As a couples therapist, I have noticed a few habits common to many happy couples. Whether you’re in the dating scene or committed, these habits can help you to build and maintain a happy, healthy relationship.
1. Asking about your partner’s day.
Couples who ask about each other’s day tend to build a strong friendship and fondness for each other. Showing interest in your partner’s life and work is vital. Couples who genuinely listen to each other and engage in conversation stay informed of each other’s feelings, which feeds into that connected closeness common to happy couples.
2. Giving each other space when needed.
In my practice, I’ve noticed that happy couples know when to give each other space. The ability to give someone space comes from a place of compassion and understanding. Giving your partner space means that you don’t become defensive to your partner’s bad mood because you understand that it might not be about you. You can give your partner space to share what’s going on when they are ready, or you can check in with them after a little while.
3. Letting go of your partner’s bad mood.
Happy couples are in the habit of letting go, which is the next step after giving each other space. When your partner seems irritated or angry, let it go rather than allowing their mood to ruin your day.
To truly let go of your partner’s bad mood, don’t engage. Whether your partner is upset at you or something else, if you don’t engage it helps them let it go faster. If their bad mood is about you, you can let them know you’re open to listen when they are ready to share their feelings.
4. Being flexible.
Happy couples are flexible. They meet each other halfway on things, and they mutually respect their differences. If you’re open to doing things differently and giving your partner their way sometimes, you’ll be happier. Couples who share in the decision-making and make compromises typically feel more comfortable and content in their relationships.
5. Distracting yourself during arguments.
The reason we get into arguments is because we want the other person to see our point of view. It can be hard to stop arguing when the other person doesn’t see things from your perspective. So the next time you argue with your partner, try calling your girlfriend, catching up on work or doing something with the kids. Distracting yourself gives your nervous system a chance to calm.
Often, those moments of clarity about a situation come to us when we’re calm, and when we’re doing something else. So try to step away when you begin to argue in circles. It will likely help you understand the situation more clearly.
If you haven’t already, try these happy-couple habits and notice how they affect your relationship.