Happy couples do many things differently to keep their relationship strong and healthy.
They always talk and listen to each other, show thanks for little things, and spend quality time together.
But what are some things you perhaps wouldn’t expect from them? Keep on reading to find the answer.
1) Express love
I know I know, expressing love is something you’d definitely expect from a happy couple. But that’s still something worth mentioning, as it seems many of us forget about this incredibly important ingredient.
Expressing gratitude, love, and appreciation for one another is often overlooked. Saying once a week “I love you” and giving a kiss in the morning and in the evening is not okay.
Happy couples aren’t afraid to express their love for each other, both verbally and non-verbally. They say “I love you” often and show their love through their actions, not just words.
Physical touch also plays a significant role in expressing love. Happy couples engage in affectionate behaviors such as holding hands, hugging, cuddling, and offering gentle touches to express their love and care for each other.
But the happy couples I know go beyond that. They enjoy surprising each other with thoughtful gifts.
These can range from small tokens of affection to more significant gestures demonstrating how much they value their partner.
2) Active communication
Apart from regularly expressing love, happy couples prioritize open and honest communication.
They freely discuss their feelings, thoughts, and needs with each other regularly. They’re not afraid to talk about difficult subjects.
But you can’t have active communication without listening attentively and compassionately.
Happy couples I know, including my parents, who have been married for 40 years, make a conscious effort to be fully present when their partner speaks.
They give their undivided attention and demonstrate that they value their partner’s thoughts and feelings.
That, of course, means not looking at the phone with one eye while keeping the other eye on the partner and nodding.
3) Dedicated silence time
In our increasingly busy and noisy world, having peaceful moments is important.
Happy couples dedicate a specific time to enjoy silence together. This could mean simply sitting in the same room without any distractions. It could also mean meditating, doing yoga, or just enjoying each other’s presence without the need for talk.
My wife and I love sitting on our terrace and enjoying a glass of sangria together while enjoying a peaceful evening.
If we don’t have something to say, so be it. Simply being together, one beside the other, is often more than enough.
4) Playfulness and humor
I’ve written many times about playfulness and humor and their importance in relationships.
I’ve learned this from talking with happy couples I know. They told me how they engage in lighthearted banter, inside jokes, and playful teasing.
There are many ways to bring laughter and fun into your daily interactions together:
- Share funny jokes
- Perform playful pranks
- Play games together
- Cook together
- Do something that you both loved as kids
But above all, maintain a strong friendship and enjoy each other’s company. Having fun and sharing laughter helps cultivate a sense of togetherness in a relationship.
5) Resolve conflicts constructively
All couples encounter conflicts, but happy couples constructively approach these situations.
They focus on understanding the other person’s perspective and finding a compromise rather than trying to win the argument.
Happy couples also practice forgiveness and let go of grudges. Nobody’s perfect, of course, and we should all be willing to forgive and move forward instead of holding onto past mistakes.
What do you think?
I’ve also learned that accepting each other’s imperfections is vital, and it’s something you should learn early on in a relationship.
There’s no point in trying to change someone. They simply won’t be the person you fell in love with anymore.
6) Shared responsibilities
Household chores are still a pain point for many relationships. But not so much for relationships of happy couples.
They allocate household chores and responsibilities fairly, based on their individual strengths and preferences. After that, working as a team and supporting each other in managing the daily tasks of life is easy.
However, the division of household chores and other responsibilities may need to be adjusted occasionally. Life circumstances, workloads, and other factors can change, requiring a flexible approach.
Happy couples are willing to adapt and renegotiate responsibilities when necessary to adjust to these changes.
They express appreciation for each other’s contributions by recognizing and acknowledging the efforts made by their partner to maintain pleasant living conditions.
7) Unplugged days
Like enjoying some silence together, some happy couples have regular “unplugged” days where they don’t use any digital devices.
It’s therapeutic and can help them focus on each other and their relationship without the distraction of technology.
In an era dominated by tech, we often find ourselves physically together but mentally distant, absorbed in our own digital worlds.
Unplugged days are designed to counteract this, encouraging couples to engage with each other more deeply and mindfully without any digital distractions.
Unplugged days offer many other benefits too. They help couples improve their communication, as uninterrupted face-to-face dialogues lead to deeper understanding and bonding.
They also provide opportunities to engage in shared hobbies or explore new activities together.
But, perhaps most importantly, they allow couples to be truly present with each other, stimulating greater emotional and physical intimacy.
8) Learning a new skill together
Talking about hobbies, whether it’s a foreign language, a musical instrument, or cooking, learning something new together can be a fun and bonding experience.
It also helps keep the relationship fresh and exciting. And that’s what we all need at times.
Choosing a skill or hobby you both are curious about and finding accessible resources to begin learning is a good start. This could be online classes, local workshops, books, or even hiring a tutor.
Dedicate a regular time slot for this activity to ensure consistent practice and progress.
My wife and I started learning Portuguese together a couple of months ago, and it has brought us together almost more than anything.
We quickly learned that our shared learning journey stimulates communication, collaboration, and mutual support. We quiz each other and love engaging in a new language.
But above all, it also sparked fun and joy as we experience the ups and downs of learning something new together.
I can tell you firsthand that as you both progress and improve, it brings a sense of shared accomplishment that can boost relationship satisfaction.
9) Support each other’s individual goals
Another thing that similarly brings two partners together is supporting each other’s individual goals.
Happy couples do that because they apprehend that each partner has their own individual goals and interests. They support each other in achieving these goals rather than seeing them as a threat to the relationship.
What do you think? Is that something you can get behind?
While it’s important to support each other’s individual goals, it’s equally crucial to maintain a balance between these and the shared goals in your relationship.
Shared goals involve financial planning, raising a family, travel plans, etc. Achieving this balance ensures that both partners feel fulfilled individually and as a couple.
10) Respect boundaries
And lastly, happy couples respect each other’s personal space and boundaries. They know that everyone needs some alone time and don’t take this personally.
If that, for example, means taking care of the kids alone for an evening or even a weekend, so be it.
It’s vital to respect this need and not view it as a rejection or a sign of a lack of love. We all have different ways of relaxing and rejuvenating ourselves.
There are other kinds of boundaries, of course. Emotional and social ones come to mind.
Some people, for instance, are more extroverted and enjoy large social gatherings, while others are more introverted and prefer smaller, more intimate groups.
I hope you got a chance to learn a thing or two from happy couples. By implementing only a couple of things on this list, your relationship could go to another level.
Every relationship is unique, and what works for one couple may not work for another. It’s important to find what works best for you and your partner, communicate openly, and prioritize the well-being and happiness of both individuals in the relationship.