1. Tell your partner what you ate for lunch.
Or shoot them an email about your boss’s wacky tie. Or send them a Snapchat pic of any of the other random, meaningless, and mundane things that you noticed throughout the day.
Keeping your partner up-to-date on the small things you think, see, and experience fosters what some relationship experts call “interrelatedness,” a key factor in intimacy. This is especially important if you’re in a long-distance relationship, where you don’t have many chances to chit-chat about the silly stuff.
2. Say thank you, even for the small expected things.
Gratitude is one of the most important traits in happy relationships. The obvious reason is because it feels good to feel appreciated and acknowledged by someone you love. And the less obvious reason is that in high-gratitude relationships, both of you will be more willing and open to doing the work needed to keep the relationship strong and healthy. Researchers from Florida State University found that expressions of gratitude are correlated with greater “relationship maintenance behavior” — like bringing up concerns in a mature way, rather than letting them fester.
And here’s something else: “The more you train yourself to acknowledge all the positive things your partner does, the more likely you are to see those positive things instead of the negative ones,” Robert Taibbi, L.S.C.W., a Charlottesville Virginia-based therapist told BuzzFeed Life. Got that? Saying thank you can make you both feel better about the relationship.