Recently I read an article that listed ten things a happy couple does right. Ten things a happy couple makes an effort to do, that an unhappy couple does not. Obviously, every couple is different because what works for them may not work for you. So it got me thinking, what do we do that puts us in the happy couple category? What are some habits I've grown to love, or things I feel are important in maintaining a healthy, happy relationship?
Ten Things This Happy Couple Does Right
Don't panic, the PVR will record whatever show you were waiting for. In our house, ready or not, we always go to bed at the same time. You may think this is silly but it's become a habit that I can't break. With a lot of his evenings spent outside the house at hockey or band practice, I get plenty of time to relax alone doing my thing. At night when we're home together is different story, I rarely choose Gossip Girl on Netflix over going to bed with him. Must I list the benefits of this practice? Didn't think so.
2. Saying Those Three Words.
... And then some. Adding love yah to the end of your phone call isn't going to cut it. I'm talking eye contact, channel your inner Rod Stewart and take advantage of that moment when you catch yourself looking at him in awe. Have you told him lately that you love him? Does he take away all your sadness? Fill your life with gladness? Well let them know.
Often I'll rummage through my email archives reading love notes that are almost a decade old, or, look through old pictures and journals. We end up laughing about that time when and before you know it, we're halfway down memory lane. For me it's not looking back at how things used to be, it's about retracing our steps. In each journal entry or photo that I saved I see that our love grew stronger as time passed, leading up to now. Memories of every season of every year spent having fun, being adventurous and growing together are treasures that will always live in my hope chest and be easily accessible. So do it, reminisce often. Right now, go back to your first kiss and try to recall every detail. Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
4. Take Pictures.
Capture the happy. Make memories. Need I say more?
5. Linger On The Little Things.
Being handed a cup of coffee in the bathroom while I do my makeup... Always finding a fresh towel hanging on the hook outside the shower... Knowing he has his morning coffee with my father... Finding his bank card in the cup holder left on purpose to cover an expense. These little things make my heart flutter and remind me that I am a lucky gal. If you don't notice and show appreciation for these little things, they will stop. Duh.
6. Hold Hands.
You'll rarely catch us holding hands in public, but in the car on a road trip or side by side on the couch? Of course! If your hands are idle at the movie theatre or in the kitchen while your waiting for water to boil, why not hold hands?
7. Surprise Each Other
I've finally come to terms with the fact that I will never get one up on G, he always has something in the works and his surprises trump all. A trip south would be nice and a new car would certainly win some brownie points, but a good old bouquet of flowers, a surprise bubble bath or reservations for dinner out would do the trick. Either way there is nothing nicer than a secret plan to make your loved one smile, and it's a joy to be on either end of the surprise.
8. Your Problems are YOUR Problems.
My parents, sister and BFF do not need to know we had an argument the other day. Something ongoing and really troubling can certainly call for venting and feedback from your trusted friends, but putting him down for something silly is wrong. You may forgive him, but you've created an impression that will last with everyone else. Your friends and family's judgment creates negative energy which will wear on you and eventually hurt your relationship.
9. Go To Your Corners
Knowing how to handle your partners mood is important. Have you read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? Then you'll know what I mean when I say let him go into his cave. Let the rubber band stretch until it comes springing back. Rubber bands, like your guys, always spring back after taking the space they need - unless of course they snap, in which case you have a serious problem. This works for G and I because it is crucial that I too, take some time to cool off or else logic escapes me and I end up blowing things out of proportion. I would rather go to bed angry and wake up with a clear mind than try to hash things out in the heat of the moment. Trust me. Space is good.
10. We Do Not Have To Be The Same, Like The Same, Do The Same.
I have to say, G and I don't have much in common. We don't share many of the same interests or personality traits but, it works for us. I love sharing things with him that are out of his realm of interest and he always surprises me with hidden skills and knowledge out of mine. It's good to have things that keep you separate from one another. For me it's writing, reading and being creative and for him it's being socially active with sports and playing music. I have accepted that we are different in many ways. He is logical, I am emotional. He thinks with his head, fair with reason, while I think with my heart always being empathetic. He sets priorities, likes to be in control and needs to follow a routine while I am flexible, always going with the flow, tuning out detail without considering consequences. He hears the beat and learns the tune and I hear the story and learn the words. We balance each other out and believe it or not, we fit together perfectly.
Can you list ten things that help keep your love alive?