I love it when couples are so gosh darn cute that you could vomit. Jamie and Doug (from Married at First Sight, for those of you who don't know). Faith and Timmy. Brad and Angelina. What are their secrets? How is it possible they are so damn happy all the time? Unfortunately, none of their publicists got back to me. Luckily, the secrets of happy couples are very universal, and can be applied to anyone from Bangkok to Boston.
Happy harmonious relationships are not about fireworks and roses every day. After all, life isn't an episode of The Bachelor. Relationships come with more up and downs than a roller coaster sometimes, but if you focus on building your relationship every day, rather than just on the big occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day), you'll have enough glue to stay together. Imagine a building made just of the main pillars, with none of the filler material like concrete or walls. It would fall apart like a game of Jenga (I'm really working on those analogies).
Even if you are in a happy relationship, it doesn't hurt to keep use some of these tips to keep the home fires burning. After all it's all the little things that count.
1. They're Touchy-Feely
I'm not talking about swapping spit or getting fingered at a bar (I actually saw this once). Think more holding hands and sliding your arm around their waist. It's been proven that PDA makes couples happier.
2. They Put Their Phones Away
I know it's hard, but sometimes you have to stop checking your emails for five seconds so that you can actually connect. You know, like, with another human being and stuff. You can comment on each other's posts at work, like everyone else.
3. They Say "I Love You" On The Regs
An "I love you" once a day keeps the divorce lawyer away. At least, that's what I always say. It's not enough to assume your partner knows you love them. You've got to say it! Affection comes in many forms, and words are one of them.
4. They Sleep Together
No, you horndog, I'm not talking about doing the deed (although that's important, too). I'm talking about going to sleep together. Cuddling up next to the person you love is essential for bonding. It's OK to stay up late some nights, but if you spend most of your evenings by the computer or the boob tube while your partner is sleeping, you're killing your relationship softly (had to get a Lauren Hill quote in there).
5. They Communicate
Which means no nagging, nitpicking, or otherwise being a pain in the ass. Couples with harmonious relationships talk to each other when they have beef. They don't trade barbs. If you're upset about something, don't keep it in. You'll just end up blowing like a pressure cooker.
6. They Have Shared Interests
He may not share your love of gardening and you may not understand his obsession with Monday Night Football, but you should share common interests and activities that are fun for the both of you — and make a routine out of them. For you guys, it could be walking dogs at the animal shelter. Or trivia. Or canning tomatoes.
7. They Say "Thank You" On The Regs
It's really the little things that make all the difference, and couples who thank each other show that they appreciate one another and value their relationship. It's not just about being polite — saying "thank you" more can actually boost relationship happiness.
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