Contrary to popular belief, a blissfully happy relationship isn’t a well-guarded secret. In fact, just practicing these 8 habits can make love bloom!
The secret to a happy relationship isn’t intense passion or great sex or financial stability. In fact, it’s a little simpler than that.
The secret is forming a set of healthy habits that allow you to constantly reinforce how much you love each other’s company.
Of course, the foundations of a good relationship are trust, respect and understanding. But these things are developed over time. The bond you share with your significant other is strengthened by the little things you do each day.
These seemingly trivial things are actually what hold your relationship together and prevent it from falling apart at the seams.
8 little habits that bring couples closer together
We’ve looked into what happy couples are doing, and these are the little things they do to keep their relationship alive.
#1 Having other activities to do. When you think of a happy couple, you may visualize two people who are snuggling and laughing together. But in reality, it also helps to spend some time apart doing other things. Couples often bring different things into the relationship. What they bring in is dependent on what they do when they’re not together.
Having different interests and sharing their insights with each other allow two people to vicariously expand their horizons through their significant other. Sounds complicated? It’s actually pretty simple.
Take a couple where the woman’s hobby is writing music, while the guy works as an artist. When they talk, they can each mention little facets of their interests, and in turn, it can open their partner’s eyes to that particular topic. It’s like a daily dose of show and tell whenever they start talking about what they’ve been up to while they were apart. [Read: 25 topics of conversations that always bring couples closer together]
#2 Showing appreciation. Simply saying thank you for even the littlest things can be enough to make your partner feel loved and appreciated. Sometimes, you can even up the ante by giving your partner a little treat whenever he/she does something difficult. For instance, when your partner has worked for hours to clean up the garage, you can cook his favorite meal for dinner.
You can even insert your appreciation whenever you’re asking your partner for something. Instead of telling your partner to do something, you can phrase it a little differently. For example, you can say, “Honey, I would really love it if you could please help me move the furniture. It would really make me happy.” Simply changing the words can be enough to make your partner feel like his help would make you happy. [Read: 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]
#3 Allowing your partner to vent. Every once in a while, your partner may be overwhelmed by stress. In times like this, don’t go naggity-nag-nag on him/her by saying, “I told you so!” Instead, try to be a little more empathetic. Sometimes, all your partner really needs is a person who will listen and understand. Letting off the steam and having an understanding partner around can be enough to help dissipate the stress.
And of course, being a little more stress-free would help your relationship flourish even more. Whenever your partner is stressed out, being welcoming and empathetic shows them that they’re not alone, and that things are going to be okay. It also helps solidify your relationship since you’re helping them out of a rough patch. [Read: 18 common relationship turn offs that’ll slowly ruin your romance]
#4 A little extra effort. Going through the motions as a couple is fine, but adding a bit of effort in the little things you do can make all the difference. It shows your partner that you haven’t settled and gotten too comfortable. Instead, it shows your partner that you want to make them feel even more loved each and every day.
One way you can do this is by adding a personal touch to otherwise typical romantic gestures. Instead of making them the usual breakfast, make heart-shaped pancakes or add a short love note. When your partner gets home after a tiring day, offer him/her a foot massage or a back rub. And when your budget allows, a completely random gift can also brighten up his/her day. [Read: 25 really romantic ideas to make your lover melt!]
#5 Trying not to change each other. When you try to change your partner for the better, it may come off as criticism or as a sign that you’re not completely happy with who they are. If there’s something you want to change about your partner, don’t force it to happen. Instead, show him/her that by changing one of their bad habits, they’re doing it for themselves instead of for you.
For instance, you may want your partner to eat a little healthier. At first, you may think that getting rid of all the bacon and sweets would be the right thing to do. But then, this would just feel like you’re punishing your partner for liking certain unhealthy foods.
Instead, you can open them up to a whole new culinary world of delicious veggies and lean meats. In time, they may decide that these new foods are actually better than the processed stuff they used to love. [Read: The 9 unspoken rules of love couples need to follow]
#6 Not blowing problems out of proportion. As a couple, you will face a couple of problems from time to time. These problems can build up and turn into a full-blown argument. Instead of heaping on other accusations and telling your partner what he/she is lacking, try to maintain your perspective and just deal with the problem at hand.
One common problem among many couples is forgetting some of the chores. Tons of couples are guilty of this, but very few would admit to it. Instead of telling your partner that you’re really mad that he/she forgot to take the trash out again, hold your tongue and change your tone. Say it nicely and they’ll be glad to do it. If you lash out at them, he/she may lash back out at you and then you’ll just end up simmering in anger at each other for the rest of the night. [Read: 23 do’s and don’ts you need to remember in a relationship argument]
#7 Having little rituals. Rituals that you do together can help you feel more connected. Even if both of you have busy schedules, squeezing in some time together to do your ritual helps you bond amidst your hectic lifestyles. Spending time together is a must for keeping your relationship solid, and it’s these rituals that serve as a foundation.
Your rituals don’t even have to take up too much time since you can do the simplest things together with just a few minutes to spare. For instance, you can call each other every night right before you sleep. Simply talking about your day can already strengthen your bond. For couples who have a bit of time to spare, having at least one simple date night each week can be enough. [Read: 12 real signs of true love in a relationship]
#8 Reminiscing. Do you remember how you first met? What were your first words to each other? What made you fall in love? Even if you already know this story inside out, it still helps to mention it from time to time. What this does is remind you of why you chose to be in a relationship with your partner.
After some time, you’ll already have a full bank of memories that you can keep coming back to. Admit it, whenever your partner brings up that one super cheesy thing he/she did for you, you’re secretly all tingly inside. Never let that warm fuzzy feeling fade, because it reminds you that even though you’re not as passionate as you once were, there’s still something about your partner that makes you feel like you’ve got butterflies in your stomach.
It’s not the grand gestures that bring couples together and keep love alive. Just practice these 8 simple habits in your relationship, and you’ll see that staying in love won’t be an effort, but something that’s as easy as falling in love.
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