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10 Habits of Really Happy Couples

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10 Habits of Really Happy Couples

It seems like a happy relationship should come naturally when you’re with the right person, but that’s not true. Relationships require work. Happy couples have to maintain their relationships every day with love and care, but it’s not as daunting of a task as it may seem. There’s no real “secret” to having a happy relationship, but there are things you can do to make it all come more easily. Try to integrate these habits into your daily life and see how much happier your relationship can be.

1. Go to bed at the same time.

I used to think it was silly to want to go to bed at the same time as my partner, but it does wonders for your relationship! If one of us stays up later than the other, our whole evening feels off. There’s something cozy about sliding under the covers together, talking about what happened during the day or what’s on the list for tomorrow. My fiancé works the night shift, and without realizing it, my schedule also changed until I was a night owl, doing my freelance work during the late hours while he was at his job. When he came home early in the morning, I’d go to bed with him just to get that connection you can only get from sleeping and waking up together.

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2. Cultivate common interests.

It’s important to keep your own hobbies when you’re part of a couple, of course, because you want to stay true to yourself and not change your personality. But you and your partner can cultivate common interests without changing who either of you are, and it will make your relationship stronger as a result. I love reading and writing, which are typically solitary hobbies, but my fiancé doesn’t hesitate to grab a book and sit next to me on the couch, or he’ll write a story too, and we can give each other feedback. He loves painting, and I can hardly draw a stick figure, but when he asks me to help him with a painting, I love to try and do my best with bright streaks of color. As a result, we’ve both found that it doesn’t matter what you do together (or in the case of my painting attempts, how well you do it), just that you’re doing enjoyable things together.

3. Walk hand in hand.

My hatred of hand-holding started in elementary school, when you had to hold hands with a buddy so you wouldn’t get lost on a field trip. Since then, I’ve never held hands with anyone and not gotten immediately sweaty palms. It’s one of the worst feelings! With my partner, though, I love holding hands. It makes me feel so happy and connected to him just to hold hands as we walk through the neighborhood, or even around the grocery store. Even if we don’t hold hands, we keep pace and walk side by side. I find that more often than not, my hand either finds his, or I slide my arm around his waist. There’s something really nice about walking perfectly in step with your partner.

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4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode.

It’s so easy to fight about stupid nothings and hold a grudge, but that’s not the way to be happy in a relationship. You have to forgive your partner after a fight, even if it’s something major. You might feel like they’ve betrayed your trust, but if you don’t give them another chance, then your relationship can never feel natural again. There will always be a rift because you don’t trust your partner, and feel like any time your back is turned, they’ll be doing something hurtful. On the other side, your partner won’t feel loved in the relationship because they’ll have never gotten your full forgiveness. Let your heart love easier by truly forgiving and honestly trusting your partner.

5. Focus on what your partner does right, not wrong.

No one likes a nit-pick! Don’t chastise your partner every time you think they do something wrong. There are nice ways to inform someone if they hurt your feelings, or to correct them if they do something in a bad way. But instead of yelling at your partner for breaking a plate, thank them for washing the dishes for you—hey, soap makes things slippery! Your partner will appreciate that you’re seeing the positive things they’re bringing to the relationship, and being more positive and complimentary will make you feel better than being negative all the time.

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6. Hug each other when you see each other after work.

This one is easy—who doesn’t want to melt into a comforting hug after a hard day? And if you had a good day, share your excitement with a hug. You can’t beat ’em. And once you start hugging, you’ll feel so much happier that you’ll find it easier to make time to cuddle with your partner instead of getting stressed by the things you need to get done around the house.

7. Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” every morning.

Another easy tip! Saying sweet words to each other is never a waste of breath. My fiancé and I say “I love you” any time we part—whether it’s on the phone, when he leaves for work, when I run an errand. It makes you feel much happier, and is always a good note to end on when you go about your days.

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8. Say “Good night” every night, regardless of how you feel.

Same with “Have a good day,” saying “Good night” when you and your partner go to bed puts a nice, loving haze on the end of the day. My fiancé and I have a nightly routine we say before falling asleep. I won’t reveal it here because it’s special to us, but it includes “Good night,” “I love you,” and other nice phrases that make you feel good and inspire sweet dreams!

9. Do a “weather” check during the day.

A “weather” check is where you call your partner during the day to see how they are. A caring phone call or text can really brighten their day and show them that you’re thinking of them. As an added bonus, it gives you a heads up about how their day is going. If they’re having a tough time, you can curb your happiness about a work promotion and be more sympathetic as soon as you get home. You can tailor your attitude to make them feel that much better when you both get home.

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10. Be grateful for what you have.

This is the simplest tip of all, because if you’re in a relationship, you clearly value your partner. Be thankful that you have someone you love who loves you back. Be thankful that they help you with household chores and support you during tough times and cheer you on during the good times. Look at your partner as much as you can and just smile that you have them by your side.

Featured photo credit: Ganesha Balunsat via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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