A successful relationship requires a lot of hard work as well as a lot of give and take from both sides. To be happy in your relationship, you will need to be loving and understanding of your partner and be willing to make sacrifices for them.
Divorce rates have risen dramatically over the past few years, with as many as 45% of marriages ending in divorce. To make your relationship a happier and more loving one there are a few simple things you can do.
For 12 steps to a happy relationship, have a read of this.
Step 1 – Be honest
An important part of a healthy and happy relationship is honesty. Being honest with one another goes a long way to building up a healthy and long-lasting relationship.
Lying to your partner is never a good idea, not only will it cause problems if they find out, it may also cause trust issues between you. For instance, if you are planning on having a night out with your friends, don’t lie to your partner about it, be honest and tell them. If you lie, it will just look like you have something to hide.
Step 2 – Act like you just met
It might sound a little odd, but whether you’ve been together for a few months or a few years, spending time pretending you have just met will do wonders for your relationship. Make sure to ask each other one get-to-know-you question each day – the type of things you used to ask at the very start of your relationship.
Ask questions about what would you do if you won the lottery jackpot or what three things would you take to a desert island with you. Asking this type of question is an excellent way to keep your relationship fun and exciting.
Step 3 – Make couple friends
Whilst it is nice to each have your own sets of girl and guy friends, it is also nice to have a joint set of couple friends. Couples who hang out together with other couples often have happier relationships.
Studies have shown that having couple friends can make your relationship a better and more stable one. Not only do couple friends give you people to hang out with as a couple, they may also be more supportive of your relationship than your single friends.
Step 4 – Help your friend’s relationships
According to research, if your couple friends break up, your relationship with your partner is more likely to hit the rocks. So, it is a good idea to help your friends to create strong, stable and happy relationships, just like yours.
Step 5 – Make time for each other
Set aside a specific day or evening each week to spend time with each other. Don’t fall into the trap of spending most of your free time exploring separate interests, make time to do things together.
If there is a new hobby you want to try out, why not ask your partner to go along with you? Perhaps, it could be something you do together.
Things like having a movie marathon evening, or cooking dinner are simple, but effective ways to spend time together. Although there is nothing wrong with spending time with your friends and family, it’s essential that you make time for just you and your partner.
Step 6 – Don’t hold a grudge
Whilst arguments are a healthy part of a happy relationship, don’t hold a grudge. Make sure that you always sort your arguments out before going to bed or before leaving the house. Having an argument every so often is healthy, arguing every single day is not.
Make sure that arguments about specific issues, like money or child care, don’t come into other areas of your relationship. For instance, if you have had a tough day and your partner surprises you with flowers, that isn’t an excuse to blame them for spending money.
Step 7 – Don’t drink excessively
Drinking too much is one of the main reasons that relationships breakdown. If you or your partner drink large amounts of alcohol regularly. Such as having five drinks or more, it may be time to have a talk.
Step 8 – Do fun activities
Don’t spend your weekends sat at home watching the television, get out and do things.
Make plans to do a different activity every weekend. Spending time enjoying each other’s company is an important part of having a happy and long-lasting relationship.
Step 9 – Be intimate
Intimacy is an essential part of any relationship. Whilst sex is an important part of intimacy, there are also other ways you can be intimate with your partner. Cuddling, holding hands, and kissing are all examples of intimacy.
One of the main reasons that intimacy creates a happier relationship is because it increases the body’s amount of the feel-good love hormone oxytocin. Quantities of active oxytocin increase through physical contact like holding hands, hugging and having sexual contact.
The reason oxytocin creates a happier relationship is because it builds up trust and makes us feel happier. This explanation of what oxytocin is explains why it is so important for a happy relationship to contain intimacy.
Step 10 – Boast about your partner
Everyone loves being made to feel special. Make your partner feel good by telling all your friends and family how amazing they are. For instance, if your partner just got a promotion at work, make sure to tell everyone how happy for them and proud of them you are.
Step 11 – Make an effort
Just because you are in a loving and committed relationship, that is no excuse to stop making an effort. Don’t fall into the dangerous habit of feeling like you have no one to impress, make sure to go out of your way to impress your partner.
Just because you have found someone to love, that isn’t an excuse to stop cleaning your house or shaving your legs. Make your partner feel special by making an effort just for them.
Remember, it’s the small things that can make all the difference.
Step 12 – Surprise your partner
Make an effort to surprise your partner with a bunch of flowers or a little gift every now and then. Whilst you may think small gestures like a bunch of flowers mean very little, this isn’t true. Thoughtful gifts and gestures, no matter how small, are always appreciated.