Everyone knows at least one couple that seems to be unshakeable. A couple who’s been together for what seems like forever. One that’s solid, strong, and basically defines ideal relationship goals. Whether you’re starting a new relationship or simply looking to strengthen the one you’re currently in, you might start to wonder how some of these other couples do it. What is the secret to those long, happy, and healthy relationships? It isn’t romantic gestures. The trick is establishing healthy habits and doing little things day after day, year after year.
Relationships of any kind can be a fickle business. If there were things you could do to make your relationship more solid and likely to last long-term, wouldn’t you want to do them? It’s easy to fall in love with someone and promise them the world. But when it comes to making the relationship work long-term, more effort will be required. Sometimes the right habits are all we need to make the best of what we have with our partner. A happy and healthy relationship doesn’t necessarily mean it’s free from conflict. It just means the two people involved are committed and willing to make it work no matter what. If you’re willing to put in the effort then consider embracing some of the habits below. These can be the key to forming a perfect relationship with your loved one!
- Quality Time, Not Quantity – It’s all about the quality of time over quantity. It doesn’t matter how much time you and your partner spend together. The most important factor comes down to the quality of the time spent. There’s a huge difference between having dinner at the table while talking about your day at work, versus having dinner while sitting on a couch watching the latest episode of Big Brother. It’s fine to zone out together and enjoy distractions, but it’s crucial to make sure you two are still engaging and spending quality time together so you can each maintain a deep connection with one another.
- Time Apart – Spending time together with your partner is an extremely important step in forming a strong and healthy relationship. However, it’s also just as important as spending a healthy amount of time apart. Being able to do your own things and remain independent is vital for both men and women. When couples spend too much time together, it can create unhealthy co-dependence. Maintaining healthy boundaries and some autonomy will make for a longer-lasting partnership.
- Love Languages – A man named Gary Chapman came up with the notion that men and women have five different love languages. Believe it or not, people actually have unique ways of feeling loved. There are words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, acts of service, and physical touch. It’s important to know which love language speaks to you, along with your partner. Telling each other what makes you feel loved and special helps both of you stay connected. Furthermore, make sure you are attending to your partner’s love language consistently.
- Appreciation – Often, we forget to let other people in our lives know that we truly appreciate them. We may be thinking about it, but most of the time we remember to show it. This occurs in our romantic relationships as well. Show that special someone in your life just how much you love him or her. This could be done with words, cards, flowers, acts of kindness, or more. Remember, a flower a day keeps the fights at bay! Okay, maybe not every day, but you get the point.
- Communication – Communication is key to any successful partnership. It’s one of the most important qualities in every healthy relationship. However, not everyone knows how to communicate properly – or even how to communicate at all. Happy and healthy couples have this game down. They vocalize their love for one another, saying “I Love You” often while also offering other compliments. They also don’t hesitate to discuss the bad instead of just sweeping issues under the rug. To move forward and grow, you two need to be able to talk honestly about your feelings. No matter how awkward or uncomfortable it may feel, it will make for a fulfilling relationship!
- Positive Vs. Negative – There are several times we get caught up in the negative. We hate our jobs, are annoyed with different friends, and our boyfriend or girlfriend might even be getting on our last nerve. Uh-oh, have you been drinking too much of that half-empty glass? We must look at our partner’s positive qualities, in contrast to the negative. Nobody is perfect, and that includes our significant other. So, in the future, you should make a conscious effort to look at the good instead of focusing on the bad.
- No Comparisons – Remember, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Even if it is, it might not be the kind of grass you like. We often compare our lives to those of others – what jobs people have, their home, clothes, vehicles, and pretty much everything else. With the help of social media, we tend to compare our relationships as well. But, the happiest of couples don’t even look to see what the grass looks like on the other side. They are perfectly happy with the view of their own front door.