Have you ever wondered how happy couples seem to have it all together? It’s not always easy to maintain a happy relationship, but there are lots of little things you can do in your day-to-day lives that can help a lot. These habits may seem simple on the surface, but they’ve proven to go a long way in your relationships.
“Having a good relationship doesn’t mean that you and your partner will never have conflicts, or that all the issues in the relationship are resolved or totally agreeable to you. But when there’s an enduring connection between you, your conflicts with each other don’t escalate into warfare.” — Stephen R. Covey
No one is perfect, and that includes your partner — but what if there was a way to make your relationship better? What if these habits were not just a scientific fact from happy couples’ research but the key to a richer, more fulfilling life with the person you love?
Happiness is the goal for so many of us, and these seven habits can really help you achieve it — so why not try them out? It might surprise you how much happier your life becomes.
1. Have regular, intimate dinners together
Dinner is a great time to connect and have deep conversations with your partner. You don’t always need to talk about work and stress — you can also talk about random topics you’re into or that are interesting to you. As long as it’s fun and not stressful, different topics can really help spice things up in your relationship.
Even if you’re not the best cook, making dinner in a while is more important than having the best ingredients available. Happy couples enjoy themselves first and the food after. Sharing a meal with someone is an impactful way of connecting on an intimate, non-sexual level. Talking and discussing the mundane things that are important to both of you is great for fostering a bond.
Dinner is also a great time to show your partner how much you value them. Besides the emotional benefit mentioned above, having dinner with your partner each night can be a wonderful way to his or her importance. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. Get creative with what you cook (lots of people buy enough canned or frozen foods to last the whole year and then serve them upright at dinnertime).
2. Drink a glass of wine every night
Wine is good for the health and can help relax you after a stressful day, so it makes sense to have some in the evening. The benefits of this one are pretty straightforward.
Be it grape, apple, or orange, drinking a glass of wine can prime you for romance. This research suggests that the chemicals in alcohol — specifically the red variety — can make a person more relaxed and less self-conscious. This may help you open up and connect with your partner more easily. Happy couples know a wine secret.
“The alcohol made them laugh and talk about fantasy scenarios. The brain’s reward system becomes active in responses to fiction and romance.” — said lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Carson
So, the next time you’re sitting down to dinner with your sweetheart, why not whip out the bottle? You’ll both feel better about it in the morning. This might even lead to a little more kissing.
3. Spend at least 30 minutes in a relaxed, engaging activity together
Consider playing a couple’s game or doing something related to your hobbies. If you engage in an activity that you normally wouldn’t do, you might get to know each other more. This can be a good way to discuss problems in your relationship since it’s something you are both doing together, so the conversation may flow.
- Listening to music
- Try new things together
- Do something terrifying together, like watching a scary movie
- Workout or sport event
- Talk after sex
If you’re not open to any the activities above, you can try less active things, which might be available at your home:
- Table tennis
- Watch any movie together
There’s nothing wrong with just hanging out and talking as well. If spending time with your significant other makes him or her feel loved and appreciated, everything will go better for your relationship. Try to make time for these activities as often as you can. If you do this regularly, it will build up a good foundation for your relationship and continue to strengthen it.
4. Compliment each other daily
It’s easy to notice the little things. New and not new relationships can benefit from daily compliments. This can help remind you of how lucky you’re to have your partner. Happy couples always compliment each other for words and actions.
Give compliments based on your partner’s own personality instead of generic or shallow ones that don’t really mean anything. Don’t forget to appreciate yourself, too. Self-confidence is an important part of happiness.
Compliment your partner’s accomplishments. We often base our relationships on pure emotion like love or sexual attraction. Sometimes it’s nice to know that you’re appreciated for your efforts.
“I’m so proud of you for getting a promotion at work.”
“Thank you for inviting me to your family party; I had a great time.”
“You always find great cheap flights.”
