Whether you are dating, engaged, newly married, or approaching a marriage milestone, the way you interact with one another is a strong sign of how happy you are in your relationship. Here are 10 key things that happy couples do well that builds the connection, resilience, and strength in their partnership…
Talking is one of the easiest ways to connect with your partner. Happy couples will make time in their day – be it over breakfast, texting during the day, or a long pillow talk session before turning in for the night – to talk to one another.
It could be general banter, informing each other of what you have done that day, or what you plan to do the following day, or you could get into some deep and meaningful conversations about ideas you have or things that are troubling you.
Having these daily (or more frequently) exchanges helps you both to feel a part of each other’s worlds, even when things get hectic and you don’t get the same amount of intimate time you may have enjoyed in other times.
Texting, although slightly less personal, is also a great way to let your partner know you are thinking of them throughout the day.
Dazzle with a smile
Whether you want to admit it or not, everyone is an emotional chameleon. This means you can absorb the vibes around you and reflect them back.
Even if you have had the crappiest day at work or uni, when you begrudgingly walk through the door with a huff and throw yourself down on the closest chair, your partner will automatically be on guard knowing that you are upset or angry about something.
This is not to say you should bottle your feelings up by any means, but try walking through the door with a smile to show you are happy to see your partner and then you can let out your frustrations through a healthy conversation.
Negotiation is the most powerful tool that happy couples employ to help them work their way through disagreements.
No matter how in sync you are in your day-to-day lives, there will be times in every relationship where you will butt heads over something – perhaps repeatedly.
What separates happy couples from those that are struggling is their ability to negotiate. One person should never walk away “the winner” of every argument. Couples need to learn how to flex and bend, when to allow their partner to have their way, and when to put their foot down if something is especially important to them.
The amount of time you are together as a couple can help you to hone these skills, but even those in brand new relationships can ace this with the ability to listen, communicate, and negotiate.
It’s a saying as old as time itself, but you really don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. And the best way to avoid falling into the trap of taking your partner for granted is to show how grateful you are to have them in your life.
We’re not talking showering them with gifts on a daily basis (because, ironically, they would come to take that for granted as time goes on…) but more thanking them for the things they do for you, giving them unsolicited compliments, and expressing why they make you smile.
Happy couples do little things for one another on a regular basis and acknowledge each other for what they do. It creates a cycle of positivity that will make you both feel warm and fuzzy and completely together.
Focus on the positives
This can be a challenge during times when you are in a rut at work, or you are struggling to juggle the many balls you have in the air at any given time, but this is when it is the most important to look at what your partner is doing right rather than what they do wrong, or what irritates you.
You can find both negatives and positives in any situation, so choosing to look at the latter will waltz you into happy couple’s territory.
Hit the hay at the same time
One of you might be a night owl who likes to laze about in the morning, while the other follows the early-to-bed-early-to-rise mantra, but this doesn’t mean you can’t go to bed at the same time.
Research spruiks the benefits of couples going to bed and waking up at the same, as couples can then take time to talk through the day’s events and any last-minute thoughts that might rush into their heads while in bed, and maybe get some sexy time in there as well.
But even if you are on separate body clocks, the night owl can always go to bed with the early riser and continue to read or watch Netflix after their partner has dozed off.
Share an interest
Sure, there will be things that you are passionate about that your partner simply has no interest in, and vice versa, but happy couples find ways to cultivate shared interests if there weren’t any there to begin with.
It could be starting to play a new sport at the same time, indulging in your shared desire to learn how to cook through cooking classes or simply working in the kitchen together trying out new recipes. It could even be as simple as joining a club together, or exploring the great outdoors in new ways, like walking, hiking, cycling, or climbing.
The options are endless and you never know what might strike a chord with both of you.
Laugh it off
Life can get tense and unexpected things can happen at the worst of times, but happy couples have the ability to work through things with a healthy dose of humour.
Being surrounded by seriousness 24/7 is not the healthiest of environments, so knowing when to inject a witty line, or even a lame joke, into a situation just to make your partner laugh can really help to lighten the mood for both of you.
It’s no secret that people are spending more time attached to their digital devices now than ever before and this can have a strain on relationships. If one of you is ready to chat and have some face-to-face time with your partner while the other is intent on scrolling through their Instagram feed or mindlessly browsing the offerings in the Facebook marketplace to find something they didn’t know they wanted yet, it can stir up irritation and even resentment.
On the flip side, happy couples know when to hit the power button, and do so regularly in order to have that quality time together.
Happy couples are ready and willing to plan their futures together. Whether it is which holiday destination you’d like to get to next, or the more serious life decisions like when to buy a home and what you’d like your investment portfolio to look like, happy couples take the time to sit down and work through it together.
While you will no doubt have skills that compliment one another, the best outcomes come when couples plan together with the person who has the best skills in a particular area sharing their advice and expertise with the other, so you can make an informed decision together.
As you move forward, you’ll find great satisfaction in being able to work through even the smallest of plans as a team.