1. They care about each other’s day.
It is easy to get so caught up in our own lives that we forget all about our partners’. Before going off on a rant about what a stupid jerk your boss is, give your partner a hug or kiss and ask, “How was your day?”
2. They embrace trust and avoid jealousy.
Our schools and workplaces aren’t segregated by gender, so how could we expect a person to not have friends of the opposite gender? Recall the tried-and-true statement innocent until proven guilty. If you accuse your partner of cheating without cause, what incentive do they have to be faithful when they feel like you don’t trust them no matter what?
3. They find common ground.
That initial spark is a glorious thing but there’s no denying that it can be fleeting. To keep your relationship interesting, find common hobbies and interests to pursue. If you don’t have much in common, explore something that is new to both of you.
4. They compromise.
We can’t have everything we want. If your boyfriend took you to a romantic movie he wasn’t that into, snuggle up with him during Game Night to return the favor.
5. They listen.
Do you really listen to your partner or are you just waiting for your turn to speak? Let them finish their thoughts and paraphrase them to make sure you understand by saying something like, “If I’m hearing you right, you feel like ______. Is that right?”
6. They deal with confrontation.
Fights are no fun but there is no point in delaying the inevitable. Putting off a confrontation will merely extend the duration (and unpleasantness) of an argument. If you did something wrong, damage control is best performed as fast as possible, so admit your wrong and explain yourself ASAP.
7. They help each other grow.
One of the most hurtful things in the world? When a person you love takes no interest in your personal hopes and dreams. If your partner is exploring an exciting job opportunity, support them. If your partner is training hard to become super fit, cheer them on. Be excited for your partner’s achievements as if they are your own.
8. They don’t hold grudges.
We are all human, and we all make mistakes. A bad day at work, nasty illness, or personal stress could make any of us say hurtful things we don’t really mean. As Marilyn Monroe said, “…if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
9. They express love.
“I love you” is a powerful expression that needs to be said daily. No matter how long you have been together, those three words will make your partner smile. If that doesn’t work you can send them to the spa (shameless plug)
10. They compliment each other.
When is the last time you told your wife how sexy she looks in that red dress? Have you told your husband that he looks like a real stud in that super fine suit lately? Without the occasional compliment, it’s easy to feel unattractive and under-appreciated.
11. They flirt.
Flirting isn’t reserved for high-school teenagers or the early stage of your relationship: it should be a regular occurrence. When you have kids, sex might not be a regular event, but remember that everything is better when you have to wait for it. You could send a text detailing the things you plan to do to them this weekend or simply exclaim how hot they look today.
12. They have inside jokes.
There should be things about your relationship that no one else “gets.” A sweet pet-name that everyone else thinks is icky. A ridiculous joke that no one else thinks is funny. An embarrassing story about a date-gone-wrong in your relationship’s early days. You get the idea.
13. They make time for each other.
No matter how busy you are, remember that your relationship is a priority. Just like a plant will rot without water, your relationship will grow stagnate without time together.
14. They value alone time.
This might sound strange since I just told you to make time for each other, but there can always be too much of a good thing. You should never be dependent on your partner for your happiness. Time alone will allow you to explore your own unique passions. A girls’ or guys’ night-out will give you a much-needed break from home life. The best way to grow sick of a person is to spend every waking moment with them. Maintain a little independence and your relationship will be stronger for it.
15. They do new things together.
A person can only do the same thing so many times before they get bored with it. If you go on the same date over and over again, you are setting yourself up for a moldy relationship devoid of fun. Go to a different restaurant that offers a delicious cuisine new to your taste-buds. Avoid the temptation to go to the same town or beach every year for vacation. It is a big world out there full of places to go and things to do. Life should be an exciting adventure, not a choreographed routine.
If you have any additional thoughts on things happy couples should do, please drop them in the comments!
**Editors Note: This article appeared online in Lifehack.org and was so good we had to re-post it for our viewers**