We can find happiness in all kinds of places, but there's perhaps nothing as special as being truly elated in the relationship with your significant other. Here we're breaking down the most important secrets to a happy partnership, according to studies that know what they're talking about. You might have heard some of these tips before, but it's time you get concrete examples of how to carry them out. Because no matter if you just got together or you've been married for five years, everyone could use a little guidance.
1. Communicate Better
We all know this, but what you might not know is that even the smallest things make a big difference.
- Couples who make important decisions or argue not through texting but by actually talking are better off. Who woulda thought?
- People in successful relationships just talk to each other a whole lot, i.e. five hours more a week than those in less happy relationships.
- It's OK to get mad at each other (duh) but those who are honest about their feelings from the start of a relationship are better off long-term.
- Happy couples try to defuse tension and fights by showing humor or affection or compromising. Unhappy couples? They criticize, roll their eyes, and name call. Not good.
2. Don't Be Boring
Happiness leads to more happiness, after all.
- Laugh with each other! That's what happy couples do, and it's among the top three reasons for relationship success. Here's an idea: go to comedy shows together, see funny movies, or host game nights.
- Pairs who have positive interactions every day are more likely to win at life. Examples? Cooking together; giving a compliment; showing you care by leaving a nice note.
- Reliving memories together when you both shared laughter is good for your companionship. So simple but so effective.
- So is sharing a new experience together, be it big (taking a trip) or small (taking a walk around the neighborhood). Hooray!
3. Support Each Other
The lesson: we all want to feel celebrated, but especially from our partners.
- Get ready to pop some Champagne. Significant others who are proud of the other's achievements and cheer one another on are happier than those who are less enthusiastic about big news.
- And those who not only congratulate ("Good job, honey!") but also ask questions and relive the experience with their S.O. are happier, too.
4. Knock the Boots
How many times have you said, "Maybe tomorrow night"? Stop that right now! (This playlist will help.)
- Is this a surprise? Having sex once a week as opposed to once a month increases relationship happiness.
- The happiest couples, though, have sex two to three times a week. Va va voom!