August 01, 2017
The secret to happiness may not be as complex as you think. A healthy relationship isn’t just about jumping from one joyful moment to the next, but making the deliberate choice to make things work. Happiness, like love, requires time, effort, and understanding.
Here are some of the top habits shared by the happiest couples:
Believe it or not, a little bit of space is healthy for better bonds in relationships. In this digital age, it’s easy to get sucked into the bubble of constant communication. New couples may be especially tempted to check in with their significant others at various times throughout the day. If you want to stay connected, send a funny meme or quick snap, but save the important conversations for face-to-face interactions — like a conversation over dinner. And most importantly, don’t let your love become your only source of emotional support; it isn’t fair to you or them.
Whether it’s starting a binge-worthy Netflix show or working out together, sharing a daily ritual creates excitement in the relationship. The day can easily get away from you, so having at least one shared ritual gives you both an excuse to deliberately make time for each other. By making the ritual a daily habit, you’ll never miss a beat. And if it’s difficult to make a ritual stick, a commitment to trying new things together can be just as effective in keeping those internal butterflies fluttering.
Science shows snuggling up with your significant other releases high amounts oxytocin, a.k.a. the "love hormone." The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that a regular jolt of oxytocin can make your partner more attracted to you, and only you. The study showed that oxytocin levels in the brain jump whenever we make physical contact with someone important to us. Oxytocin triggers the release of dopamine in the brain, meaning we almost literally form an addiction to our snuggle partner. Call it love or call it a coziness addiction, a good cuddle not only raises your happiness levels, it can create a physical bond between two people that makes us just want more.
Happy couples are master communicators. They don’t let insecurities linger in the back of their heads, only to mention them in their next heated argument. Communicating your honest thoughts and feelings with your partner is key to keeping a transparent, healthy relationship. White lies or false expectations can lead to larger arguments and are never constructive. Answering your partner’s qualms with honest questions, rather than jumping to defend yourself, will always benefit the relationship.
Good partners are also active listeners. They listen to understand, not to respond or judge. Empathy for your significant other, while sometimes difficult, is necessary to practice in order to better understand and converse effectively. Everyone wants to feel their perspective is valued, and the discipline of active listening will help strengthen any relationship.
The key to happiness is supportive structure that makes loving easy! Bring your relationship to the next level by implementing these healthy habits today.