Almost every book, article, and show about maintaining a great relationship comes down to one piece of advice: communicate. But what does this mean in a practical sense? It’s all about making time to connect each day as a couple to reassure your bond. And there are certain things strong couples say to each other every day that keep them in sync and, as cheesy as it sounds, in love.
Very simple statements such as “I love you” or “thank you” can have an immensely positive effect on a relationship. After all, everyone likes to feel loved and appreciated. And even just sharing stories about the daily trivia of life — such as a funny conversation you had with your boss or an anecdote about your neighbor — can help you maintain that all-important connection.
Whether you’re chatting on the phone, texting, or even talking face-to-face, these conversations about anything and everything can have a tremendous impact on the state of your relationship overall. Shooting your SO an “ILY” text when their having a bad day or laughing at a memory from when you were first dating can keep that connection strong. Although everyone’s needs are different, communicating that your partner is appreciated, loved, and desired would help most anyone feel secure in a relationship. To help you with that effort, here are a few daily phrases to take from some of the strongest couples around.
1. "I Love You."
If you want to keep up the romance in your relationship, then dropping the love bomb on the daily can only help. In fact, as a study from YouGov found that, over time, people in relationships "get more practical, less ‘head over heels’ and people stop saying ‘I love you.’" Sure your partner knows that you them, but it's always good to hear it, right?
2. "Thank You."
Daily gratitude is huge. As licensed marriage and family therapist Winifred M. Reilly wrote in the Huffington Post, "no gesture is too small or mundane to warrant a sincere word of thanks." Whether your partner listened to you vent or ran an errand for you, a legit "Thanks!" can go a long way.
3. "Remember That Time We . . . ?"
Reminiscing about happy memories can draw you closer together as a couple. "'Remember when . . . ' is a great start to a loving conversation," marriage and family therapist Tina Tessina told Women's Health. "It creates so much good feeling to remember how you were when you were dating, when you got married, when you first bought your house, when you had your first child, when you got that promotion." Thinking about your happy shared memories can make even the crummiest days a little brighter.
4. "Good Night."
Saying good night every evening — even when you want to wring your partner's neck — is a good practice. "This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship," Mark Goulston wrote for Psychology Today. It's a small gesture that may mean a lot to your partner.
5. "Hey, I Need . . ."
Asking for what you need, whether it's more time together or just another glass of wine, is crucial for letting your partner know what's on your mind. "Making your needs known on a (very) regular basis keeps everyone knowing what’s expected of them," Starre Vartan wrote for Mother Nature Network "And it's the foundation of communication." Keeping your partner in the know is always a good idea.
6. "How Was Your Yoga. . . ?"
Although you and your SO may be obligated to spend time discussing household chores and parenting duties, it's also important to check in with one another on a more personal level every day. As the American Psychological Association notes, discussing deeper or more personal subjects can keep you connected to your partner over the long term. Talking about each other's hobbies or personal interests can help you stay in touch.
7. "I'd Rather Be With You."
Most people have about a million different demands on their schedule, but it's important to let your partner know that you value your time together — even when you are obligated to be elsewhere. According to Oprah magazine, letting yout partner know you want to be with them, "not only keeps him from feeling like just another check-off on your to-do list, but also affirms that he is item number one on your to-adore list." After all, you'd rather hang with your SO than attend yet another meeting.
8. "How Was Your Day?"
This is such a simple question, but it can have major consequences for your relationship. "Ninety percent of the failing couples I see have stopped asking 'How was your day?' every evening," marriage counselor Sharon Rivkin told Redbook. "Those words are actually as important as saying 'I love you,' because they help maintain the compassion a marriage needs to survive." These just might be the four words every couple should say on the daily.
9. What Did You Have For Lunch Today?
Well, maybe not this question in particular. But keeping each other informed about the daily minutia of your lives can help you feel closer as a couple by increasing your sense of interrelatedness. As psychologist Greg Guldner told Women's Health, "couples with higher degrees of interrelatedness are less likely to break up." So go ahead: discuss that delicious panini you had for lunch.