If you’re looking outside of your relationship and wondering why certain couples seem to make it look so easy, don’t sweat it. They likely work at it daily, and here are the secrets to how they make their happy relationship look effortless:
Love and happiness grow in a relationship when each partner feels appreciated for the practical and intangible gifts that they bring to it. Things slowly start to go downhill when we feel taken advantage of or unappreciated for our contributions.
Happy couples make a point of expressing appreciation at least once a day to their partner, and that is one of their keys to a successful partnership.
2. Make an effort to look good like you did when were just dating
I know this might strike a chord since there is more to a relationship than physical appearance. That said, in the beginning, you were likely making more of an effort for your partner than when you started feeling more comfortable.
If the only time that you are making an effort with your appearance is to impress strangers at a public event, or going to work, that is your cue to ask why am I making an effort for these people, but not my partner?
Happy couples set aside at least one day a week where they dress like they’re going somewhere special with their partner.
3. Cultivate friendship outside of your marriage
One person cannot fulfil all of our needs and when our partner feels the pressure of having to be all things to us, they tend to relate to us from a place of obligation rather than joy. The pressure of having to fulfil one person’s needs (when they’re still trying to determine what they need) feels like a heavy wet blanket to them.
Losing yourself in a relationship or becoming enmeshed is unhealthy and can lead to resentment.
Besides, when we have interests outside of the relationship, it can make us more interesting and lead to more fruitful conversations. Happy couples have mastered this part of the equation.
4. Create space for intimacy (sexual and otherwise) in your calendar
Once we are comfortable with our partner, it’s easy to put intimacy aside because it’s already been established and it’s easy to forget that it still needs to be nurtured. Even if we are not in the mood, we still need to set aside one night for intimacy and one night for movies, deep conversation, or time together doing something fun and out of the box.
Happy couples know that they always have time to make space for what’s important.
Since intimacy is an essential key to happiness in a relationship, we need to do what happy couples do and create space in our calendar for it.
5. Be present
Happy couples know that attentive listening or little love notes when our partner is going through something significant is essential to sustaining happiness in a relationship.
When we feel like we can’t count on the person who has agreed to be by our side for life, it chips away at trust and intimacy and can steadily spiral into a state that is much harder to extract our relationship from.
6. Love is a verb, not just a noun
When we treat love as an object outside of us, we expect it to do things for us. When we realize it is an evolving organism of sorts and that it shifts according to the ways we express it, it becomes more real and alive
Happy couples ask, what small loving acts can I share with my partner today? Or how can I be more loving with myself? Or what activities can I release to make more room to create loving memories with my partner?
The grass is greenest where you water it – of course, there will be things in any relationship that can be mild annoyances, but taking care of the important stuff (like on this list) will allow your relationship to flourish.
Consider these essential nutrients that fertilize the grass to keep it the greenest in your neighbourhood. Or the daily relationship vitamins to maintain a happy, healthy partnership.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Jennifer Longmore