Do you know a couple who get along flawlessly–who have, what appears to be, the perfect relationship?
Well, if you do, chances are they didn’t get there overnight.
Like anything of value in life, achieving a successful relationship takes effort–and an equal willingness from both partners to make things work.
Now some of us may think that these unblemished relationships are anomalies; or the type of unions reserved for movies and fairy tales.
Having a healthy, thriving relationship isn’t just for other people, it’s something well within your grasp.
But you have to want it badly enough–and your actions should consistently reflect that desire.
In this article, I’ll go through the unique things successful couples tend to do differently from your average, run-of-the-mill romance.
Let’s get to it!
1) They communicate effectively
You’ve heard it before (and for good reason): for any relationship to prosper, communication needs to be at the foundation.
Healthy couples are deeply attuned to this.
They know a couple’s level of communication can, and likely will, make or break their bond.
So they act in kind, making it a point to listen actively; and clearly outline their needs and boundaries.
They don’t leave the other guessing what to do next; they have an instinctive feel for their other half because they’ve already, well, communicated.
My ex and I were horrible communicators. It was the first real relationship for us both, and it showed.
Instead of talking it out, we’d keep our feelings and thoughts for the most part bottled up, letting resentment constantly fester.
This was a recipe for disaster.
She held a grudge against me for something I did at the beginning of the relationship, yet never really imparted those feelings.
This slowly ate away at our union.
Invariably, things hit a breaking point–years of hurtful, repressed words were spewed, and we never fully recovered from that episode.
It’s a shame. We had undeniable chemistry but ended up tossing a good thing in the bin.
Had we communicated from the beginning, could things have worked out?
Nobody can say for sure, but for me personally? I’d put money on it.
2) They resolve their conflicts
Without communication, you don’t let wounds or past hurts heal properly. And when a wound is untreated, it doesn’t heal, and sometimes, the infection spreads.
In relationship terms, our emotional wounds when unaddressed remain dormant, gradually chipping away at us.
Major fights never truly get resolved, they’re just swept under the rug.
This is a stark contrast to the healthy couple’s behavior.
Instead of making efforts to avoid conflict altogether, they know how to take on issues constructively.
They’ll first look to find common ground–always keeping things respectful.
And since both partners are mature enough to compromise, they inevitably arrive at mutually beneficial resolutions.
While most couples develop a greater disdain for each other after an altercation, the successful pair uses conflict as an opportunity to grow and strengthen their bond.
3) They spend quality time together
You can be in a relationship for years and years without truly spending quality time together.
How’s this possible?
Because idly and passively letting the hours pass practically ignoring each other doesn’t quite qualify as quality time.
Sure, you’re physically together, but what about everything else?
Quality time takes effort, with connection and intimacy always top of mind.
This can range from things like going on spontaneous road trips to a simple date night where you are both mindfully present, focused, and not preoccupied with scrolling through your phones.
4) They support each other
A good partner is like a rock, pushing you to be your best self and reach your goals, providing resolute support through thick and thin.
This is the type of sentiment and level of support incredibly pervasive in a successful relationship.
Your aspirations are always within reach because you know have someone constantly cheering and fully backing you, catching you should you fall.
In the world of professional sports, the home team always has a major advantage.
The home team has the distinct privilege of having a whole stadium of supporters and fans boisterously cheering them on, giving them that much-needed boost, that extra jolt of adrenaline through adversity.
So in a sense, in a healthy relationship, both partners are each other’s home crowd, propelling one another to victory.
5) They respect independence
I know many people who when in a relationship, begin to lose themselves.
They get swept off their feet and take their independence and individuality along with them.
Perhaps down the line, they might regret missing out on key life opportunities, as they were too busy canoodling with their lover.
This is rarely an issue for a healthy and successful couple.
They have a deep-seated respect for each other’s individuality and space. They don’t claim ownership over another person and become possessive and smothering.
The healthy couple appreciates and respects the fact that their other half is a living and breathing, autonomous human being, whether in a relationship or not.
This balance allows both partners to thrive as individuals yet still come together at the end of the day. The best of both worlds.
6) They are emotionally intimate
Contrary to popular belief, “intimacy” doesn’t merely mean engaging in intense sex acts 24/7.
Intimacy at its core is emotional.
Strong couples can regularly be vulnerable with one another, sharing their innermost thoughts, fears, and dreams.
They create an almost indestructible bond and friendship in the process.
Rather than concealing things from each other for fear of scrutiny, their relationship represents a safe space; one where they can let their defenses down and be their true, unadulterated self.
The feeling of closeness and intimacy is so potent neither party ever feels truly alone, mind, body, and soul.
7) There’s a high degree of trust and security
In healthy relationships, both partners trust each other implicitly, which creates powerful feelings of security, ease, and comfort.
And comfort means less stress and anxiety, that feeling of being “on edge”, the type of thing that, over time, can erode partnerships.
You don’t have to constantly obsess or ruminate about what your partner is doing when you’re apart for extended periods.
They have your back.
You know with certainty that they’re fully committed to the relationship, and will thus act accordingly.
If you feel there is a void in your relationship, don’t worry, it’s never too late to develop healthier habits.
That’s why it’s called growth.
If you and your partner are aligned and committed to change, you’ll undoubtedly get where you want to be.
But if you’ve made attempts to communicate your desire for change, yet nothing is coming of it, perhaps it’s time to rethink the relationship.
Life is short.
Don’t deprive yourself of happiness and waste time on people who aren’t deserving of it.
You got this.