None of us are born with an intuitive understanding of what it’s like to be in a relationship. We learn through our surroundings and experiences what we want a happy relationship to look like. I’d like to share my personal list of what a happy relationship looks like.
- Happy couples find coziness and security in each other as well as adventure
After the butterflies are over, they work on maintaining a little spontaneity in their relationship. Our human drive for security is strong, but so is our sense for adventure and edge. Happy couples try to keep things exciting by experiencing new things together. Perhaps it’s taking that trip to Southeast Asia, signing up for an improv class together, or as simple as trying new ethnic food.
- Happy couples handle their conflict by taking ownership
Not every conflict needs to be solved or can be solved. Sometimes it’s just about accepting them. But the ones that can be solved they work on. Perhaps its managing his difficult family, or arguing about a friendship she has that crosses boundaries in your relationship. Happy couples make an effort to empathize with one another and compromise to solve conflicts by taking responsibility.
- Happy couples are best friends with benefits
When couples become too comfortable and are nesting they sometimes neglect sexual intimacy. Happy couples manage being friends and lovers.
- Happy couples include each other in most aspects of their lives
Whether that’s hanging out with each-others friends (making new friends together), sharing an interest or hobby together, or including the other person in something you used to do alone when you were single.
- Happy couples also maintain independence
Maybe he has a boys’ annual fishing trip, maybe she has a girls’ weekly yoga class. You can share and do most things together if you chose, but be sure to enjoy some time apart to yourselves. This also allows happy couples to miss each other.
- Happy couples respect each-others differences
Happy couples respect and have open mind when it comes to their differences. Love doesn’t understand that his family background conflicts with your parents’ religious beliefs. Having different taste in music or movies shouldn’t matter either! Happy couples balance their different tastes, for example, he teaches her a new genre of music and he learns to enjoy watching romantic comedies with her. The big stuff like different ideals when it comes to money, religion, politics, those are the things that happy couples communicate early on in the relationship and come up with compromises together. Keep in mind that attraction is not something that can be predicted. Happy couples are open to their differences and embrace them.
- Happy couples treat each other like they want to be treated
The golden rule of treat others the way you want to be treated is great, but the platinum rule is treat them how they want to be treated. This includes loving him or her how they want to be loved. Happy couples know each other’s “love language”—quality time, verbal affirmations, acts of service, and physical touch.
- Happy couples share their story with excitement
Every couple has a story. But happy couples share the story about they met with excitement. Research suggests that it’s not about how you met that makes a good story but how you share that story through your facial expressions and enthusiasm.
- Happy couples understand no relationship is perfect
Happy couples learn that no relationship is perfect and that you can’t live up to the ideals of Hollywood or other aspirational benchmarks. Happy couples understand their partner isn’t solely responsible for making their life amazing.
- Happy couples make each other better
Happy couples strive to support each other’s dreams and passions. They encourage each other to be the best version of themselves and are there for each other as an emotional rock when failure happens.
It takes work to be in a committed, loving and healthy relationship. Happy couples recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and do not stop working on their relationship. It’s what we all want and should strive for.