A happy couple is not a ‘perfect couple’ that comes together, but an imperfect couple that learns to enjoy each other’s differences, and works together every day to create something special. In other words, a great relationship isn’t luck and doesn’t just happen – it requires effort and care to endure and evolve in ways that keep both partners fulfilled.
Over the past decade, between the two of us, Marc and I have read hundreds of books on relationships, coached thousands of couples who were struggling to find happiness in their relationships, and interacted with over 100,000 subscribers (subscribe here) who continue to ask us questions and tell us stories on a daily basis about their relationships.
All of this has given us keen insight into the specific behaviors that make two human beings happy as a couple. We’ve literally watched couples go from “ready to break up” to being “on cloud nine” in a matter of weeks, simply by making subtle, effective changes to their daily habits.
Not surprisingly though, once these couples get it figured out, their newfound relationship habits become second nature to them, and thus, they never talk about them. Bystanders may witness their public displays of affection and contentment, but remain clueless as to the source of their happiness. So that’s precisely what I want to discuss today – the habits happy couples have, but never talk about.
- They practice self-care as individuals. – Relationships don’t create joy, they reflect it. Joy comes from within. Relationships are simply mirrors of the combined joy that two people have as individuals. What you see in the mirror is what you see in your relationships. Your disappointments in your partner often reflect your disappointments in yourself. Your acceptance of your partner often reflects your acceptance of yourself. Thus, the first step to having a healthy relationship with someone else is to have a healthy relationship with yourself.
- They stand together and refuse to let outsiders call the shots.– Relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside. So don’t let outsiders run your relationship for you. If you’re having an issue with your partner, work it out with THEM and no one else. You have to live your own lives your own way… that’s all there is to it. Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for that one special person. It’s our duty, and ours alone, to decide if a relationship is right for us. If you and your partner both agree that it is right, IT IS, and it’s worth working on, together.
- They respect their relationship as being a unique, incomparable bond. – Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s – not your parent’s, friend’s, coworker’s, or that random couple whose relationship seems perfect. Every couple makes their own love rules, love agreements, and love habits. Just focus on what you two share, and make your unique bond the best it can be. And keep in mind that all relationships have their ups and downs – they do not ride at a continuous blissful high. Working together through the hard times will make your relationship stronger in the end.
- They are intimate about everything. – Sex is not love. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, attraction and pleasure in sex are often mistaken for love. Sex is good, sex is great, but it’s the easy part. Intimacy is what makes relationships last. It requires honest communication and openness about concerns, fears and sadness, as well as hopes, dreams and happiness.
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