Building a happy relationship takes time and effort. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to put in some work to ensure that your marriage stays strong throughout the years. Adopting certain habits can help your union with your other half to flourish, even during difficult periods of your life together. Here are our top 10 habits of happy couples…

1. They go to bed together

Remember when you first started dating and you couldn’t wait to go to bed together so that you could make love? Well, there’s no reason why this should change. It can be tempting to go to bed at different times, particularly if one of you likes to stay up later to watch TV or read. However, the happiest couples resist this temptation, preferring to slip into bed with each other and enjoy those delicious feelings of uninterrupted intimacy. When sleep patterns diverge, it’s harder to keep a connection with your spouse, and this can lead to one or both people feeling unhappy with the lack of closeness in the relationship. Fortunately, this problem is easy to fix. Simply get into the habit of going to bed at the same time and you should see and feel that sense of closeness return.

2. They find shared interests

interests couplesOnce the passion has settled down in your relationship, you may be shocked to realize that you have few shared interests. This is common, but it’s nothing to worry about. Happy couples develop shared interests if they’re not already present, trying new activities that neither has done before. It doesn’t matter whether you both enjoy eating out at great restaurants, checking out local bands or participating in a spot of deep sea fishing! It means that you’re spending valuable quality time together, and this can really strengthen your relationship. It’s also a good idea to have interests of your own, as this will make you a lot more interesting to your partner, whilst preventing you from becoming too dependent.

3. They break routine

Do you feel like your relationship is stuck in a rut? Then don’t despair. If you’ve been together a while, this is perfectly normal and if the bond you share is meant to last, you can easily tackle this together. If your relationship feels like a routine, you need to make a change, else you’ll find things become tired and stale very quickly. Happy couples break routines and keep things interesting and unpredictable. You should be spontaneous and surprise each other with fun new activities every so often. Your relationship will be all the better for it and will inject a sense of excitement into proceedings!

4. They spend time apart

Spending lots of time together is undoubtedly important in any relationship, but to keep things on the right track, you also need to spend time apart. You need to do your own thing every so often to remain independent. When a couple spends too much time together, co-dependency can be created, which is unhealthy. Happy couples maintain healthy boundaries and a good level of autonomy. What many people don’t realize is that relationships don’t create joy, but reflect it. Real joy comes from within, and so it’s important to focus on yourself as an individual, rather than one-half of a couple. The first step to having a happy relationship with someone else is to have a happy relationship with yourself. If you’ve stopped going out with friends because you’d rather stay in with your partner, this can be a bad sign, as it can mean that you’re losing your independence.

5. They make communication key

Man-and-Woman-Giving-High-FiveGood communication is one of the secrets to a happy relationship. It can prevent needless arguments which occur regularly and help to avoid misunderstandings that may cause anger, hurt confusion or resentment. It’s a good idea to set aside a time to talk to your other half without the risk of interruption. It’s important to remember that your partner isn’t a mind reader. You need to share your thoughts if you want them to know how you’re feeling. Provide them with the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable. If thoughts and feelings remain unspoken, problems may arise now or in the future.

6. They don’t play games

If you want a happy relationship, don’t play games with your partner’s head and heart. Lying and cheating are reasons why couples break up, so it’s simply not worth it to risk it. If your relationship is held together with dishonesty, it can crack and crumble quite easily. Take note that once a promise is broken, sorry often means nothing. For most couples, there’s no going back, and if they do, there will likely always be a sense of anger and distrust lingering in the shadows. So, before you sign up to an us dating site  or turn up the flirting with a colleague at work, think again. Make sure never to mess with your partner’s feelings. Always be open and honest with your other half if you want your union to flourish.

7. They put their phones away

Couples phones awayWhen you spend time together, you shouldn’t have to compete for each other’s attention with a mobile phone. You should focus entirely on each other. Devote 100 percent of your attention to your partner, rather than scrolling through countless inane posts on Facebook. Take a break from technology and really enjoy your partner’s company. Happy couples know that social media can wait until you’ve shown your other half the attention they deserve. Nothing kills romance quicker than pulling out a mobile phone, and so if yours is constantly glued to the palm of your hand, you could be unwittingly sabotaging your relationship with your other half. Smartphones can have a positive influence as being able to communicate quickly and easily with your loved one via calls and texts, however, there is a dark side of mobile phones that you need to be aware of!

8. They show appreciation

When you see your partner every day, it’s easy to forget to show them that you appreciate them. You may think it, but chances are you rarely show it. Happy couples demonstrate their appreciation for their other halves regularly, expressing their love and commitment through words, flowers or even acts of kindness. Showing your loved one that you appreciate them will keep your relationship strong healthy and happy. Appreciation is important in any relationship. Appreciating your spouse will make them feel good about what they do and feel better about themselves, urging them to go on with new energy and determination, which can only strengthen your relationship.

9. They focus on their partner’s positive qualities

Getting caught up in your partner’s negative traits could signal the death knell of your relationship. It’s important to realize that nobody is perfect, even your spouse. So rather than obsessing over how your partner walks too slowly or eats with their mouth open, think about all their good qualities. After all, they must have them or you wouldn’t have got into a relationship with them in the first place! Happy couples resist the urge to drink out of the half-empty glass and make a conscious effort to focus on the good instead. It’s important to be mindful of your partner’s good qualities, even if toxic thinking has you convinced that he or she has too few. Focusing on their good traits will help you to remember the real value of your relationship.

10. They stand strong together

couples stand strong togetherHappy couples stand together and never let outsiders run their relationships. Relationships don’t always make perfect sense from the outside, and so it doesn’t help to let friends and family call the shots. If you’re arguing with your partner, don’t make the mistake of running to other people. You need to work it out with them, face to face. Only you can decide if the person is right for you, so don’t put your relationship in the hands of others who don’t truly understand its dynamics. Chances are, there will be someone who disapproves of your relationship and who dislikes the person you have chosen to spend your life with, but you simply have to ignore them, otherwise, it can really drive a wedge between you and your partner.

A happy couple is not two perfect people that come together, but rather two imperfect people that learn to enjoy each other’s differences. They work together every day to create something very special. A great relationship doesn’t just happen, but it requires great effort to endure and grow throughout the years. The happiest couples adapt certain habits like those above to ensure that their relationship goes the distance.

A habit is a subtle behavior that you carry out automatically. It also takes a minimal amount of effort to maintain, which means there are no excuses! Experts say that it takes 21 days of a new behavior to become a habit. So, why not select one of the behaviors in the above list and do it every day for three weeks? It won’t be long before it becomes a habit and begins to make you happier as a couple.