How many of these 5 phrases do you and your partner use? They're a green flag for a strong relationship (and #2 can help de-escalate conflict)

Relationship experts have shared the words that could help build an unbreakable bond

A happy couple touching foreheads
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking for a simple way to strengthen your relationship, incorporating these five phrases into day-to-day life could help.

Raising kids while maintaining a romantic relationship isn't easy, and it's normal if you feel a bit disconnected from your partner while you both focus on looking after an entire human being. But it turns out you don't need more date nights to spice up your relationship - the things happy couples do are actually much simpler than that, and easier to fit into your daily routine.

Simple phrases that show appreciation for your partner and make it clear that you've got their back might be all you need to keep that flame burning - especially if you've both been feeling the pressure recently. Plus, they're some of the things that kids love to hear their parents say to each other too. We've shared five ideas below...

5 phrases that show you're in a strong relationship

1. "Thank you"

Psychologists John and Julie Gottman have studied more than 40,000 couples to identify the secrets to long-lasting relationships, and the pair are world-renowned for their work on marital stability, divorce prediction and parenting issues. They explained to CNBC that "a thriving relationship requires an enthusiastic culture of appreciation" - and that this is especially true for small, everyday acts.

"Tell them why that small thing is a big deal to you: 'Thank you for making the coffee every morning. I love waking up to the smell of it and the sounds of you in the kitchen. It just makes me start the day off right,'" John and Julie suggest.

2. "Help me understand this"

It turns out that you don't need to avoid conflict altogether to be in a healthy relationship, you just need to know how to navigate it. That's according to Harvard psychologist Dr Cortney Warren, who told CNBC, "If your partner reacts to a situation in a way that you don’t understand, telling them that you want to know them better is key to resolving conflict and bonding at a deeper level."

A couple with their hands place on top of each others on a sofa

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. "I can forgive you. Can you forgive me?"

Parenting is a lot of pressure and it can lead to arguments between couples, but knowing how to ask for and express forgiveness during the heat of an argument or after one is important. It might feel like you or your partner are picking fights for no reason, and working out how to break that cycle can help.

In fact, studies published in the Journal of Family Psychology have found a link between forgiveness and relationship satisfaction, suggesting that couples who practice forgiveness are more likely to enjoy healthier long-term relationships.

4. "I am committed to you"

Remember that being in a relationship is a choice, and communicating that you are making a conscious decision to do life with your partner can help them feel appreciated and secure.

Dr Warren explained, "Reassuring your partner that you’re still choosing to be with them and to work through challenges will help create a sense of safety and stability."

5. "I like you"

"The healthiest couples don’t just love each other, they like each other, too," Dr Warren says. She adds that alongside the intense feeling of affection that comes with being in love, "liking is about seeing them for who they are and acknowledging the attributes you enjoy about them".

And we get it, the stress of parenting and constantly having to explain the mental load might sometimes make you feel as if you don't like your partner as much as you used to. Fortunately, we previously asked maternal health expert Clio Wood to share her advice - check out her five expert tips to help you like being with your partner again.

For more relationship advice, here are six questions to ask your partner for a relationship check in and one relationship expert has shared three psychological ways to know you're in love. John and Julie Gottman have also explained why you need to think of love as 'a nutritionally balanced diet' in order to make your relationship last.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.