What Do You Do In A Relationship?

And how to best express love to your partner

David Oliveira
3 min readJun 4, 2022


(Image by jonathanborba from Unsplash

In a relationship, you show compassion and understanding for your partner, in both times of stress but also in stable, peaceful times.

Listen Closely

You listen closely and attentively when your partner talks about themself, their friends, and important topics— but you also do [listen closely] when they talk about the usual and more common things of life, or really even silly stuff.

“The power of deeply listening to another person, with full attention, and without judgment or an agenda, is one of the most profoundly healing acts a person can provide to another.” jenniferbrandel

This way, you allow for genuine connection to grow and flourish. That will lead to both of you understanding each other more, which will also make you like each other even more.

And even more importantly and meaningfully, it will ensure that no loneliness creeps in.

Be Present And Interested In Them. Show genuine Curiosity

You show curiosity and don’t stonewall them — emotionally, mentally or even physically— by shutting them out of your inner world.

You learn every day about them and other topics that interest you so that your relationship thrives but also that each other evolves individually on their own.

“To be loved means to be recognized as existing.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

Give Them Space & Freedom To Be Their Silly, Quirky And Idiosyncratic Self — Especially If They Are An Introvert

You give them freedom to breathe and have space, but also have either scheduled or spontaneous times of intimacy & affection to feel and experience each other and be with one another.

Because introverts run on much more limited batteries in social events and where many people are, or where they can’t have meaningful conversations, they need to recharge themselves to feel better and have solitude.

Here is an article that covers the science of what introversion is, as well as the difference between introverts & extroverts: https://quietrev.com/why-introverts-and-extroverts-are-different-the-science/

And Lastly, Intimacy

You foster closeness by honestly saying or expressing what you like about them, but also where you would like to see growth happening, preferably with ‘i’-statements and in-between breaks if needed, to calm down each other’s nervous systems.

Some examples of ‘i’-statements include: “I felt lonely when you did not come home to have dinner with me all week.” or, “I get anxious when you don’t tell me you’re running late.”

I-statements, therefore, don’t reflect back that you either blame them or complain about something they did wrong. But instead, they show responsibility and tell your partner — or anyone you use these on, really — that you are open to learning and want to resolve any problems or overcome those obstacles with them.

Intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’, that’s intimacy.” — Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”

— Ann Landers


If a relationship is about the well-being of each other, both need to have each other’s best interests at heart — and that can only happen from a place of shared connection & understanding of one another if they are willing to completely tune in and listen where the other is coming from.

Be a really present — attentive — and accepting friend, and your relationship will thrive.

Originally written on Quora



David Oliveira

Passionate & most curious about psychology, languages, relationships & love