After years of dating or marriage, the simple habits that keep a relationship healthy can wax and wane with time, but a small glimpse into the day-to-day lives of the happiest couples can provide a much-needed refresher. To help give you an idea, relationship experts, psychologists, and dating coaches weighed in on the happiest couples they've worked with over the years and the habits that keep their bond strong.
To see an accurate picture of what a happy relationship looks like, read on.
They Always Kiss Their Spouse Hello and Goodbye
Did you kiss your partner goodbye before you left for work this morning? If not, you might want to consider adding that into your morning routine. "Far from being a meaningless habit, this ensures that you connect, even for just a moment, at least twice a day," says Samantha Rodman, psychologist and dating coach. "When you make the time to make eye contact with your partner and kiss them, it shows that you prioritize your relationship even during the busiest of mornings or evenings."
They Are Generous With Compliments
Never hold back on giving compliments. No matter how assured your partner is in your love for them, they still need to hear affirmations from you daily. "Everyone needs compliments, and they especially need them from their partner," says Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology and certified sexologist. "You cannot give too many sincere compliments―whether you have been together five years or 50. It can be simple things like saying, "You look especially gorgeous today," to deeply felt statements like, "I was so proud of you today when you gave our son such wise advice."
Relationships can be magical, but they also can be downright hard and frustrating. Happy couples keep it real on a daily basis. They keep their expectations in check—especially during the chaotic work week and when raising children—and know that not every day can feel like that early honeymoon stage of a relationship.
They Disagree at Times, but They Fight Fair
"If partners don't disagree now and then, they’re either not being honest or aren’t human. Disagreeing isn’t a marriage problem―it’s normal. It’s how couples work through their disagreements (or rather don't) that can become bad for their marriage. Take a look at your disagreements and see what bad habits each partner has when you disagree. Do you talk over each other? Get angry? Yell? Swear? Name call? Disengage? Each partner should make a list of their bad tendencies and use future disagreements to practice responding differently and building better communication skills." ― Kurt Smith, therapist who specializes in counseling for men
They Prioritize Time Together
While you may not have a lot of spare time during the work week, happy couples always prioritize time together, even if it's just ten minutes talking in bed before falling asleep. Couples in long distance relationships go beyond text or even the phone with FaceTime and Skype.
In addition to spending a little time together each day, consider adding in a weekly date night to reconnect with your S.O.