5 Constructive Ways to Improve Your Relationship

Updated: May 25

A woman and her partner sit on a couch with their arms folded, attending couples therapy to improve their relationship

Relationships require work and ongoing effort. If you’re looking to improve your relationship, here are five helpful things you can try.

Key takeaways:

  • Go to bed at the same time as your partner; couples with mismatched sleep schedules have higher rates of conflict and less sex.

  • Set boundaries around screen time.

  • Learn each other’s love languages so you can show each other love and appreciation in ways that the other person understands and values.

  • Have empathy for each other.

  • Consider couples therapy; your relationship doesn’t need to be at risk or in crisis for you to attend.

Romantic movies and Disney fairytales have long set the stage for unrealistic relationship expectations. In the real world, relationships take effort and ongoing maintenance to work. This is true no matter what your couple status is; whether you’re dating, living together, married, or living an alternative lifestyle.

It can be all too easy to put our relationships on the back burner and prioritize life’s other issues, such as work and child care. But avoiding the problems in our relationships won’t make them go away; in fact, it can eventually amplify them as a rift and resentment grow. Intimacy and vulnerability are required for a relationship to function healthily, and these take putting in work.

If your relationship has been feeling burned out lately and you’ve been avoiding putting time or effort into it, here are five constructive ways you can start to nourish it and improve it.

1. Hit the sack at the same time

Hitting the hay at a different time than your partner can negatively impact your relationship. Nearly 75% of couples don’t go to sleep at the same time. Couples who have mismatched sleeping schedules report higher levels of conflict, less quality conversation, and less sex than those who go to bed at the same time. Being in the bed together at the same time doesn’t count, either; you need to be present with each other, not scrolling through social media.

2. Set boundaries around screen time

Research has shown that spending excess time on your phone is negatively affecting relationships. Almost half (40%) of people are “at least sometimes bothered” by how much their partner is on their phone. More than half of people (51%) in romantic relationships report that their partner has been distracted by their pho