Nurturing your relationship is like taking care of a plant.

When you take care of a plant, you need to ensure its foundation has the right soil, water, love, and environment to grow and flourish.  Animated picture of plant receiving water and growing. Much like a plant, nurturing your relationship starts from the ground up. You need to attribute the right care to one another for your relationship to grow, by developing a healthy environment.

These 4 steps will show you examples of nurturing between partners. Use them to ensure your relationship continues to thrive!

Step 1: Communicate

The first step to nurturing a healthy and long lasting relationship starts with effective communication. Both partners should be able to speak openly and honestly in both positive situations and moments when problems happen.

Kamala Harris says,

  1. Be honest about your feelings: When a situation may leave you upset, be transparent with how the situation made you feel, without pointing blame or getting defensive.

  2. Seek clarification: This allows you both to reach an understanding and explore possible solutions.

  3. Don’t ignore difficult conversations: Ignoring the hard conversations will only suppress issues and create hostility towards each other. Be open to having these conversations, but make sure you have them at the right time — when you're both calm and free of distractions.


When is the best time for discussing a previous disagreement with your partner?

Step 2: Be intentional

Life can get busy. However, to develop a nurturing relationship with your partner, you need to be intentional with your time and actions.

This will help with communication, as being intentional will help manage conflicts. You'll be better able to unpack difficult conversations instead of running away from them.

Being intentional means acknowledging your partner's positive qualities and valuing the timeyou spend with them. It also involves building trust in one another, where you consider each other's opinions and interests when making decisions.

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Try these examples of nurturing with intention:

  • Wake up earlier every morning and have breakfast together.

  • Plan a date night once every week or two.

  • Put your phones away during meals and focus on having conversations instead.

  • Let your partner know how much you enjoy spending time with them.

Step 3: Show gratitude and appreciation

Showing appreciation towards your partner is an important step in nurturing your relationship and should be incorporated everyday.

Follow these examples of nurturing with appreciation:

Compliment your partner

Compliments can help your partner feel more secure and self-confident.

  • Offer specific examples of why you appreciate them.

  • Praise the way they handled a difficult situation.

  • Thank them for the daily things they do, like taking out the garbage, grocery shopping, or making dinner.

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Know your partner's love language

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are 5 love languages:

  1. Words of affirmation

  2. Gifts

  3. Quality time

  4. Acts of service

  5. Physical touch

Know your partner's love language and try to express appreciation in the best form they receive it. An example of nurturing with love language: if your partner's love language is physical touch, you can hold their hand in public or greet them with a hug.

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Your partner hears some bad news. Their love language is "words of affirmation". Which actions would best comfort them?

Step 4: Support your partners goals and interests

You and your partner may have different interests and goals, but supporting their interests lets your partner know that you care about participating in the things they enjoy.

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Examples of nurturing to support your partner:

  • Plan activities around your partner's interests. For example, if your partner loves nature, plan a hiking trip or outdoor walk.

  • Share your interests with your partner too. In a respectful relationship, both parties should respect each other's interests and hobbies.

  • Encourage your partner to take steps towards their goals. Let your partner know you're there for them, even when obstacles arise.

Take Action

Animated cartoon plant growing out of a pot. The text reads:

Now that you've developed some strategies to nurture your relationship, you're ready to water the foundation and let your relationship grow!


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