Relationships are a beautiful thing, but they do take work.
What happens after the honeymoon phase? Or what about when the butterflies go away?
There are little secrets with love, relationships, and marriage that make a happy and healthy couple last a lifetime.
Whether you’re currently in a relationship, married, or seeking a partner, these 11 habits will set you up for success in your relationship.
It’s never too late (or too early) to start working on your relationship. If you’re looking to feel happy and satisfied in your relationship, this is the post for you.
11 Habits That Create Happy (and healthy) Relationships
- Express your feelings – As some experts suggest, it’s never a good idea to go to bed angry. To resist that temptation, express your feelings throughout the day. Bottling up your emotions whether it’s anger, grief, sadness, or frustration will only add physical stress to your body. Think of your body as a boiling pot when you bottle up emotions. If you never release any feelings, one day you “boil over” and let everything out. It creates a huge mess. To avoid this, express how you feel. Share your thoughts and talk things through. Experts suggest waiting until you’re calm to begin the conversation. Also, take responsibility for your feelings by using “I” messages such as “I think”…or, “I feel.” Be patient with yourself because expressing your feelings can feel scary as you’re being very vulnerable. Don’t worry because it’s healthy and takes practice.
- Let go of the small things – Here’s the truth. The only thing you have power over is how you spend your time and energy. Wasting your energy on worrying about whether or not your partner put away the dishes is a waste of your energy. Instead, focus on accepting the things you cannot change. Happy couples resist the urge to complain about the small stuff because, in reality, it’s just not worth it.
- Give each other space – Creating space for one another is very healthy in relationships. Being with each other all the time is great, but allowing room to breathe is equally as important. Allowing space for one another helps us reset and gives our mind and body room to miss our partner.
- Remove the pressure of being a perfect couple – It’s easy to get lost in the shows and movies we watch. Hallmark does a great job at creating picture-perfect couples who argue (maybe) once then fall madly in love. While there is something to be said for a good Hallmark movie, relationships are not always picture-perfect. Take your relationship one day at a time and remember that you are unique and special in your own way. There are no rules for a perfect relationship.
- Keep some things off social media – While we all love social media, it’s important to keep parts of your relationship off the gram. That is Instagram. Or, any other social media app you use. Keeping things between you and your partner allows you to live in the moment and takes the pressure off of everything looking perfect. Keeping your relationship off social media removes the comparison game or “imposter syndrome” many of us seem to know very well.
- Make time for yourself – Taking time for yourself allows you to tune into your needs and desires. unfortunately, the saying, “I spend time looking after myself” is so rare to hear. Every now and then, take a few hours to yourself for some self-love and care. Solo time to think and breathe clears the mind, body, and soul. Time for yourself means clearing your head and focusing on YOU. Take on a hobby without the worry of whether or not your partner is having fun. You’re having fun and that’s all that matters at the moment.
- Keep things exciting – If you’re in a long-term relationship, get those butterflies kicking right away. Plan a romantic getaway or put on a new outfit that you would never normally wear. Spontaneously kiss throughout the day and schedule more date nights. There’s a reason they say it takes work in relationships.
- Communication – According to experts, the best way to communicate with your partner is by listening carefully and staying present. Sounds easier said than done, huh? However, while you’re in conflict, try to see their point of view by staying as present as you can and listening to their words. Own up to your mistakes and take responsibility for your actions by using “I” instead of “you.” These simple changes will drastically change the way you communicate with your partner.
- Don’t expect your partner to change – There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t change your partner. One, your partner will never change. The saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” rings true to this habit. Become a supportive partner by encouraging them to be their best self. Asking your partner to change their ways just won’t work. Instead, start celebrating their individuality and stop sweating the small stuff they do.
- Being each other’s biggest cheerleader – Show interest in your partner’s passions and cheer them on along the way. Doesn’t it feel good when you have someone cheering you on? No matter how big or small their goals, dreams, and ambitions are, YOU cheer them on along the way.
- Respect – While this one should really be at the top of the list, I’ve decided to keep the best for last. For a great relationship to last, there needs to be a high level of respect from both parties. That means respect from you and your partner. Acknowledge, appreciate, and show gratitude for your partner and the relationship you two share.
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind / And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
—William Shakespeare, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Check out these 3 TED talks about marriage, relationships, and love:
- The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown – This Ted Talk shares why vulnerability is absolutely essential in how hiding and running away from our emotions worsens any situation. This Ted Talk will inspire you to show up, face fear, and move forward.
- The Person You Really Need To Marry by Tracy McMillan – McMillan shares why your healthiest relationships will only be as healthy as your relationship with yourself. This is a must-watch.
- A Better Way To Talk About Love by Mandy Len Catron – The words we use are powerful and the language we use matters. The bottom line is that words are powerful.
Remember that all relationships go through ups and downs. If you’re not where you would love to be right now, that’s ok. Relationships take work, commitment, and communication.
Follow these 11 habits mentioned above for a meaningful, fulfilling, and healthy relationship.