All interpersonal relationships are complex, but romantic relationships tend to come with unexpected challenges. Whether we’re embarking on a new romance or attempting to strengthen a long-term union, the journey can be filled with unpredictable twists and turns.
Science-based research tells us that the basic building blocks of a happy, healthy relationship are empathy, positivity, and a strong emotional bond. But regardless of how resilient our relationship may be, there’s always room for learning new ways to fortify these meaningful connections.
So we’ve gathered some of the best, most straightforward relationship advice we’ve ever read, from celebrities who’ve successfully navigated the peaks and valleys of their own relationships and experts with a proven track record of helping others do the same. Their advice and personal experience can serve as a guide for our own journeys toward stronger connections and deeper, more meaningful companionships.
Vulnerability always begets connection and intimacy. Stay vulnerable with each other.Kristen Bell
You have to listen to your partner’s problems, suggestions, and advice, and accept that you’re not always right. Conversation is the key to a successful marriage.Meryl Streep
Relationships have a strong chance of surviving when they are based on “the good” in the other person, where both partners work together to feed that good and are inspired to become better themselves.Suzie Pileggi Pawelski
It’s important to marry somebody who is your equal, and to … be with somebody who wants you to win as much as you want them to win.Michelle Obama
It really helps if you find someone you like, not just love … When you’re at your empty nest at the end of the day, it’s important to have somebody who you can just be silent with.Martina McBride
“You are my everything” is a lousy pop-song lyric and an even worse relationship plan. No one can be “everything” to anyone. Create relationships outside The Relationship, or The Relationship isn’t going to work anymore.Matt Lundquist, LCSW, MSEd
1) Listen to each other. 2) Touch feet in bed right before you go to sleep, even if you’re mad. 3) Never, ever ski together.Ree Drummond
Being able to fight and being able to make up is really important. And having your kids see that you fight and [see] that you’re able to make up is important.David Burtka
You have to allow each other to evolve and grow; you need communication and curiosity. Stay interested in your partner, and make sure to really listen.Rita Wilson
Commit to investing an hour — on an ongoing basis — to work on strengthening your relationship, troubleshooting, and making it more satisfying.Joseph Cilona, PsyD
We laugh. You got to laugh, and you got to talk and communicate. That’s the fun part … We share many things and yet we’re really different.Mark Harmon
If you love someone, you want to treat them, surprise them, remind them how you feel, whether that means a weekend away somewhere or a bowl of fruit in the morning laid out in the shape of a heart.David Beckham
In every good marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.Ruth Bader Ginsburg
That thing people do, “If only I had this, if only I had that…” There has to be some piece of wholeness that is within yourself before you can let somebody love you the way that you need to be loved.Kyra Sedgwick
You just have to make time for each other. Go on little trips … and go to dinner just the two of you sometimes. You still have to have romance time.John Legend
Saying and doing small, simple expressions of gratitude every day yields big rewards. When people feel recognized as special and appreciated, they’re happier in that relationship and more motivated to make the relationship better and stronger.Terri Orbuch, PhD
You have to learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways.Ron Howard
I wish there was a secret, you know. We just like each other. You start there.Tom Hanks
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