It’s said that two people are always happier when they’re able to keep the essence of their love and respect for one another alive even when they’re going through tough times. Relationships are never easy, and they require much more than love to be lasting or lifelong.
While there’s no magic formula to preserve the happiness that a couple shares, Mark Goulston, a psychiatrist, consultant, and international speaker, revealed 10 good habits that healthy couples have to the journal Psychology Today, and described how each habit strengthens the emotional bond between the partners in a relationship.
Go to bed at the same time
When your relationship is just beginning, it’s normal to want to go to bed together and share that special time at the end of the day together. Keeping this habit alive even as the years pass is one of the secrets to a strong relationship and maintaining happiness.
Goulston suggests that the dialog and skin to skin contact that occurs when you both go to bed together improve communication between the two of you and help preserve sexual desire.
Cultivate common interests
When a couple first meets, they may realize that they have very few interests in common. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t a good match; on the contrary, it could be an opportunity for both of you to start doing new things together and get out of your regular routine.
Still, to keep the relationship from being too co-dependent, it’s important to respect one another’s space and for each person to have activities that they pursue on their own.
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Walking hand in hand
Although it’s often ignored, holding hands can help establish a unique connection between you and your partner. Hand to hand contact produces pleasurable sensations that help maintain happiness in a relationship.
Goulston recommends always walking side by side and holding hands, instead of one person walking ahead while the other falls behind because they’re slower or stop to look at something.
Learn to trust and forgive
A couple’s union can be threatened by disagreements, arguments, fights, misunderstandings, anger, and other factors that don’t seem to have a solution in the heat of the moment.
To keep it from affecting your happiness, you have to learn to talk to each other and control your negative feelings before lashing out with hurtful words or doing something you know you’ll regret.
The best way forward is to avoid the outbursts and try to forgive and trust one another. These two ingredients form the foundation of lasting relationships.
Focus on the qualities of the couple
Bringing up the shortcomings of your partner isn’t healthy, and the only thing it will do is destroy your relationship.
It’s important to focus on the qualities of you both as a unit, and try to highlight them as often as possible. If you keep your eye on the good aspects of your relationship, you’ll see that it’s full of positive energy and avoid unnecessary fighting.
Use hugs to bring you back together
The power of a hug is amazing, and even more so when it’s with a partner. According to the expert, “The skin remembers the good touches” (love), “bad touches” (abuse), and “no touch” (neglect).
Obviously, happy relationships have an abundance of the “good touches,” which are given after a hard day at work, for example, upon return from a long absence, or suddenly and without warning.
Saying “I love you” and “good morning” every morning
To start the day off in the best way possible, and cultivate values like patience, respect, and affection, there’s nothing better that you can do than repeat these two phrases each and every morning. While everything must be proven by action, the power of these words also gives strength and encouragement, and with them, you renew your vows again and again.
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Similarly, saying “goodnight” helps end your day in the best way, showing that you want the best for your partner in spite of the difficulties of your day, how tired you are, or any potential issues that are weighing on your mind.
Calling during the day
As long as repeated phone calls or text messages don’t take on a form of “control” over your partner, Goulston says that a daily call can be a habit that keeps the members of a couple feeling close even when they can’t physically see one another.
Be proud to be seen as a couple
Happy couples tend to show their love in the social arena and when they’re in public. Without offending those around them, happy couples can hold hands and share a hug, a kiss, or any other sign of affection to show the world that they have a special connection.