Secrets Of A Happy Relationship Every Couple Should Know

There is no “one size fits all” formula for establishing a healthy, fulfilling relationship, but there are some qualities and behaviors that are present in nearly all of them. You may have a grasp on the basics, but are you really up on the nitty-gritty of what it takes to thrive long-term? Here are a few secrets of a happy relationship that every couple should know.

  1. Arguing is good Conflicts are inevitable in a long-term relationship, and burying them in passive aggression and resentment is a recipe for a lifetime of unhappiness. Learning to argue with each other effectively is key. This means actually listening to what your partner is saying and trying to see things from their point of view. If you’re able to share your frustrations openly, you’ll be able to resolve them more quickly.
  2. Sharing housework If you ever needed confirmation that the patriarchy is alive and well, look no further than the division of household chores. Studies show that, even though women outnumber men in the professional workforce, they also do approximately twice as much housework as men. Couples who evenly divide their household chores and child-rearing responsibilities are demonstrating that they see each other as equals.
  3. Communicating Yes, it’s a cliché, but communication really is key. You have to be able to vocalize your anger, insecurities, boundaries, and needs without fear of stonewalling or defensiveness. The more you feel comfortable talking about your feelings, the more routine it will become. Talk about how you’re feeling every day, and it will make it easier to talk about the really challenging stuff when it inevitably arises.
  4. Having sex often Just because you’ve been together for a long time does not mean your passion for each other has to diminish. Healthy couples know that sexual intimacy is just as important years into a relationship as it is at the outset. Studies have shown that couples who have sex once a week or more are substantially happier than couples who have sex once per month or less. The intimacy of sex requires couples to focus on each other and associate their relationship with pleasure.
  5. Showing gratitude After a while, most people start taking their partners for granted. It can be hard to remember to say “Thank you” when they take out the trash for the four-hundredth time or make breakfast for you every morning, but expressing gratitude is scientifically proven to make relationships stronger. It shows that you notice the ways your partner goes out of his or her way to make your day better and that it makes a difference. Showing your partner how much you appreciate them is one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship.
  6. Being physically affectionate You shouldn’t confine your physical relationship to sex. Spooning, holding hands, and shoulder massages all work to bring you closer together. Because its purpose is to show love rather than to elicit sexual arousal, non-sexual touch has a wide range of outcomes. Couples who regularly engage in this behavior report more psychological satisfaction, emotional well-being, understanding with each other, healthy emotional attachment, and easier conflict resolution.
  7. Doing mundane activities together Share meal prep, work on your taxes together, drive your partner to work on your day off. The more you incorporate each other into the little moments in your day, the more your partner feels like a companion. You don’t have to plan a weekly date or bring flowers home every month. Share the little things, and you’ll feel more intimate than you would after five Valentine’s Days in a row.
  8. Treating your relationship as a separate entity Healthy couples recognize that relationships are hard work. Because of this, viewing your partnership as an entity that is constantly evolving and in need of attention is key. You cannot neglect it and expect it to work itself out. Your relationship needs to be fostered the way you would a business or a child. It will take on a life of its own, but it’s your job to make sure it’s heading in a positive direction.
  9. Understanding what makes them feel loved The five love languages can help you determine how your partner expresses love and how they like to receive it. You may express your affection through acts of service, such as washing the dishes or doing the shopping. But your partner may feel the most loved by words of affirmation or physical touch. Understanding each other’s love languages makes a couple more aware of each other’s affection, and makes them better at expressing their love in a way that the other will appreciate.
  10. Knowing it’s okay to compromise You don’t have to win every argument, even when you know you’re right. At the end of the day, it’s more important to “lose” but know that you love each other in spite of your differences than it is to “win” but feel judged, angry, and unheard. You will not be able to reach 100% agreement on everything, and being able to find an acceptable balance between your needs and your partner’s needs is crucial to a happy relationship.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.