Everyday shows of affection mean more than grand, dramatic gestures.
By Stephanie Hertzenberg
UnsplashUnhappy couples want to become happy couples, and happy couples want to stay happy. The best way to achieve or continue that state of happiness, however, is debatable. Some people swear that the best way to keep your beau happy is to go do things together. Shared experiences act to reinforce your bond with your partner. You have something that the two of you can talk about, but you also spent a decent amount of time together. Other people think that quiet, intimate time together is the easier way to keep your relationship a happy one. Everyone knows that poor communication is the beginning of the end for any relationship, so spending time having deep, honest conversations would keep both people on the same page. Still others think that the best method for keeping a partner happy is gifts or sex. None of these people are correct, but neither are they wrong.
There is no single key to having a happy relationship. There is not a magical formula or a fount of hidden knowledge that will tell you how to make sure you and your significant other are happy together forever. There are, however, certain habits that happy couples possess. Here are five things the happiest couples do for each other without being asked.
Everyone likes to know that someone is thinking about them, and your significant other is no different. Take a few minutes throughout the day to check in with them. This does not have to be a big production. It does not even have to be a lunch date. Checking in with your partner can be as simple as sending them a text asking how their day is going. These little check-ins are especially helpful if one partner is traveling. A text saying “just arrived” or “plane is delayed” can help your partner avoid feeling like they are cut off from you when you are gone. It will also ease some of the somewhat irrational anxiety that comes from being separated from your partner. If they know that you will check in with them when you arrive at the hotel, they will not spend all night wondering if your plane fell out of the sky.
Shutterstock.comThe happiest couples are generous with their partners. Generosity, however, goes beyond monetary generosity. While it is true that many happy couples give each other small “just because” gifts, they are generous with more than money. Happy couples are also generous with compliments and kind actions. Compliments don’t have to be over the top declarations that your partner is the best man or woman in the world, though these are always nice. Little things such as congratulating your girlfriend on her promotion or telling your boyfriend that his new haircut looks nice can make your partner’s day.
Kind actions can be big or small, but couples who have more of the little kindnesses in their life tend to be happier than those who focus on the big kindnesses. This is because the little kindnesses can be done each and every day such as making your partner’s favorite meal, letting them pick the movie or doing the dishes even though it is their turn to clean up after dinner. These little gestures remind your partner that you care and that you are willing to put their needs before your own.
Growing and maintaining emotional intimacy is where those quiet, honest discussions come into play. Without emotional intimacy, the relationship is lacking a solid foundation. To create and preserve emotional intimacy, you and your partner must be honest and open with each other. You need to be able to have discussions about each person’s hopes and dreams. You also need to be able to discuss concerns, fears or things that make either of you uncomfortable. If you hold back because you fear your partner will brush off your concerns or you are embarrassed by your own fears, you will struggle to create the emotional intimacy necessary for a happy relationship. You will always feel uncertain or slightly out of sorts. Your partner will also begin to pick up on the altered dynamic between the two of you. This can easily destroy a relationship, but if you feel uncomfortable being emotionally intimate with your partner, you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship with them in the first place.
Shutterstock.comPeople in happy relationships express their gratitude. They are thankful for their partner’s help and small kindnesses. If your partner washes the dishes for you because you had a long day, say “thank you.” If your partner moves your laundry into the dryer because you did not hear the washer’s timer go off, thank them. Make it a point to express your gratitude for the little things they do for you.
Be grateful for your partner’s presence as well. Keeping a grateful mindset will make you a happier person and more likely to appreciate all the little things your partner does for you. Remember that your partner did not have to choose you and does not have to stay with you. They feel, however, that you are worthy of a place in their life. They choose to spend time with you and decided to give you their heart. Be thankful that you were the person they chose.
Say ‘I Love You’
Happy couples express their love in actions, but they also say it with words. You should always show your love to your partner. Wash their car for no other reason than they like it clean, and you want to make them happy. Make their favorite dish for dinner one night just to make them smile. When they have had a long, hard week, treat them to their favorite restaurant and a nice glass of wine. Show them you care with little actions such as a kiss goodbye in the morning or a hug when they get home. Do those little things, but do not forget to use your words to tell them how much you love them.
“I love you” is one of the shortest sentences in the world, but it is also one of the most powerful. Hearing your partner say those three words makes your chest warm and your heart swell. Your partner gets that same feeling when you say those words to them. Make it a point to tell your partner you love them at least once every day, and make sure you mean it when you say it.Shutterstock.com
While grand gestures are romantic and exciting, the little things are what keep a relationship happy. Do small kind things for your partner, give them daily compliments and never hesitate to sincerely state how much you love your partner. If you can add a little romance and a little love into each day, you and your partner will be happy. So, stop waiting for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary to do something special for the one you love. They are here with you. That makes today special enough for whatever you are planning.