Relationship Success Is a Labor of Love

How does relationship success look and feel? And how do we get there?!

Relationship success is a labor of love. And there are no shortcuts because there’s no final destination. 

Real success in your romantic partnership takes a daily re-commitment. But when you’re with the right person – the one willing to do the work with you – the reward is a life of unconditional love and committed partnership.

Love connections inspire the Kelleher matchmaking team. So we’re exploring the truths of a successful partnership and the work it takes to keep the spark alive.

Kelleher International CEO, Amber Kelleher-Andrews and her husband Nico, celebrated thirty years together and their 20th wedding anniversary this Labor Day.

“The secret sauce of a successful partnership is different for every couple,” explains Amber. “But I think there are a few universal ingredients. Practicing gratitude, laughing together, balancing me- and we-time, and continuing to date each other long after we said ‘I do’ helps Nico and I keep the spark alive.”

As a couple, it’s crucial to maintain a focus on your connection to cultivate a successful relationship that stands the test of time. Here are a few ways you can mindfully work on your romantic partnership. 

Practice Gratitude Daily

When you wake up, start the day with a moment of silent gratitude for your partner. If you keep a gratitude journal jot down a few things each morning. Remind yourself of the reasons you love and appreciate them before you roll out of bed and get your day going.

Say ‘thank you’ often and be specific with why you’re grateful. Rave about your partner to friends and family when they knock it out of the park on a big project, or reach a milestone, or do something amazing for you or the family. Let your spouse know they are loved and appreciated.

Never Stop Playing

The responsibilities of adulting can get heavy, so it’s imperative to create space for “play” in your day. It’s easy to get stressed while paying the bills or trying to close a big deal. Many of us can accumulate a dark cloud of fear and anxiety throughout the day that follows us home. That cloud can be the beginning of storms under your roof if you don’t let in the sunshine.

Keeping the fear and worry to yourself gives it more power and can create an invisible wedge. Sharing openly, connecting, and laughing with your partner are great ways to avoid the funk. And it creates a solid foundation for true partnership and relationship success. 

Find Things To Celebrate

We all love a good wedding or birthday party, but there are all kinds of reasons to celebrate throughout the year with your partner. Set home improvement project goals and celebrate your accomplishments along the way. Create staycations or mini-holidays for personal and professional wins. 

Remember, we all desire to feel seen, heard, valued, and supported. Sometimes finding the smallest thing to celebrate can make the most significant difference in your loved one’s day.

Go On Interesting Dates

Dinner and a movie is okay for date night but don’t let that be every date night. Mixing things up creates varying dynamics between you and your partner, which keeps things interesting.

Volunteer together. Explore your city like tourists. Go on weekend adventures. Participate in each other’s favorite hobby activities from time to time. Do something that’s brand new to both of you. Listen to live music. Go to the theatre. Take a class together and learn something new. Attend a group meditation or retreat. 

Pick Your Battles & Fight Fair

Let’s face it. We don’t love every single thing about our partner, and we never will. There will be times throughout the day where you’re actively working on forgiving your partner for being a fallible human. You might get triggered by an action and find yourself blaming your partner for things your ex did.

For example, maybe your ex-spouse refused to work and contribute to the household. So seeing your partner sitting around in the middle of the day can make you unreasonably furious even though your now-spouse is retired and earns more than you do.

Relationship success is built on staying in the present moment with your partner. Recognize what’s old trauma and let it go. Save yourself and your relationship from nitpicking fights that slowly erode your connection.

Step Away From The Smartphone

There are a plethora of social media networks vying for your valuable time – time you could be connecting with the ones who bring genuine value and joy to your real life. When you see the science behind the devastation social media can do to your relationship, you’ll likely find ways to limit your screen time.

Computers in Human Behavior analyzed social media usage in relation to marriage and divorce in the United States. They investigated data from 1,160 married people. As you might expect, the results show that social media has negative implications on marriage quality and happiness. And social media usage increases the experience of troubled relationships and thoughts of divorce.

As a society, we are addicted to our phones and social media. Many of us use social media as a form of escape or to avoid a quiet moment. And we continuously compare our situation to everyone else’s in our social network. We see an alternative version of others’ realities, which can wreak havoc on our self-worth, and the stories we create.

Remind yourself – as often as necessary – that social reality is not real life. Real-life relationships, human interactions, and personal engagements are the ones that matter.

Make a rule to put away the phones when you’re with your partner. Talk about the best and worst parts of your day instead of scrolling through your social feed for updates. Listen and offer support. But remember to only advise if asked for help in solving a problem or situation. 

Do You Need Help Kicking Your Social Media Habit?

When you mindlessly reach for your phone and surf social all day, it’s hard to stop. These baby-steps can help you kick the habit. 

  • Start by trying to avoid rolling over and reaching for your phone first thing in the morning.
  • Limit social usage throughout the day by turning off alerts.
  • Create a couple of 10-minute “social breaks” during your day. Perhaps set an alarm for mid-morning and late-afternoon. And set a timer, so you don’t get lost down the rabbit hole.
  • Make a rule that when you’re around others – especially your partner and children – you keep your phone out of your hands. If you can reduce the temptation to surf your smartphone, you will significantly improve the meaningful connections in your life.

What are your secrets to relationship success? Share what works for you and your partner with the Kelleher community in the comments section below.

And if you’re still searching for the one, consider calling our international team of matchmakers. Perhaps we can help you find your match and set you up for relationship success.