Want to keep your relationship in a safe and happy place? Then, here’s some expert advice on avoiding the traps that can ruin relationships:

  • The date night rut. If you go out to eat and catch a movie every week – try a double-date instead. A study at Wayne State University found that going out with another couple increases your appreciation and affection for your partner. Why? Because when you’re talking to others you tend to reveal more details. We assume our partner knows us, so we use shorthand with them. But when your partner sees you talking to other people they’ll find out more things about you - which makes your relationship fresher. 
  • Bickering. Laurie Puhn is a couples mediator and author of Fight Less, Love More. And she says that if you and your mate argue on a daily basis, you’ll end up avoiding each other to avoid another fight. So, the fix is obvious – focus on the good things and what your partner does right. You’ll want to be around each other more and when you do have something negative to discuss, you’ll be taken more seriously, instead of your partner thinking “Here we go again…”
  • Forgetting to be affectionate. Dr. Joel Block is the author of The Marriage-Work Connection. And he says that gestures like hugging, holding hands, and kissing goodbye before you walk out the door release the brain’s bonding hormone, oxytocin, which can strengthen your relationship. And ladies, research shows that those sorts of gestures are particularly effective at making men feel loved and appreciated.