Though not all relationships are easy breezy, it does seem like happy couples have it a little bit easier, doesn't it? I think the goal in any relationship is to be happy. Happiness is where all good relationships start — it's the spark that causes you to pursue a relationship, and stay in a relationship. But why are certain couples happier than others? According to relationship counselor Elisabeth Graham, there are little things happy couples do that help them feel connected, loved, and heard, every day.
If you find yourself in a relationship that's struggling, Graham recommends perusing this list to see if there are any ideas you can adapt into your relationship to create a better sense of well being between you and your partner. Though not all relationships are meant to be, most require a little bit of elbow grease to stay happy throughout the years. "By taking inventory of the following little things happy couples do, and integrating a few of them into your every day routine with your partner, you'll be facilitating a more joyful environment for the both of you," Graham says. By creating daily habits that bring you joy, you'll be on your way to way to a happier relationship with your partner, and a happier you.
1. They Check In
"Checking in with your partner throughout the day lets them know you're thinking of them," Graham says. "Knowing your partner has you on their mind is an instant mood lifter." Whether it's a quick text, an email, a call, or a face to face moment midway through the day, popping into your partner's life to say hi, that you love them, or see how they're doing will brighten their day, and in turn brighten yours.
2. They Show Their Appreciation
Big or small, when your partner does something for you, it's important to show your appreciation. "A simple thank you goes a long way," Graham says. Though you can show your appreciation in other ways, it's important to verbally acknowledge your partner's efforts from time to time. "Partners who say thank you are happier."
3. They Create Fun
Rather than relying on the fun the come to them, happy couples create their own fun. According to Graham, couples who create fun with one another bond together. "The more fun you and your partner create together, the more bonded you'll be," she says.
4. They Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
No couple is perfect. Everybody has their low points, their moments of dissonance, their bad days. "Couples who learn not to call every little thing into question are often times happier for longer," Graham says. Nitpicking, according to Graham, can be the quickest way to kill happiness in a relationship. "Staying calm and taking your time to think things through is a key component to any relationship." Rather than latching onto the small things your partner does that might bother you, learning to let them go will be beneficial to your relationship, and also to your own state of mind.
5. They Give Each Other Space
No couple can spend every second of every day together, sometimes you need your personal space. "If you can't pick up on when your partner needs space, you and your partner should find a way to tell one another when you need some down time, so that you can both rejuvenate and fulfill your needs on your own, without having to rely on your partner for everything," Graham says. She adds that it's important for couples to have their own interests and to be able to spend time alone in order to be able to be happy together.
6. They Don't Keep Score
Partners who do things for one another without expecting anything in return are happier, according to Graham. "Through gestures and kindness, you build a stronger relationship," she says. "But in not expecting anything in return, and doing things because you want to do them, you have a much better chance of being happy." Instead of keeping score of who did what for who last, try not keeping score and see how your relationship soars.
7. They Listen
It's easy to hear a problem and want to solve it, but in a relationship, more than solving a problem, listening is important. "Simply listening to your partner, really listening to them, can make you both happier," Graham says. When you listen to your partner without trying to solve something, you have a better chance of actually hearing what they're telling you. When you feel heard in your relationship, you're much happier in the long run.
8. They Talk Things Through
Ignoring a problem only makes it worse. "Getting vulnerable with your partner is important for building trust in your relationship," Graham says. "Couples who trust one another are happier together." When you trust someone, you worry less about so much less. Talking with your partner openly and honestly, though not always easy, will foster a greater sense of happiness in your relationship.
9. They Create Rituals Together
Big or small, having a ritual with your partner can bring both of you joy. Whether it's a weekly date night, a game you play, or something you do daily together, like going for a run or taking the dog for a walk, having a ritual with your partner can create a greater sense of happiness, according to Graham. "Having something you know you can rely on with your partner is comforting," she says. Sometimes, it's the simplest things that make you the happiest.