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  • Fiona Murray

Top Tips for Relationships

1. Act Out of Character

Couples develop a particular dynamic: the way they relate to each other that repeats itself over and over. If you break that pattern and act against type — in a positive way — you inject new life into the relationship.

2. Get in Touch a Lot

No doubt you hug and kiss each other hello and maybe snuggle a little after having sex. But simple acts like stroking their arm while you're watching TV, taking their hand when you're walking down the street, or fondling their thigh during dinner are also ways to bond. Touching your partner throughout the day triggers your feel-good hormones, which reinforces your affection and makes you feel closer on an instinctive level.

3. Don't Be BFFs

Being pals with your partner is great in theory. But that kind of connection actually can kill your sex life. You could wind up having a roommate like bond with each other rather than a hot one if you let yourself lose track of the tension that excited you at the beginning of your relationship.

4. Enjoy a Steady Diet of Sex

If you want to maintain closeness get out of your head and into bed. To strengthen your bond, approach your lust life as you would your gym regimen or your diet — make it part of your routine. . Take Turns Talking

To make sure you both get a chance to state what's on your mind during a disagreement — and get your points across — alternate playing reflective therapist, where one listens while the other talks.

6. Find the Intersection

When making decisions together, try to find common ground. You each should write down exactly what you want. Let's say you're angling for a holiday in San Francisco to see the sights and hit up the cool shops and restaurants, while they want a tropical getaway where they can veg out by the pool and sip drinks with umbrellas in the glass. Now that your desires are clearly laid out on paper, you can pick a place that will satisfy both your needs.

7. Be More Positive Than Negative

There's a more effective way to air grievances than to file an angry complaint. Sandwich your negative comment between two positives. If you want to complain about how he's always late, for example, try something like "You know, I love that you're so laid-back and easygoing, but it really bothers me when you show up so late.Maybe we can work out together what to do next time ? "

8. Echo Each Other

When you and your partner are having a serious relationship talk, it's easy to get so caught up in how you want to respond that you're not really listening to what's being said. That's why it's important for both of you to repeat each other: so you know you've been heard and you feel understood.

9. Grow Your Tolerance

Neither of you is perfect, and the quirks you both have are here to stay. So rather than let those annoying traits work your last nerve, try to get in touch with the upside of those particular flaws, even if it's not immediately recognisable. Instead of getting annoyed when they start screaming at the TV, for example, remind yourself how much you love their passion. Or if their shyness with new people bugs you, think about how refreshing it is to be with a chill, genuine person rather than a blowhard who needs to chat with everyone in the room.

10. Take a Time-Out

It's important that you get a break from the daily grind and spend alone time as a couple — cell phones and the Internet are off-limits. It can be a fun day trip or just a few quiet hours to yourselves. The point is simply to steal away (even if you're going nowhere) so you can reconnect, free of any distractions.

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