If you’re in a truly happy relationship, you probably know that it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, like most people would believe. Sure, there may have been a bit of luck involved in getting you and your partner together, but it sure as heck took more than luck to keep you that way – and happy, at that.
Relationships, while very rewarding, take hard work! It takes teamwork and companionship to make a relationship a happy one. Happy couples know this, and they reap the rewards of their labor. Want to know what you can do to make your relationship the best it could be? Psych2Go presents to you 12 things couples do to make their relationships the happiest they can be.
1 – They Cuddle
Happy couples like to be physically close with each other. But this doesn’t just mean sex! Other forms of physical affection – hugging, kisses, handholding, cuddling – are all ways that healthy couples reinforce their bond. A study from the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science found that couples who show the most physical affection towards each other last much longer than those who don’t.
2 – They Give PDA
Happy couples don’t just leave all the love at the door. They enjoy public displays of affection – PDA! It’s not uncommon for happy couples to hold hands while walking, or to steal a kiss from one another while they’re out and about. A little PDA says: “I love the heck out of you and I need to show you, and I don’t care who knows.” Not convinced? Not into all that corny romance stuff? An Ohio State University study might convince you otherwise. According to recent research, couples that share public intimacy are more satisfied in their relationships than those who aren’t.
3 – They Spend Time Together
Happy couples understand the importance of spending quality time with each other. Quality time is important because it provides couples the chance to give each other their undivided attention and strengthen their relationship. Sometimes, it can feel hard to fit time into your weekly schedules to have fun with each other. But quality time doesn’t have to be complicated! A quick lunch date, a walk around your favorite store, an at-home movie night… it’s up to you!
4 – They Give Space
Okay, so nobody’s meant to spend every waking moment with each other. Even the happiest of couples can get on each other’s nerves from time to time. Sometimes – especially for you introverts out there – we crave time to recharge on our own. People in stable relationships understand this about each other and don’t take these time-outs personally. Time apart is time to work on your own personal activities… and to miss your partner.
5 – They Go Out of Their Way for Each Other
Couples in healthy relationships tend to do nice things for each other without keeping score or looking for something in return. Why? Because it feels good to do something nice for your partner! These acts of service can be as simple as doing the dishes, or as time-consuming as picking them up from work. My partner doesn’t drive; he usually takes public transit to get around. He never asks for a ride in my car, but when I can, I insist on taking him to where he needs to go!
6 – They Communicate
People in stable relationships are able to talk to each other directly and effectively when they have problems. Happy couples are just like everyone else. They disagree and they have arguments. The difference between a happy couple and a struggling one? Happy couples can talk out their problems without bringing up unnecessary things or trying to hurt each other’s feelings. No matter how hard the topic or intense the event, these couples are willing to talk things through with the goal of trying to find a solution that suits the both of them.
7 – They Joke Around
Happy couples are friends as much as they are romantic partners! And that means being able to have fun with each other. People in happy relationships feel free to be themselves around each other. They can be silly with each other! Being able to joke around with your partner can have an amazing impact on your relationship. My partner and I share so many inside jokes with each other. If other people heard us talk, they’d think we were crazy! But we don’t care – we have fun every time that we’re together.
8 – They Talk Seriously
Joking around is always fun, but happy couples also know when to be vulnerable with each other. Sometimes we just need to have our moments to tell our partners that we love them and that they mean the world to us. Other times, when we’ve had a rough day or a fight with a friend, all we want is to be able to vent to our partners and have them comfort us. Healthy couples understand that lending an ear and empathizing with our partner can work wonders.
9 – They Check In on Each Other
We’re all busy people! We all wish we could just spend all day cuddling in bed with our partner, but… that’s just not realistic. Work, errands, and varying social lives – among other things – are sure to keep couples separated during an average week. But happy couples aren’t bothered by the distance! These couples understand the importance of checking in with each other – via text or phone call – in the midst of their day. According to psychologist Susan Quilliam, updating each other every now and then helps to prevent either party from feeling taken for granted. Keeping tabs also helps the both of you to feel supported in your daily goals and aspirations.
10 – They Choose Each Other
Happy couples understand that real love is a choice. Love that lasts is as much a commitment as it is a feeling, and happy couples understand that they have to want to make things work. Quillium states; “You need to place a higher value on ‘we’ than ‘I’. You have to prove that you want to resolve issues and see them through.”
11 – They Brighten Each Other’s Day
People in happy relationships understand that it takes an effort to keep the romance alive! They can find small ways to make their partners happy. Sometimes, the gesture can be as small as making your partner their favorite coffee in the morning or sending them a cheesy “I love you” text, just because. When I’m out shopping and I see something I think my partner would really like, I like to buy it and make it a little gift for him!
12 – They Plan Their Future Together
Happy couples understand the importance of coordination. This can be especially important when it comes to working towards the future. Happy couples truly feel that they are a team, and work to build their future together. They plan out every aspect of the future together: marriage, having kids, where your careers will take you, where you might live together one day… all while making compromises to ensure that the both of you will be happy.
Do you have a tip you’d like to share on how to keep things happy? Let us know in the comments section down below! We’d love to know what you think about this article. Thanks for reading here at Psych2Go!