A happy couple is not a ‘perfect couple’ that comes together, but an imperfect couple that learns to enjoy each others differences, and works together every day to create something special. In other words, a great relationship isn’t luck and doesn’t just happen – it requires effort and care to endure and evolve in ways that keep both partners fulfilled..
All of this has given us keen insight into the specific behaviors that make two human beings happy as a couple. We’ve literally watched couples go from “ready to break up” to being “on cloud nine” in a matter of weeks, simply by making subtle, effective changes to their daily habits.
Once couples figure this out, their new found relationship habits become second nature to them, and thus, they never talk about them. Bystanders may witness their public displays of affection and contentment, but remain clueless as to the source of their happiness. So that’s precisely what I want to discuss today – the habits happy couples have, but never talk about.
- They practice self-care as individuals.– Relationships don’t create joy, they reflect it. Joy comes from within. Relationships are simply mirrors of the combined joy that two people have as individuals. What you see in the mirror is what you see in your relationships. Your disappointments in your partner often reflect your disappointments in yourself. Your acceptance of your partner often reflects your acceptance of yourself. Thus, the first step to having a healthy relationship with someone else is to have a healthy relationship with yourself.
- They stand together and refuse to let outsiders call the shots.– Relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside. So don’t let outsiders run your relationship for you. If you’re having an issue with your partner, work it out with THEM and no one else. You have to live your own lives your own way… that’s all there is to it. Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for that one special person. It’s our duty, and ours alone, to decide if a relationship is right for us. If you and your partner both agree that it is right, IT IS, and it’s worth working on, together.
- They respect their relationship as being a unique, incomparable bond.– Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s – not your parent’s, friend’s, coworker’s, or that random couple whose relationship seems perfect. Every couple makes their own love rules, love agreements, and love habits. Just focus on what you two share, and make your unique bond the best it can be. And keep in mind that all relationships have their ups and downs – they do not ride at a continuous blissful high. Working together through the hard times will make your relationship stronger in the end.
- They are intimate about everything.– Sex is not love. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, attraction and pleasure in sex are often mistaken for love. Sex is good, sex is great, but it’s the easy part. Intimacy is what makes relationships last. It requires honest communication and openness about concerns, fears and sadness, as well as hopes, dreams and happiness.
- They accept each other, without trying to change each other.– The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated as is. Sometimes we try to be sculptors, constantly carving out of our significant others the image of what we want them to be – what we think we need, love, or desire. But these actions and perceptions are against reality, against their benefit and ours, and always end in disappointment, because it does not fit them. The foundation of love is to let those we care about be unapologetically themselves, and to not distort them to fit our own egotistical ideas of who they should be. Otherwise we fall in love only with our own fantasies, and thus miss out entirely on their true beauty. So save your relationship from needless stress. Instead of trying to change your partner, give them your support and grow together.
- They make uninterrupted time for each other.– If you neglect your relationship, your relationship will neglect you too. With busy schedules we often forget to relax and enjoy the great company we have. In relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection. Two people can be right next to each other and yet miles apart. So don’t ignore the one you love, because lack of concern often hurts more than angry words.
- They say what they mean and mean what they say to each other.– Your partner is not a mind reader. Share your thoughts. Give them the information they need rather than expecting them to know the unknowable. The more that remains unspoken, the greater the risk for problems. Start communicating clearly. Don’t try to read their mind, and don’t make them try to read yours. Most problems, big and small, within a relationship, start with bad communication.
- They listen intently before replying.– Don’t listen so you can reply, listen to understand. Open your ears and mind to your partner’s concerns and opinions without judgment. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
- They don’t play games with each others heads and hearts.– Cheating and lying aren’t struggles, they’re reasons couples break up. Because great things fall apart quite easily when they’ve been held together with lies. The truth is, relationships don’t hurt; lying, cheating and twisting reality until it plays with someone’s emotions is what hurts. Promises mean everything, but after they’re broken, sorry means nothing (at least initially). So never mess with your partner’s feelings just because you’re unsure of your own. If you are unsure in any way, be sure to say so. Always be open and honest. And remember that when the truth is replaced by silence, silence becomes a lie too.
- They practice the golden rule in their relationship.– In a healthy relationship, you get what you put in. You get nothing less and nothing more. There is no room for selfishness. If you want love, give love. If you want to see a smile, give a smile. Don’t be concerned with who’s right; be concerned with loving and being loved, caring and being cared for.
By compiling this list I’m not suggesting that these are the only keys to being a happy couple, I’m simply shedding light on some common habits that can make all the difference in the world. A great deal of happiness in our relationships is due to intentional activity. Therefore, it’s possible for us to significantly improve our love life simply by altering what we choose to do every day.
This is part one of 20 Habits Happy Couples Have (But Never Talk About), the remaining 10 would be discussed next week. Stay Tuned!!!
What else would you add to the list? Are there any specific habits or actions that have made you and your partner happier as a couple? Leave a comment below and let us know what’s been working for you.
Saying thank you in different languages as you drop your comments!!!
Eseun pupo -Yoruba