It’s important to remember that just as we appreciate hard work and successes, others appreciate when we do the same for them.
The more sincere and specific you can be, the better your compliment will be. Writing out a few is a great way to plan what you want to say. Use these notes throughout the year with your partner or keep them on hand for an appropriate moment.
5. Have the last word in an argument (at least sometimes)
Resolving arguments healthily is very important for happy couples. One way to do this is by solving problems and addressing concerns as a team — but it’s also okay for you to occasionally have the last word in an argument. Just try not to mean it. Know where the line is between defending your position and being defensive.
“Have the last word in an argument to improve your relationships and win your spouse’s love and affection.“ — S. J. Scott
A simple argument about who forgot to load the dishwasher is not an emergency, so taking a timeout is unnecessary.
Happy couples need to have the last word in an argument because it can help resolve issues before they build up any more resentment than they already have. You have the last word when you resolve an argument by winning your partner back.
Sometimes people are so stubborn that they’ll say something nasty to get a reaction from their partners. But sometimes, they’re just trying to get a response, and then they turn around and use that against them later. This is not relationship-building. If you can’t let the person have the last word, at least give them a chance to speak.
6. Be open to spontaneous dates
Spontaneous dates are great because they give you a chance to get out of the house and do something fun with your partner that doesn’t really require much thought. This is great for stress relief and important if you just moved in together.
There are multiple dates types you might consider for your spontaneous idea.
This type of date is great if you want to focus on your relationship, discuss your feelings and have some time for yourself. Quiet dates are best if you’re feeling down or need to get out of the house because something stressful happened. For example: if one person was slammed with work or school-related issues, that person could go on a quiet date without worrying about their partner’s feelings or schedules getting in the way.
The best way to tell how well your quiet date went is by looking at the mirror and seeing how happy you seem when you get home. That should be a good indicator.
Fun dates are great if you’ve been apart for a while, need a break from each other. Fun dates are excellent if you’re tired of doing the same old things with your partner and you want some variety. These dates are significant for doing something new that you’ve never done before or trying to do something together that you’ve failed at in the past.
An example of this type of date would be going to a concert together — or if you don’t like concerts, try a different kind of performance, like the opera. Another idea for a fun date is to limit your conversation with each other and see how much fun and enjoyment you can get out of being in each other’s presence.
If you weren’t one of the happy couples before, fun dates can bring new feelings into your routine.
7. Accept each other’s faults (even if it’s hard)
Even in happy couples partners make mistakes. Sometimes a partner might slip up and make a mistake that you don’t appreciate. Maybe you have done the same thing that has made them uncomfortable. There is nothing wrong with accepting each other for who we are, even if it isn’t always perfect. No one is perfect, so pretending that they can cause issues later on when they get on your nerves.
While it may be hard to admit when someone you love has done something you find unacceptable or hurtful, it’s certainly worth the effort. Accepting each other for who we are will help you understand each other better and strengthen your relationship.
“Beating yourself up for your mistakes won’t help you down the road. It’s important to spend the bulk of your time thinking about how to do better in the future.” — Amy Morin in Forbes
Humans are not perfect. We will make mistakes, slip up, and hurt others — no matter how hard we try to avoid it. We’re all just trying to get through this crazy life. There is no shame in making a mistake now and then. In fact, it’s completely normal.
Some people have difficulty accepting their partners’ minor flaws. They may feel that being with someone who makes a mistake once is fine. But if they continue to do so repeatedly, then it isn’t okay anymore. This idea that you can only accept someone’s shortcomings with grace once they’re expected not to continue doing it is unrealistic.
Remember that relationships are complicated. It takes time to become a happy couple. But what matters most is how you and your partner approach things together. If you both try to bring the best out in each other, it’s easier to navigate anything that life brings your way.
Even if you don’t see immediate changes in your relationships, these habits can be a significant starting point for a more meaningful and active role in strengthening any of them.
Previously Published on medium
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