While many of us are practicing social distancing, it doesn’t mean that we should step back from love or our relationship goals. In fact, the opposite is true as we need one another more than ever.

In fact, many relationships may actually see an acceleration in their growth or stages thanks to virtual dating becoming the new norm. Isolated individuals are looking for new avenues to talk and connect with others. As they’re spending time talking, many men and women may be sharing how they are more vulnerable at this time. When we invest in more conversation and connection while also expressing our vulnerability, the potential is there to deepen our connections. We can draw “closer” to one another even as we’re apart.

With the help of technology, you can stay at home and still date someone. Sure, your relationship goals may look a little different at the moment, but there’s no time like the present to build that strong foundation that keeps couples together and thriving for the long haul.

If you’re already in a committed relationship, you may find yourself spending more time with your partner than before. Depending on your dynamic, you may be appreciating this time (or perhaps feeling the strain). While many people are making time for “to do” lists involving cleaning and sorting their environment, assuming you are first prioritizing self-care, it’s also an opportunity to create some “zen relationship space” with your partner.

Research shows that happy couples make the intentions listed below a part of their #relationshipgoals. Beauty will fade and life situations will change; however, a relationship is only as good as its communication and the inspiration it invokes.

Start early to adopt these healthy habits and then watch your relationship continue to grow.

#1: Never stop learning about one another.

While it can feel great to identify as a couple, each of us is still an individual. Also, our personalities, interests, and priorities change over time in a relationship, so it’s important be consciously aware of one another’s uniqueness.

Keeping that in mind, be sure to keep asking questions to stay tuned in to your partner. For example, when my husband and I met, his favorite food was Japanese food. As time has evolved, he now prefers Mexican food. Staying in touch with each other’s changing preferences and attitudes, even on the silliest of things, is meaningful.

Relationship Goals Tip: Keep a running list or memo in your phone of questions you might ask your partner. Select two you want to ask your significant other on your next date night.

#2: Cultivate daily appreciation.

In the early stages of courtship and dating, men and women tend to express or display appreciation or compliments easily and often because the relationship is fresh and brand new. As life takes over, we may forget to notice and acknowledge the best in those around us. Take a moment each day to put your attention on the positive aspects of your partner.

Relationship Goals Tip: Start a ritual together every morning saying what you’re grateful for.

#3: Listen to understand.

Good communication requires equal parts of attentive listening and mindful speaking. Too often, we think we are listening when, in reality, we are thinking of the points we want to say when it’s our turn.

Think about it, if both of you are thinking about what to respond with, are either of you actually listening and present to the conversation? No! Listening to understand means no judgement is present; you’re not trying to fix anything or share a story of something similar that happened to you.

Relationship Goals Tip: At the end of a person sharing with you, ask them, “Would you like me to only listen or would you like my advice?”

Every relationship is unique and comes with a unique set of challenges, which is why you need the right mindset and tools so that, together, you can build your relationship and grow together.