10 Bedtime Habits That Can Predict If Your Relationship Will Last
You may not realize it, but what you do at the end of each day can affect the state of your relationship. According to research, certain bedtime habits can predict whether or not your relationship is likely to last. So it's super important to be mindful of your nighttime routine, especially if you live together.
"Creating a bedtime ritual or routine is important because it increases the likelihood that both partners remain connected and on the same page in terms of the status of the relationship," Christie Federico, M.Ed, relationship and sexual empowerment coach, tells Bustle. "The more partners take the time to check-in with each other, the more satisfied they will be in their relationship and the higher the probability of lasting long-term."
Your days can get pretty busy, so setting a few minutes each night to connect and catch up is a great habit for any couple to adopt. "Even 10 minutes a night without any distractions can go a long way," Frederico says. You can spend those 10 minutes doing anything you want. But if you're in need of a little inspiration, research and experts have you covered. So here are some bedtime habits that can predict if your relationship will last, according to research and experts.
1. You Work Out Your Problems Before You Go To Bed
"It’s inevitable that sometimes you’re going to get into an argument with your partner at bedtime," Todd Vandehey, dating expert and founder of Todd V Dating, tells Bustle. "No matter what, even if you haven’t resolved the fight, try not to go to bed seething and stewing."
In fact, a 2016 study published in the journal Nature Communications found that going to bed angry will make it harder for you and your partner to resolve your fight. When you're asleep, the brain reorganizes the way negative memories are stored. So if you're holding on to anger from a fight that hasn't been resolved, it's likely to stick with you far longer than if you had resolved the issue before going to sleep.
2. You Go To Bed At The Same Time
A 2010 study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that going to bed at the same time is especially important for women. According to the study, women were more likely to have positive interactions with their partner in the morning if their bedtimes were in sync with their partner's the night before.
3. You Have A Special Nightly Ritual You Do Together
For many couples, going to bed at the same time as your partner isn't realistic. So if it's difficult for you to do so, clinical psychologist Kelifern Pomeranz, Psy.D., tells Bustle that creating a simple nightly ritual can work really well. "Bedtimes often differ so when the first individual is ready to go to sleep they can ask their partner for a 'tuck-in,' a kiss, or whatever you come up with together," Dr. Pomeranz says. "This bonding ritual is great from an attachment perspective as it allows for non-distracted time spent together and feeling connected and cared for."
4. You Keep Your Phones Off Or Away
"The presence of technology is often very disconnecting and distracting, so it's always a good idea to have some time without technology to connect with each other," Frederico says. In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that "phubbing" or snubbing your partner for your phone, can undermine relationship satisfaction. So if you want your relationship to last, it's important to get into the habit of leaving your phone or laptop off or away. "While partners take time to connect, they should also leave the television and streaming services off to ensure they have no distractions and can focus on each other," Frederico says.
5. You Make Meaningful Eye Contact With Each Other
Research has found that couples who make mutual eye contact tend to have stronger feelings for each other. "Eye gazing, or prolonged eye contact, and touch, including cuddling or giving a massage, both allow for an increase in intimacy. Implementing both touch and eye gazing at once is a powerful combination," Frederico says. Either of these will allow both of you to be fully present and in tune to each other. Sometimes, you won't even need to say anything. As Frederico says, making eye contact is a great non-verbal way for you to easily communicate compassion and love.
6. You Say "Thank You"
A 2011 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that sharing your appreciation for your partner is important. Long-term married couples who consistently expressed gratitude to each other for two weeks, felt happier and much more satisfied in their relationship than they did at the beginning of the study. According to Frederico, making a nightly ritual out of sharing one thing you appreciate or love about each other is great for increasing connection and intimacy.
7. You Cuddle
A 2012 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that couples who cuddle more say they're happier in their relationship. According to researchers, cuddling is a "key expression of intimacy." Participants who cuddled with their partner frequently and for a longer period of time were more likely to say they had a deeper connection to their partner.
8. You Give Each Other Thoughtful Compliments
"Acknowledgment is essential in a relationship," Laurel House, relationship coach and host of the Man Whisperer Podcast, tells Bustle. "Just stopping to notice and acknowledge your partner will deepen your appreciation for them." According to The Gottman Institute, giving your partner positive feedback is important for any type of relationship success. It's also important to have five positive interactions for every negative one. As small as it may seem, one thoughtful compliment each night does count as a positive interaction. Make a habit out of doing it and your relationship is likely to succeed.
9. You Check-In With Each Other
A 2016 study published in the journal Society for Personality and Social Psychology found that people sleep a lot better when they have a partner who is loving and responsive to their needs. When you truly believe that your feelings and opinions matter, you tend to be much happier and satisfied with your relationship. According to House, the only way you can have your needs met is to check-in with your partner. "Clarity creates confidence and comes from communication," House says. Having ritual check-ins can give you clarity so you will have confidence in your partner and relationship.
10. You Make It A Point To Get A Good Night's Sleep
"A good night's sleep is essential for maintaining a good mood and a good relationship," Jonathan Prichard, sleep expert and CEO of MattressInsider.com, tells Bustle. In fact, a 2013 study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that a lack of sleep can cause couples to fight more. So if you and your partner have healthy sleep habits, your relationship can really benefit from it.
Creating a special nightly ritual for you and your partner to do can deepen your connection to each other. It can be as simple as kissing each other goodnight. Whatever you decide to, ending your day on a positive note can help your relationship last.