If you really want a happy and lasting relationship, science says start doing these 9 things every day

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There’s a vast difference between merely co-existing with your partner and truly thriving together.

The difference, you might ask? Intentionality. Simply put, the difference is in the daily actions that you choose to take, or not take, in your relationship.

Science says, if you genuinely want a happy and lasting relationship, there are nine things you need to start doing every day. And trust me, these aren’t just random suggestions; they’re backed by research and proven to work.

Let’s dive in. 

1) Show appreciation

In the realm of relationships, few things matter more than showing appreciation to your partner.

Science affirms this. According to numerous studies, expressing gratitude consistently ranks high on the list of actions that foster a happy, lasting relationship.

It’s not rocket science. We all love to feel appreciated, don’t we? To know that our efforts and our presence are valued? That’s what showing gratitude does.

Whether it’s a simple ‘thank you’ for the little things they do, or an elaborate surprise to show your appreciation for them, make it a daily habit.

But here’s the catch: authenticity is key. Expressing gratitude should never be a manipulative tool, but a sincere expression of your feelings.

Start today. Start showing appreciation every day. Trust us, it will make a world of difference in your relationship.

2) Active listening

One thing I’ve learned in my own relationship journey is the immense value of active listening.

Science supports this, pointing out that it’s not just about being physically present but mentally and emotionally invested in your conversations with your partner. It’s about understanding, not just hearing.

I remember a time when my partner was sharing her concerns about a project at work. As she spoke, I found myself thinking about a solution to her problem instead of truly hearing her out. I mean, my intentions were good, right?

But then she asked me a question about what she’d just said, and I realized I had no clue how to answer. I was too busy forming my own response to truly listen to her words.

That day, I learned an invaluable lesson – one that science has repeatedly proven: Active listening is essential for a happy and lasting relationship.

Make it a habit. Pay attention to your partner’s words and feelings. Don’t just hear; listen and understand. It might just be the most important thing you do every day for your relationship.

3) Quality time

It’s no secret that spending quality time together is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship. But did you know that it’s not just the quantity, but the quality of the time spent together that truly matters?

A study conducted by the University of California, Riverside found that couples who engaged in meaningful activities together reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction.

This doesn’t necessarily mean planning extravagant dates or vacations. It can be as simple as cooking dinner together, having a shared workout routine, or even just enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in the morning.

Carve out moments every day to do something mutually enjoyable. Because when you invest in quality time, you’re investing in your relationship’s future.

4) Express love in your partner’s love language

We all have unique ways we express and interpret love, famously referred to as ‘love languages’ by Dr. Gary Chapman. Understanding and speaking your partner’s love language can make a world of difference in your relationship.

Is their love language words of affirmation? Shower them with genuine compliments and words of encouragement. If it’s acts of service, doing little things like making their favorite meal or taking care of a chore they dislike can speak volumes.

Maybe it’s quality time, in which case uninterrupted attention is their thing. If it’s receiving gifts, small thoughtful presents can make their day. And if it’s physical touch, a warm hug or a gentle stroke on the back can mean the world to them.

5) Practice forgiveness

In any relationship, disagreements and conflicts are inevitable. But holding onto grudges? That’s optional.

Forgiveness is a powerful tool for maintaining a happy and lasting relationship. It’s the ability to let go of resentment, anger, and the need for retribution when your partner makes a mistake.

It doesn’t mean you’re condoning their wrong actions or forgetting the hurt caused. It simply means you’re choosing to move past it for the sake of your relationship.

And remember, forgiveness is for you too. It brings peace and helps in healing.

Make it a daily habit. Practice forgiveness – not just for the big mistakes, but also for the small, seemingly insignificant ones. Your relationship will be stronger for it.

6) Express your love

Expressing your love to your partner isn’t just about grand gestures on special occasions. It’s about the little things you do each day that shows them how much they mean to you.

This could be as simple as leaving sweet notes for them to find, holding their hand while watching a movie, or even just saying “I love you” before going to bed. It’s these small acts of love that build a strong and lasting relationship.

But here’s the thing: love isn’t just a feeling. It’s a decision you make every day, a commitment to put your partner’s needs alongside or even before your own.

So, choose love daily. Express it in words and actions. Make sure your partner knows without a doubt how much they are loved, cherished, and valued. It’s the most beautiful gift you can give them every single day.

7) Maintain open communication

Communication is the lifeblood of any relationship. It’s the bridge that connects two hearts, two minds.

There was a time when my partner and I hit a rough patch. We were both hurting, and instead of talking about it, we retreated into our own shells. The silence created a chasm between us that felt impossible to bridge.

But one day, I decided to break the silence. I reached out, shared my fears, my pain. It was difficult, but it paved the way for an open conversation about our issues.

And you know what? It worked. Our relationship became stronger than ever.

8) Show respect

Respect is a cornerstone of a happy and lasting relationship. It’s about valuing your partner’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences, just as much as your own.

You show respect when you listen to your partner’s perspective, even if you disagree. You show respect when you honour their boundaries. You show respect when you acknowledge their achievements and support their goals.

In essence, respect is about treating them with the same kindness, consideration, and regard that you’d like to receive.

9) Nurture your friendship

At the heart of every great relationship is a solid friendship. It’s the glue that holds everything together when the going gets tough.

A strong friendship with your partner means you enjoy their company, you understand each other, and you genuinely like each other. It means having shared interests, shared memories, and shared laughter.

Be there for each other, not just as lovers but as best friends. Share jokes, create memories, and enjoy life together. It’s the best investment you can make in your relationship.

Love is a verb

When it comes to the dynamics of a happy and lasting relationship, science and experience converge on one fundamental truth: Love is a verb.

Love isn’t just a profound feeling that magically appears in our hearts. It’s a continuous action, a conscious choice we make every day. And it’s expressed through the nine practices we’ve covered.

Psychologist Dr. John Gottman, renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction, once said, “Love is a form of work or a form of courage.” It’s the work of understanding and respecting our partner, the courage of forgiving them and expressing our vulnerabilities.

So, as we journey through our relationships, let’s remember to put these daily practices into action. Let’s remember that love is an ongoing commitment, not just to our partners but also to the relationship itself.

Because at the end of the day, love isn’t just something we feel. It’s something we do.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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