A lot of us function on relationship autopilot. But building a connection with a partner isn’t something you set and forget – it’s something you do over and over throughout your time together. Healthy relationships don’t involve taking someone for granted. Ever. Here’s how to get someone interested in you, and if you have a relationship together, how to keep her that way.
Be interested in her.
There’s nothing less attractive than a self-absorbed narcissist. If you want to keep a partner interested, be interested in your partner. Listen when she speaks and ask specific questions about things she tells you. Don’t interrupt. Express your real interest in her perspective, experiences, thoughts, and dreams.
Work on yourself.
Taking care of yourself mentally and physically is just as key to a healthy relationship as the dynamic you share with a partner. You can’t show up for someone else unless you also know how to show up for yourself. Exercise, therapy, working towards your goals and striving for balance and good boundaries in all areas of your life are extremely important.
Give her genuine compliments.
Most people like getting compliments. They can help us feel attractive, appreciated, and good about ourselves. Compliments are especially meaningful if they’re about unique qualities and are specific to the moment. A good compliment should let your partner know not only that you think highly of her, but that you notice the small details about her that make her special.
Sometimes, timing can be just as important as content. If you’re constantly giving compliments, especially the same compliment, they can come across as insincere, needy, or even manipulative. Plus, if you only compliment her on one thing, she may start to think that that’s the only reason you’re with her. For instance, if you only compliment her on her appearance, she may start to think you’re only with her because you’re attracted to her.
Learn and use her love languages.
Love languages are a somewhat heteronormative but very useful way to talk about how someone prefers to receive affection. The five love languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, and acts of service. If you and your partner don’t already know your love languages or haven’t checked in about them lately, there are a few online tools that can help you figure them out.
Showing affection for your partner based on her love languages can make your relationship stronger over time. Spending time touching each other, writing spontaneous love notes, going away together, sending her flowers on a random Tuesday, or doing something for her that she hates having to do herself can all be ways to make her feel special and loved according to each love language.
Whether or not it’s a love language, physical affection is part of maintaining many romantic connections. And I’m not just referring to sex. Making time for sex is important, but so is working other moments of physical touch into your day-to-day. Particularly if physical touch is her love language, show her how much you care in your actions as well as your words. Making out, holding hands, and even your thighs touching when you sit next to each other, for example, are some early relationship touches that sometimes fall away in longer-term relationships. Continue to incorporate them over time.
If you don’t know how she feels about physical touch or any other love language, ask and talk about it. Take the same opportunity to check in about public versus private touch. Then act on what you both agree on.
Showing up for a partner can mean physically being somewhere you say you’ll be. It also means being honest and vulnerable even when it’s hard, keeping your promises to build trust, communicating clearly even when it’s uncomfortable, being honest about what’s going on and what you feel, and creating a space where it’s safe for her to do the same.
Anyone can have a crappy relationship, but if you want a great one that goes the distance, you have to show up for it – and for her – over and over.