The Secrets To A Happy Relationship
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The Secrets To A Happy Relationship

No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.

The Secrets To A Happy Relationship

Ever wondered why some couples are so happy even after being together for years, while others don’t last? It’s not mere luck that some relationships are successful. Happy couples have these 6 secrets:

1. They learn to communicate skillfully.

Open communication is key to a happy relationship. If you want something, ask for it. Remember, they’re not mind readers! You have to be honest, although it may be unpleasant sometimes.

It’s also a fact that all relationships will have conflicts. So when it happens, take turns. One person talks while the other really listens. No interruptions. And when you're wrong, admit it. Don't try to win an argument and make the other lose. After all, the end-goal of an argument is to improve the relationship for both of you.

2. They avoid destructive behaviors.

According to Dr. John Gottman, there are 4 behaviors that spell doom for a relationship:

  • Criticism: Putting down someone by attacking their character, e.g. Saying “You’re selfish.”
  • Contempt: Name-calling, eye-rolling, sarcasm, etc.
  • Defensiveness: Defending yourself and blaming others.
  • Stonewalling: When a person shuts down and refuses to interact, e.g. Ignoring, avoiding eye contact, and crossing arms.

These 4 behaviors are called The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which a couple should avoid doing at all costs if they want a healthy relationship.

3. They don’t try to change their partners.

You can influence each other to be better, but do not demand them to transform into your perfect partner. As research has shown, trying to change your partner doesn't work. The desire to improve has to come from within the person himself/herself.

So learn to accept your partner fully: their great qualities, flaws, eccentricities, and more.

4. They express appreciation.

Instead of pointing out the things you want your partner to change, what should you do? Focus on your partner's personal strengths! Admire them, never take them for granted, and give sincere compliments. Because who doesn’t love being appreciated for who they are?

In fact, research has found that those who idealize their partner and express that appreciation are more satisfied with their relationships. On the other hand, those who focus more on their partners’ flaws are less satisfied.

Admiring each other's strengths also fuels personal growth by bringing the best out of each other. Because when you idealize your partner, he/she will often work hard to meet that ideal.

5. They understand their partners’ love language.

Men and women are different, and as the saying goes, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.”

In a relationship, the way both partners communicate their love for one another may be different. In other words, they have different love languages. If you don’t know what your love language is, take it here.

As an example, take the couple Adam and Lisa. Lisa’s primary love language is words of affirmation, while Adam’s is receiving gifts. Adam showers Lisa with gifts to show his love for her. Lisa is happy, but isn’t very satisfied, because what she craves most is receiving words of appreciation. Yet Adam rarely compliments her! By learning about Lisa’s love language, Adam can make Lisa happier. The same goes for Lisa, who can put more thoughts into giving Adam gifts.

6. They have realistic expectations in relationships.

Unlike fairy tales, love in the real world is far from picture perfect. “Happily ever after” doesn’t exist, because there will be ups and downs. Couples have conflicts sometimes, and hey, that’s okay. Love does take some work.

You should also anticipate having alone time to give each other space. You know, doing things like pursuing your own interests, having your own friends, etc. This makes your lives not identical, which keeps things interesting!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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