1. They focus on the positive. It is easy to get annoyed at your partner because he forgot to take your dry-cleaning out for you (again) or because she never puts her coffee cup in the dishwasher after finishing her morning cup of joe. Happy couples look for the positive things that their partner does and avoids getting too hung up on little annoyances. What positive attributes does your partner have? Take notice and accentuate the good things.
2. They prioritize quality time together. In this busy day and age, time is scarce and precious. It is easy for work or parenting obligations to take a central role in all of our scheduling. Happy couples recognize that to keep their bond tight that quality time together must be a priority. Quality time connects both partners. These couples hold boundaries around that time together so that they never shift too far apart.
3. They cultivate common interests. Happy couples share some common interests. Whether it is listening to live music, exploring exotic cuisines, or training for a 5K together- they find and cultivate activities and interests to share together. It is important to also cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from becoming too dependent.
4. They have good communication. As everyone has probably heard before, good communication is the key to any healthy relationship. In good relationships, happy couples feel safe enough to be honest with their partner, even about things that may feel a little uncomfortable. Communicating in a positive way is also critical- avoid accusatory language and defensive behavior. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for what you want in a loving way, but also be open to what they want from you.
5. They have life skills. Whether it is doing the laundry, creating a budget, or coping with stress from a chronic illness, happy couples have learned how to deal with the various things that life throws at them. In healthy couples, both partners play a part in managing chores, commitments, and responsibilities. They learn how to recover when times are tough and when unexpected challenges crop up.
6. They are affectionate with each other. These couples hold hands at the grocery store, hug after a long day, kiss before bed, and use sex to connect. Happy couples impart physical touch often as an expression of love and to strengthen their bond.
7. They are team players. How many couples do you know that try to “win” at arguments with their partner? In an unhealthy relationship, there’s a competition to outdo the other person. In a healthy relationship, both parties have a shared vision and goal for the future. Happy partners support each other and never pit themselves against the other partner. These partners choose to be happy, rather than right.