I’m sure you have heard plenty of people who have said, “Relationships are hard!” Sadly, that’s what most people think.
Why? Because they’ve never been giving the tools to make relationships easy.
I teach and write about relationships for a living, and when people say this to me, I respond with this:
“Relationships aren’t hard. It’s the PEOPLE in the relationships that make them hard.”
See the difference? In the first scenario, it implies that all relationships are inherently flawed and so we have to figure out how to fix that.
In the second scenario, it is shining light on the fact that people are imperfect. We all have our insecurities and we carry those into our relationships. While this is an inevitable fact of life, it doesn’t mean that we can’t learn to overcome them and have a very happy relationship.
Maybe you know happy couples and wonder “What do they do that we don’t do?” Or maybe you don’t even know any happy couples! Either way, I’m sure at some point you have wondered what the secret to relationship success is.
I’m here to tell you, it’s not that difficult. As you will see from the rest of this article, these are pretty simple things that happy couples do every day. All it takes is some conscious thought and a desire to be happy – and more importantly – make your partner happy.
If I have your attention by now, then great! I’m happy that you are interested in finding the “magic formula” for a happy relationship. You can have that if you just follow these tips.
1. Talk to and Really Listen to Each Other
This sounds simple, right? I mean, why would you get into a relationship or marriage with someone that you didn’t want to talk to?
Well, it’s way more common than you think.
Take a look around these days. Most couples have their faces in their phones, laptops, video game, or some other electronic device. They have more of a relationship with them than their actual partner.
So, talk to each other. Listen to each other — and I mean, really listen to each other with your brain and your heart.
2. Stay Connected Through the Day
I dated a guy once who, when we were together, everything was great. We got along, everything was flowing, and I thought we really had something special. But the problem was, when we were apart, I hardly ever heard from him.
While some people might like the sound of this, it certainly doesn’t create or maintain any sort of intimacy between the two of you. Even if it’s a quick text during the day asking, “What are you doing?” or “I’m thinking of you, and I love you!” That’s all it really takes to keep the connection going.
3. Do Something Together
Sadly, as time goes on, a lot of couples lifk separate lives. Even if they live in the same house, they still cave live separate lives.
For example, a lot of men have (or want) a “Man Cave.” While that sounds great, what does it imply?
It implies that he wants to be left alone. He doesn’t want his partner bothering him. What kind of message does that send? I’m not implying that you need to be joined at hip or spend 24/7 together, but you need to engage with each other in activities on a regular basis.
Take a look at these 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples if you run out of ideas what you can do with your partner.
4. Express Gratitude
I cannot stress enough how important this one is! Human beings take almost everything for granted – the food on their table, the roof over their head – you name it. Even the people we love the most.
All it takes is a simple “thank you” or “I appreciate you!” Even if someone makes you dinner every single night, still say “Thanks so much for dinner, babe. It was delicious!”
Everyone wants to know they are appreciated – especially for the things they do every day that can be taken for granted.
5. Say Nice Things to and About Each Other
Most people like to be complimented. Sure, not everyone. But even those people deep down want to feel good about themselves.
So, saying things like “you are so beautiful” or “you look sexy in that” goes a long way.
It doesn’t even have to be a compliment per se. If your partner is dedicated to health and fitness, you could say something like, “I really admire your dedication to your health, honey!” It’s so important to be positive to one another.
6. Put the Other Person’s Needs Equal to – or Before – Their Own
We live in a very selfish and narcissistic world these days. It’s all about “Me, Me, Me.” What can I get? Who can give something to me? How can I be better than other people?
That doesn’t work in relationships.
If you are only focused on what you can get from your partner, then you are neglecting them. You are not thinking about their needs – only your own. This does not work long term because it will definitely create resentment over time.
7. Wake up Thinking, “How Can I Make His/Her Life Better Today?”
So, instead of focusing on yourself and what YOU can get out of the relationship, you need to change your mindset. I stole this quote from Dr. Phil, by the way.
He always says this on his show. He says he wakes up every day thinking about how he can make his wife Robin’s life better today. And Robin confirms it too.
When we try to make our partner’s life better, then they will naturally want to make our life better too.
We want to give to people who give to us. And the opposite is true if no one is making our lives better.
8. Forgive One Another
Let’s face it – no one is perfect. And that means you, too. There is no such thing as perfection!
So, happy couples aren’t happy because they are both perfect. They are happy because they recognize that they are not – but forgive each other.
Forging comes in big and small packages. It could be a horrible betrayal, or it could be a simple annoying habit like leaving his socks on the living room floor every night without picking them up. Either way, forgiveness is a cornerstone of happy relationships.
If you wonder how to forgive your partner and regain trust in the relationship, this article can help: How to Regain Broken Trust in a Relationship
9. Flirt with Each Other
You have to keep the romance alive. I can’t tell you how many couples I know that just let it die. I always say,
“Relationships are like plants. You need to water them every day or they will die.”
And romance is a huge part of that.
Flirt, compliment, and act like you are newly in love. Go on regular date nights. Schedule time for romance if you need to.
Keeping romance alive is a huge factor in happy couples’ lives. If you don’t have that, then you might as well be roommates or brother and sister. And who wants that?
10. Make Loving Touch a Top Priority
Touch comes in all forms. It is not just sexual touch, although that is important too.
Everyone has a different sex drive, so happy couples either have the similar needs in that department, or at least negotiate a middle ground.
Non-sexual touch is important too. Holding hands, snuggling on the couch, random hugs, little kisses through the day… All that touch keeps you connected physical – and emotionally.
11. Go to Bed Together
This might be difficult to do if one of you is an early bird and the other is a night owl. But when you get into the habit of not going to bed together, then it puts an ongoing separation between the two of you.
Even if one wants to go to bed earlier, the other one could come to bed too and read a book or watch TV. The important part is having a ritual of ending the day together.
It’s even better if you are in sync, that way you can spoon each other as you fall asleep.
12. Support Each Other
Many of us have hopes and dreams that perhaps we have not achieved yet. And that’s great! Because life is about the journey, not the destination.
Happy couples support each other not only in their hopes and dreams, but in any way they need.
If they are having family problems, they are there for them. This is just another way of saying that your partner “has your back.” You can count on them for anything.
13. Have Fun and Laugh Together
Life doesn’t have to be serious! Laughing, having fun, and have a great sense of humor is central to many happy couples’ lives. Humor makes life easier and more fun.
Even if your life is difficult, you can find a way to have some fun. Maybe go for a hike, or just watch a funny movie together. There are countless ways to generate fun and laughter.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, becoming or staying a happy couple isn’t that difficult. These are all very simple things you can do starting today!
The problem is, most people are not thinking about any of this. It takes some focus and a bit of effort.
But trust me… it is definitely worth it!
So, what are you waiting for? Go make your partner happy right now.
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Featured photo credit: Kyle Bearden via unsplash.com