The secret to a happy relationship is... well, there is no secret. It's a lot of little things that all add up to something right. But I firmly believe that the base of a happy relationship is communication. “Healthy communication in a relationship is important because it's the foundation of any partnership. Having the confidence to talk openly with your partner, regardless of whether the subject matter is positive or negative, is one of the true signs that you and your partner are practicing healthy communication,” dating expert and matchmaker Sarah Patt tells Bustle. “Listening, actually hearing what your partner is saying, and processing and responding without reacting overly emotionally is a sign that you are truly understanding what your partner has to say to you."
And communication isn't all about the big, deep talks. it's about the way you interact with each other on a day-to-day basis. Daily communications can reveal a lot about your relationship and can also do a huge amount to keep your relationship happy and healthy.
So how do happy couples communicate? Well, here are the things that they say to each other daily because it's all about showing just how invested you really are:
1. "Thank You."
Saying thank you, for the big and the little things, is an important reminder that you value each other. In fact, a study published in the journal Personal Relationships found that expressions of gratitude were an indicator of how strong your relationship was. In other words, more thanks equals a better relationship.
2. "How Are You?"
Happy couples check in on each other— and they do it a lot. " Couples greatly benefit from carving out time for intentional conversations dedicated to assessing the relationship and tweaking anything that's bothering either party,” Psychologist Dr. Karin Anderson Abrell tells Bustle. “Even if everything seems to be going along perfectly, it's wise to have these conversations to prevent minor nuisances from gaining momentum and becoming bigger problems.” You should take a moment to check about the big stuff— and the little.
3. "How Did ___ Go?"
Remember what I said about the little stuff? Remembering what your partner was up to that day— even if it was just a dentist appointment or the same job that they always go to— shows that you're tuned into each other. Following up on what you both have going on can be great for bonding and for your happiness levels.
4. "I Love You."
Happy couples say "I love you." every day. But, I might add that this is the only thing that they might not say it with the exact words. Some may. But if those words don't come easy for you, then you'll have another way of showing it— pet names, a little ritual, something. It doesn't really matter, as long as you say that you love each other every day, in one way or another.
5. "I've Got This."
Just stepping in with something little— grabbing their dishes, making the coffee, taking out the trash— is a big gesture. Happy couples both pitch in, so you should both be helping out every day.
6. "How Can I Help?"
Happy couples are always looking to help support each other, in the big picture and the small one. So, on the day-to-day, it might be talking about just how you can help make a bad day better. But it also could be about more significant things. "One way to become a better partner is by supporting your partner's dreams," relationship counselor Crystal Bradshaw tells Bustle. Asking how you can help is a great way to start.
7. "What Would You Like To Do?"
If one person is always calling the shots, it's not going to be a happy relationship. Eventually, resentment will build. Deferring to each other occasionally — and compromising a lot — helps keep relationships happy and heathy. So healthy couples make sure they're doing things that both of them enjoy, from what they have for dinner to where they go out.
It may sound like a lot of stuff to fit in, but in happy couples, it's just a part of the day-to-day. It's all about consideration and communication, so if you've got that going you'll be just fine.