that you think about their needs, feelings, and desires just as much as you do your own.

Being thoughtful can be as simple as remembering a birthday or anniversary, and it can also mean you do something nice when your partner is stressed out.

2. Encourage Your Partner

When it comes to your significant other, you need to be a cheerleader.

Don’t break them down or criticize them when they’re pursuing their goals; you need to be build them up and be as encouraging as you can.

If you find yourself feeling jealous when your partner achieves something, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship as a whole.

3. Develop a Sense of Humor

This is particularly important when it comes to perceiving yourself. For example, if you say or do something mistakenly, laugh it off and move on.

No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who takes themselves too seriously, and it will force your partner to walk on eggshells.

4. Take Care of Yourself

When you’re single, chances are you want to look and feel your best in order to attract a partner. However, this way of thinking can switch when you’ve entered into a long-term relationship.

Taking care of yourself by working out or eating healthily will make your partner feel important; they’ll notice you trying to be your best for their sake.

5. Try to Be Surprising and Spontaneous

It’s easy to get into a routine, especially with your partner. You need to be surprising in order to keep things from getting stale.

If you find yourself already knowing what’s going to happen in the next couple of days, change things up and do something you’ve never done before.

This can be simple, like going to a new restaurant or trying out a new activity.

6. Just Listen and Pay Attention

Attentiveness is extremely important in a relationship, and it has the power to make your partner feel important, or completely unimportant.

When your partner is talking or telling you a story, engage with them so they know you’re paying attention.

You don’t have to be able to recite what they said verbatim, but ask questions and look them in the eye as they communicate with you.

7. Assume Responsibility

Taking responsibility for your actions is important in a relationship for obvious reasons, but you also need to take responsibility for the baggage you carry around as well.

We all have baggage that we’ve gathered from past relationships, and it will impact our future relationships forever. Address it with your partner and own it; they will have to do the same.

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