There are thousands of articles online that talk about the “secret” to a happy relationship, but the secret isn’t really hidden at all. The truth is that every relationship is built on trust, respect and intimacy. Intimacy is a word often misinterpreted, and some couples try to make up for what they lack through physical interactions or emotionally-charged conversations that dissolve into arguments.
You can’t make any relationship work on just sex alone, and you’ll never be able to argue your way to happiness, either. If you want to improve your relationship, here are 10 things that happy couples never stop doing no matter how long they’ve been together.
Ask About Their Partner’s Feelings
You should never stop asking your partner, “How are you?” When you know someone for a long time, it may become second nature to assume how they feel in any given situation. Take time every day to ask how they feel, how they could feel more love and what you can do to communicate better.
There’s no room for ego here. It’s important that both partners always feel comfortable expressing their genuine feelings, and no one jumps to defend themselves when they really just need to say, “I’m glad you told me that. I’m going to work on it for us. Thank you.”
In between work, family and other responsibilities, couples can drift apart and feel unloved and unacknowledged. Taking just a few minutes throughout the day to send an email or text that says, “I’m thinking about you,” or “I love you,” makes a person feel cherished.
Go on Dates
If you don’t try new things, even a relationship with your soulmate can feel boring. Happy couples make an effort to try new things together, which means they look forward to date night rather than seeing it as another obligation. Instead of going to the same old restaurant, make a new recipe together. Plan a weekend getaway. Do something on each of your bucket lists.
Have adventures together, even if it’s just in your own backyard.
Look at Each Other
Happy couples make and hold eye contact with their partner all the time. Eye contact is the ultimate form of connection; staring into someone’s eyes when you speak conveys love, trust and interest.
Do Chilvlerous Acts
From opening the door to strolling arm-in-arm, happy couples never stop dating each other. If you stop treating your partner like they’re special to you, it’s inevitable that they begin to feel unappreciated and unloved. You have to show people that they matter.
Performing these subtle, romantic gestures aren’t just for the other person. They’ll also increase your own feelings of tenderness and affection.
Whether it’s “that outfit looks great” to “you’re beautiful,” never stop telling your partner little things you love and notice about them. Compliments don’t have to be grandiose; just telling someone the dinner they made was great or that being around them makes you happy goes a long way.
Simple but often forgotten, never stop saying “thank you” to your partner for all that they do. Even just letting them know that you’re thankful to have them in your life matters. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together or if you’ve vowed to love each other for life; people need to feel respected and appreciated.
Apologize and Mean It
Too many people use the words “I’m sorry” as a generic way to avoid an argument. But what would happen in your relationship if you stopped trying to defend yourself and genuinely apologized? Maybe your actions were misinterpreted, but a loving partner will always say sorry when they’ve hurt their significant other.
Don’t Stop Saying “I Love You”
In the morning before going to work, right before bed and just when you think about it throughout the day, let your partner know that you love them. Actions may speak louder than words, but verbal affirmations are equally important.
Kiss Each Other Goodnight
You can go to bed angry, but don’t forget to kiss your partner goodnight. Whatever you’re facing, you can get through it together. Knowing that you still love each other no matter what happened throughout the day can diffuse tension and reduce stress.
Respect Each Other’s Individuality
To be in a healthy relationship, people need to spend time alone pursuing their own hobbies and interests. Partners should respect each other’s uniqueness and encourage one another to live life to the fullest. There are plenty of experiences you can have together, but you should still be inspiring one another to live their own lives.