People who are in happy relationships aren’t just lucky.
Sure, they had the good fortune of meeting someone highly compatible with them.
But clicking with another person isn’t enough to keep the spark alive.
In fact, it takes commitment and hard work to maintain a connection over time.
That’s why every truly happy relationship has these 10 things in common.
Does yours fit the bill?
You can’t have a happy and healthy relationship without trust.
It’s what enables couples to navigate challenges, communicate effectively, and build a lasting connection.
You must trust that your significant other won’t betray you, break their promises, or disappear out of the blue.
Additionally, you need to believe they’ll be on your side even when the going gets tough.
A few signs that you and your boo are on the right track:
- You can each share your fears and weaknesses without feeling threatened
- You’re not afraid to admit when you made a mistake
- You can rely on each other to keep your word
- You don’t withhold important information from each other
- You feel secure and confident in your bond
2) Mutual respect
If you’re in a happy relationship, you respect each other’s boundaries, feelings, and choices.
Not only that, but you respect each other as people.
You don’t call each other names or insult each other, not even during the nastiest of fights.
And when it comes to making decisions, you take each other into account.
Would you take a job on the other side of the country without consulting your significant other first?
You wouldn’t – because you two are as happy as can be.
3) Open communication
Happy couples communicate openly with each other.
That means they feel comfortable to discuss their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment.
When you share a controversial take, you don’t worry that your boo will think less of you.
When you talk about one of your shortcomings, your partner doesn’t give you a hard time.
And when you disagree, you can debate the difference in opinion.
No subject is off-limits, and you both listen actively when the other has something to share.
Oh, and you figured out how to fight productively.
Preferably without wanting to scratch each other’s eyes out.
Suspecting that your partner isn’t honest with you leads to all sorts of issues.
You might get jealous, snoop through their phone, or start to keep secrets of your own.
Honesty doesn’t only build trust; it also promotes authenticity in the relationship.
When both partners are truthful about who they are, they share a more genuine and fulfilling connection.
Ideally, you two have minimal secrets from each other.
You can also talk about sensitive topics, including:
- Past experiences
- Your future together
Furthermore, you’re not afraid to offer each other constructive criticism.
You tell your partner when their behavior bothers you and offer gentle feedback on how they can improve.
They do the same.
5) Quality time
It should go without saying, but you can’t build intimacy with someone if you don’t spend quality time together.
I don’t just mean watching a movie, hanging with friends, or laying in bed beside each other while you scroll on your phones.
While those activities are fine, happy couples make time to fully engage with each other without any distractions.
That can mean having dinner together and talking about your day, heartfelt conversations over a glass of wine, going for a walk, or fondly gazing into each other’s eyes as you clean the bathtub together.
Hey, each couple is different.
As crucial as quality time is, people in happy relationships also do their own thing.
Being with someone doesn’t mean you need to be in each other’s faces 24/7. That’s usually a recipe for disaster.
It’s essential for each partner to have interests outside the partnership itself.
You two aren’t afraid to give each other space to pursue hobbies or spend time with other people.
It’s the healthy thing to do.
I had a particularly difficult day while dating one of my exes.
I was feeling down, lonely, and hopeless.
So, I asked my boyfriend to come over and keep me company, confident that he couldn’t possibly say no.
He said no.
I should have known then that things wouldn’t work out, but I really liked him. I made excuses, telling myself that he was tired and I was overreacting.
Looking back, I should have known better.
Everyone gets busy, and there’s a chance your relationship won’t always be the number one priority in your life.
But even when that happens, you still need to be there for each other in times of need.
As long as you and your boo adhere to this rule, you’re golden.
If you’re in a truly happy relationship, you encourage your partner to be the best version of themselves – and vice versa.
While you likely have common goals you would like to achieve one day, you each have individual goals, too.
Perhaps you want to get in shape, start a collection, or advance your career.
Whatever it may be, your partner encourages you to chase your dreams and provides support as you do so.
That’s what great teams are all about.
While it’s commendable to strive for more, you and your partner accept each other just as you are.
You understand that no one is perfect and that you each have flaws.
So, you value who your significant other is as an individual without trying to mold them into your expectations or ideals.
They don’t call it unconditional love for nothing.
Finally, you and your boo have fun together:
- You can be silly, joke around, and not take yourselves too seriously
- You engage in activities you both like
- You try new things and go on adventures together
- You enjoy your time beneath the sheets
- You occasionally surprise each other to keep the excitement alive
More importantly, you can be together, do nothing, and still have a good time.
To misquote Anna Karenina, all happy relationships are alike, but each unhappy relationship is unhappy in its own way.
If you and your partner are currently struggling, pinpoint which of the things on the list are missing from your partnership.
Then, work together to add it to the mix.
And if you already excel on all fronts?
Take yourselves on a spectacular date night to celebrate.