Is Your Relationship Feeling Stale? 21 Ways To Put More Effort Into It

Is your relationship feeling a bit lackluster lately? 

Rest assured; you aren't the only one.

Relationships take a lot of effort to maintain. 

Sometimes it can be hard to find new ways to keep the spark alive through the peaks and valleys. But fear not. 

With enough focus and creativity, you can reignite the flame in no time.

We'll explore creative ways for you to put more effort into your relationship and make it feel fresh again. 

From romantic gestures to thoughtful surprises and activities that will strengthen the bond between you and your partner, these tips will make your relationship feel new in no time.

[Side note: In this online course, learn healthy communication skills and build the intimacy you’ve always wanted in your relationship.)

Why Is Effort Important in a Relationship?

It can be easy to take your relationship for granted when things have been going smoothly for a while.

But if you want to keep the flame alive, it's essential to put effort into your relationship.

Putting in effort shows that you care about and value your partner, helping them feel safe, secure, and loved.

Here are just some of the benefits of putting effort into your relationship:

  • It helps build trust. Making time for each other and doing thoughtful things together will help strengthen your bond and create a foundation of trust in the relationship.
  • It encourages communication. Being open to discussing anything, from big life decisions to small daily routines, is essential for a healthy relationship.
  • It is healthy for your body and mind. Expressing emotions and having a sense of security can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • It brings out the best in each other. Trying to understand each other can bring out the best in both of you and foster greater understanding.

These aren't the only benefits, but they should be enough to get you started. You'll discover further dividends in the relationship once you habitually put in the effort.

What Does Lack of Effort in a Relationship Look Like?

What is effort in a relationship? Understanding what it looks like and how to spot the signs of lack of effort can help you ensure your relationship stays strong.

A lack of trying means that one or both people must actively engage in ways that show they care for their partner. Some signs may include:

  • Failing to show concern for one another's lives.
  • Not paying attention when the other person is speaking
  • Choosing not to plan or participate in activities together
  • Not showing appreciation for the things your partner does
  • Being apathetic and uninterested
  • Making excuses not to spend time together

If you recognize any of these signs in your relationship, take some steps to show more effort. It's not sustainable to let a lack of effort become the norm because this could lead to an imbalance in the relationship.

21 Essential Ways to Put Effort in Your Relationship

Now, it's time to explore some of the most effective ways to put effort into your relationship.

These examples of effort in a relationship will help you and your partner reconnect, build stronger communication, and make sure that you both feel valued.

1. Remember to Say I Love You

These simple words may seem like a small gesture, but they can make all the difference in a relationship. When you take the time to express your love for your partner, it shows them that they are important and appreciated.

You can use these magical words in the morning, text them when you're apart, or just any time you feel like it. They'll light up your partner's day.

2. Surprise Each Other With Small Gifts

You don't have to break the bank to show your partner they are loved. Small gifts like flowers, chocolates, or a heartfelt card can go a long way. 

young couple cooking together effort in a relationship

Think about what your partner likes and surprise them with something special from time to time.

3. Become a Cheerleader for your Partner

One of the reasons you love your partner is because of everything that they strive to achieve. Show them some extra encouragement by cheering them on in their endeavors.

You could do anything from supporting their business goals to helping them get through a stressful day at work.

Cheerleading your loved one is especially important on days when they feel like they just can't go on.

A little bit of positivity and encouragement may be exactly what they need to get back on track.

4. Focus on Listening Deeply

When two people have a conversation, one person is usually waiting for the other to finish so that they can respond.

But deep listening is different. It's about hearing your partner and giving them the space to open up without judgment or agenda.

To practice deep listening, make sure to face your partner, look them in the eyes, and make small physical movements that show you are engaged in the conversation.

When they are done talking, instead of launching into your response, take a few moments to ensure you understand what they said and reflect that understanding.

5. Take an Interest in Your Partner's Hobbies

What does your significant other do when they have free time? Have you taken the time to find out? Learning about your partner's hobbies and interests is an excellent way to show them that you are interested in their life.

You may be surprised by how much you learn about your partner when you take the time to become curious about their hobbies.

They may act more confidently or become more passionate when they are doing the things they love. It can be as exhilarating as discovering a new aspect of your S.O.

And by asking questions and learning how to do those activities with your partner, you may learn something new.

6. Make Date Nights Mandatory

It may sound odd to make something recreational, like a date night, a “mandatory” tradition. However, by making it a part of your weekly routine, you are signaling to your partner that spending time together is essential to you.

When date nights are set in stone, they won't be as likely to slip through the cracks and become forgotten.

7. Always Say Thank You

As mentioned above, with the words “I love you,”  expressing gratitude often is a great way to show appreciation to your partner. A simple “thank you” can do wonders for their day and help build a strong foundation of respect within the relationship.

Expand this into a more extensive gratitude practice by expressing your appreciation throughout the day, such as when your partner makes dinner or runs an errand.

8. Ask How Your Partner Feels

When we catch up with our loved one at the end of the day, we usually use “report” over “check-in” language.

Reporting on our days means focusing on what we did, who we talked to, and where we went instead of how we felt in those moments.

flowers being hidden in the back of a man effort in a relationship

Men tend to be especially prone to this kind of conversation as it is a part of how many are socialized. But asking your partner how they feel can help you understand them better and show that you are genuinely interested in their emotional well-being.

