1. Finding peaceful resolutions to disputes.
There’s no way in any relationship, no matter how perfect, that you’re going to avoid conflict altogether. Strong couples fight. It happens! But they also find peaceful resolutions to their arguments.
2. Spending quality time.
Life can get busy for us. You have your careers, your hobbies, your friends, maybe even kids, and it can add up to a busy schedule. But the happiest couples take time out of all that for each other. They spend quality time together.
3. Helping each other grow.
In a happy relationship, both people involved want nothing more than to see the other grow. They keep an ear to the ground for new possibilities that can help their partner grow and develop.
4. Having integrity.
Happy couples can trust each other and neither party does anything to jeopardize that. They live with integrity and expect fairness and reliability of themselves.
5. Having loyalty.
Being in a relationship isn’t about spending every waking minuter together. When not together, faithfulness isn’t considered an option but a requirement.
6. Respecting one another as people.
Part of a relationship is remembering that your partner is a flesh and blood human with the same hopes and feelings you have. You may not always think what they like is worthwhile, but it’s important to respect them as people.
7. Supporting one another during hard times.
And good times too. I’m no fan of marriage personally, but “for better or for worse” are words we can apply to every relationship.
8. Reminding themselves that all relationships are different.
Every relationship is different. Each one you have in your life, if you have more than one, is going to be a little different. So it’s important to remember that you can’t apply the principles and goals of your last relationship to your current one.
9. Putting an emphasis on listening.
Listening can be hard to get out of people sometimes. Smart phones, computers, video games, distraction after distraction impedes our ability to devote our full attention to anything. Make a conscious, dedicated effort to listen to your partner.
10. Being thoughtful.
It’s an art being lost these days. Picking up some flowers after work, surprising them with a gift they really wanted – keep it interesting. Be thoughtful.
11. Turning the bad into some good.
It’s hard to do, but the happiest couples use strife to their advantage and use the bad times to improve upon the good.
12. Having realistic expectations of each other.
Or even better, no expectations at all.