It’s the little things that count…

What makes a relationship tick?

For some, love is enough. For others, trust, friendship and faithfulness are a must!

But, for all relationships to ‘tick’ through the mundane of every day life – and tick happily at that – two other ‘ingredients’ are key…

And, those two ingredients are kindness and grace.

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Now, being kind or showing grace isn’t about grand, showy gestures, but rather in the details…

The little things practised daily.

Here are five little ways to ensure a happy and thriving relationship:

1. Laugh together

Whether it’s coffee together first thing in the morning, going for a walk in the afternoons or spending five minutes unwinding together before you go to bed at night – set aside time for your relationship, where it’s just the two of you.

Talk, touch, laugh together – as much as possible.

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff

A little bit of grace goes a long way.

So, he didn’t take out the dustbin or pack the dishwasher…

In the greater scheme of things, is that enough to warrant a grudge?

Time together should be meaningful; tuned into each other, and zoned out of all the ‘noise’

Remind yourself what really counts – and focus on the things that you both do right, instead of the (one or two) things you do wrong.

3. Respect each other’s views on the world

If you’ve been together for a while, you may already know that you’re never going to change your partner.

The way we see the world, treat others, parent our children or handle stressful situations is unique to us – and the person that we love should respect that uniqueness.

By the same token, we should respect our partner’s right to view things differently.

Even if it infuriates us…

4. If your partner speaks to you, give him your undivided attention

In other words, put your phone down.

Stop running through your to-do list in your head, or the tiff you had with your co-worker, or your child’s science project that’s due next week…

I stumbled across a quote a couple of months ago that really stuck with me, and the jist of it was, “are you present, when you’re present?”

Time together should be meaningful, tuned into each other, and zoned out of all the ‘noise’.

5. Smile when your partner walks through the door!

Often (read always), we greet our partners frazzled, after a day spent trying to juggle work, kids and a never-ending to-do list.

That frazzled greeting sets the tone for the rest of the evening; and instead of light-hearted banter that flows effortlessly, conversation becomes forced and business-like.

The next time your partner walks through the door, smile! You’d be surprised how such a simple gesture can improve the quality of your evening and your relationship as a whole.