Don’t we all look at our friends’ relationships and wonder about them? Sure, some couples look happy – but are they really?
And in the same respect, some people don’t look happy at all – but they must be, right? With how long they’ve been together!
The truth is, you never really know whether a couple is happy or not when you look from the outside. Nor can you tell from the things they say.
After all, anyone could say anything!
But you can make a pretty good judgment on whether a couple is happy from the things they do. Happy couples will always do certain things, but they’ll hardly ever talk about them.
Let’s get into what they are.
1) They support each other
Happy couples have an undeniable support for one another. When the other is pursuing a goal, they’ll be happy for them and will do what they can to help.
If the goal has an impact on you, you’ll do your best to talk things through and work things out to find a mutual arrangement.
For example, if one of you is dieting and the other isn’t, that impacts what happens at dinnertime. But a happy couple will gladly compromise to make things work.
They wouldn’t put the other down or make them feel guilty about the disruption!
They wouldn’t even need to shout about the fact that they support one another. It’s something they just do out of love, care, and respect for each other.
2) They speak kindly about each other externally
Happy couples keep most things about their relationship between themselves. Rarely do they feel the need to talk about the other person to friends or family.
When issues come up, the first person they speak to is their partner!
If they were to discuss their partner with someone outside the relationship, they’d instinctively speak kindly about them.
They wouldn’t mock them, put them down, or criticize them. Instead, they’d keep things respectful and only ask for advice if it’s really needed.
3) They listen intently to one another
When you’re in a happy relationship, you listen to your partner. And you feel like they listen to you, too.
Rarely are you ever in conversation and you see their eyes glaze over (a bugbear of mine!). Nor do they interrupt you with something dismissive about what you’re saying.
And you don’t do that to your partner either. Because when you’re in love, you care about what the other person has to say. And no one needs to tell you to do that.
4) They look out for each other
Looking out for each other isn’t even a conversation when you’re truly in love. It’s just something you do constantly, without even thinking about it.
And if you don’t do it, it’s highly likely you’re not really in love.
If your partner’s train is canceled and they’re stuck somewhere, you wouldn’t hesitate to pick them up or book a cab. If they had too much to drink and were in a bad way, you’d look after them – no matter what.
Because happy couples genuinely care about each other. And they don’t need to ask their partner to treat them with love, care, and respect.
They look out for each other instinctively – because it’s just what you do when you’re in love.
5) They make their partner their priority
Lots of things can be your priority in life, like your job, your education, your family, your pets, your children, or even your health.
And when you’re in a relationship, your partner is always one of the top priorities on your list. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything for your partner.
But it does mean you consider them and put them first when the situation calls for it.
You wouldn’t make the big decisions in life without considering the impact on them. Nor would you put everyone and everything else first over them!
You make them your top priority – and they feel it from the way you treat them – and vice versa with how they make you feel.
6) They maintain their own hobbies and interests
When you’re in a long-term relationship, your lives start to warp together.
When it’s a good relationship, this happens harmoniously. And the individual interests you both have keep the spark alive.
When it’s not a good relationship, all sense of independence disappears. Hobbies get ditched and your individual interests fade away.
Happy couples don’t talk about how they maintain their independence outside of their relationship. It’s something they know is important to them – and they do it naturally.
Because if they want to stay the person their other half fell in love with, they don’t need to change who they are or ditch the things they love.
Instead, they need to continue their individuality – for themselves and their partner.
7) They look after themselves
Happy couples prioritize self-care. Because if you can’t look after yourself, it’s almost impossible to look out for anyone else!
When you stop caring for yourself, this can lead you down the path to a codependent relationship.
Self-worth and self-value should come from within, first and foremost. And while your partner should lift you up (not drag you down), they shouldn’t be your sole source of validation.
You’ll rarely hear a happy couple talking about how much they care for themselves, rather than as a couple. But it’ll be something they do day in, day out naturally.
Because even though their relationship is a top priority for them, they know that they need to look after themselves to truly be happy.
8) They share intimate moments and tender touches
The level of physical intimacy that’s right for one relationship might be very different to another.
Some couples have high sex drives, while others don’t have much of a drive at all. But physical intimacy isn’t all about sex. It’s also about other tender moments.
Happy couples instinctively share moments of physical intimacy that are right for the relationship.
It could be a long hug before going to sleep at night. Or it could be taking the others’ hand when walking around the supermarket. It could even just be a tender hand resting on the other’s arm when out with friends.
Understandably, when you’re out with a happy couple, they may not share the details of their intimate lives with everyone.
But you best believe they’ll have their intimate moments (whichever works for them).
9) They surprise one another occasionally
It doesn’t have to be anything huge, like booking a surprise trip across the globe or organizing the biggest birthday party ever (although it could be those things!).
But happy couples will always find small ways to surprise one another.
Even if it’s just by getting them a new air freshener, washing their car for them, or buying them their favorite soda when they are at the store.
It’s an unspoken rule between them that they’ll just do random nice things for each other as a surprise. Just because they love each other.
And they might not shout about all the nice things they do for each other occasionally. But it’ll be a quiet part of their relationship that brings them joy.
10) They accept each other as they are
Happy couples are happy for a reason. What’s that reason? Because they see the other person for who they are and love them for it!
They don’t try to change who the other person is under the surface or mold them into the person they want them to be.
Instead, they fully accept their partner for who they are. They embrace the fact that they are two different people sharing a life together – and everything that comes with that!
They even accept that things may change over the years, like new jobs, opportunities, or your appearance.
That doesn’t mean they’ll let boundaries be crossed or be accepting of fundamental changes in opinions (like whether kids or marriage are on the cards for the future).
But it does mean they are overall accepting of the person – for all their intricacies and everything that makes them them.
Experiencing doubts about whether your relationship is good or not is fairly normal – but it isn’t something to be ignored.
Most of the time, happiness in a relationship stems from how you both act with one another and how you treat each other. Which probably aren’t things that come up in conversation all that much.
If you’re debating whether you’re truly happy because you don’t shout about certain things, don’t worry. As long as you have these things in your relationship, it’s probably a pretty happy one!
Likewise, if you’re worried about whether a friend is happy, hearing the things they talk about in public probably won’t be a good indicator. But their actions will be.
And if you’re in doubt and worried about a friend, it’s best to just ask. You starting the conversation about it could be just what they need!