9. Show Physical Affection

Don't forget about physical intimacy! A hug, kiss, or cuddle can go a long way to show your love and appreciation for one another.

Physical affection isn't just about sex. It's also about small gestures like holding hands, brushing the hair away from their face, or rubbing their back when they feel tense.

It's about being aware of your partner physically and having a relationship with each other's bodies, which sometimes can be more informative than the words we use to express ourselves.

10. Talk About Your Future Together

Having a vision for the future is vital in any relationship. It can give both people direction and create excitement about what is to come.

By talking openly with your partner and sharing your hopes, dreams, and plans for the future, you are showing them that you are committed to the relationship and are in it for the long haul.

Consider discussing your ideal retirement plan, where you would like to live, or what kind of lifestyle you want to lead.

11. Try New Things Together

Variety is said to be the spice of life, and there are few better ways to put effort into a relationship than by embarking on new activities together.

Exploring new opportunities could be anything from taking a weekend road trip to an unfamiliar place, trying out a foreign cuisine, or attending an interesting event in your area.

There are plenty of opportunities for every budget, and together you can decide which are best suited for you.

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12. Give a Hand Written Thoughtful Note

If you're wondering how to show effort in a relationship in a heartfelt way, look no further than a simple handwritten note.

You can write anything from expressing your love, thanking them for their support, or wishing them luck in an upcoming event.

By putting pen to paper and writing out your thoughts, you are conveying your feelings in a meaningful way. You can make it even more special by finding a beautiful card or writing in a journal you can keep.

13. Read Books and Blogs About Relationships

Putting equal effort in a relationship is a two-way street, so staying informed and educated about how to improve as a couple is essential.

You could start by reading books or articles written by relationship experts on communication, compromise, trust, and understanding.

If you have specific challenges in your relationship, you can look up resources that address those issues and discuss the findings with your partner. They will appreciate that you care enough about the relationship to put in the extra effort.

 effort in a relationship

14. Surprise Your Partner

What if your significant other came home and found a surprise waiting for them? It could be anything from scented candles, a bouquet of flowers, or their favorite meal already cooked.

A surprise shakes up the status quo and can make your partner feel special. It shows that you think about them even when they're not around and that you took the time to plan something for them.

15. Work With a Couples Therapist

Some couples need more help than others to work through their issues, which is perfectly normal. These days, there is little stigma associated with working with a couples therapist, and it's even seen as positive by many.

A couples therapist can be an impartial third party who can help you understand each other's perspectives and come to solutions that work for everyone.

A therapist can offer tools and strategies for navigating challenges and improving communication between you.

16. Get Creative With Birthdays and Anniversaries

Year after year, developing something original for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries becomes more challenging.

Instead of resorting to the same old routine, try getting creative with your celebrations. You could take a cooking class, give each other spa treatments, or plan an adventurous outing. Homemade gifts are always a great way to show effort in a relationship, as well.

Get curious a month or two before the big day and start brainstorming ideas and asking questions that help you to come up with something special and unique that neither of you has experienced before.

17. Review and Renew

It's also important to review your relationship from time to time, as it can help keep things fresh and meaningful for both of you.

Set aside a few hours each month or quarter to talk about how the relationship is going, what's working and not working, and what you can do to keep the relationship healthy.

Investing the effort in analyzing your relationship illustrates that you are both devoted to its success and want it to thrive.

18. Bring Humor Into the Relationship

Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of humor to keep things light in a relationship. Humor can help diffuse tension and bring levity to difficult conversations.

Find ways to make each other laugh through games, comedy shows, or silly nicknames and jokes. Even if you're having a hard time getting along one day, a few laughs can help to ease the tension and lighten the mood.

19. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

It can be easy to forget all the little things that brought you together in the first place. Step back in time and reminisce about how it all started for you both.

Look at old photos, relive your first date or exchange stories about when you met.

Doing this helps to nurture feelings of nostalgia, appreciation, and love. You can even get more creative and make a scrapbook, digital photo book, or video of your relationship highlights.

These are the kinds of gifts that dramatically appreciate in value and meaning throughout your relationship.

20. Take a Day Off Together

Taking time off isn't always about planning a big vacation. It can also be a simple, yet special day spent together.

Take a day off from work or school, turn all your devices off, and focus on each other.

Spend the morning in bed with coffee and breakfast in bed, go out to lunch at a new restaurant, or take a drive to the beach. The possibilities are endless. 

Ensure you don't get lost in tasks at home or errands around town. Your shared day off is about savoring and appreciating the relationship, not checking off items on your to-do list.

21. Be Comfortable With Space

It may sound counter-intuitive, but having space in a relationship is also a way of showing effort and care. Being physically together or constantly messaging each other is not always necessary. 

Knowing when the other person needs some time to themselves or with their friends and family is just as important as being able to come together and spend quality time.

When this is done with respect and any jealousy is kept at bay, it can help strengthen the relationship.

Final Thoughts

Showing effort in a relationship can mean different things at different times. It could be something as simple as cooking dinner, taking out the trash, or something more grandiose, like planning a surprise trip.

The important thing is to keep the lines of communication open, be thoughtful and considerate of your partner's needs, and ensure you're doing the work to keep things fresh and growing.

Committing the time and energy to cultivate a relationship proves that you are both committed to its growth. It is an act of devotion that will help foster your connection more than any other action. 

effort in a relationship