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13 Simple Things Happy Couples Do Every Day

13 Simple Things Happy Couples Do Every Day

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

More Articles About Happy Relationships

Featured photo credit: Kyle Bearden via unsplash.com

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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