Because You Know The Grass Isn’t Always Greener: The 14 Habits Of Highly Successful Couples

January 16, 2013  |  
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Like anything in life—your career, your friendships, your love life—it isn’t one giant push, or one grand gesture, or one successful day that makes you truly successful at it. It’s the small habits that you consciously practice daily. Here are some habits that almost every happy couple attributes their success to.

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Saying, “I love you” regularly

You’d like to think your partner knows you love him, simply because you are with him. But with time, everybody becomes insecure and can wonder if their partner is with them simply because they’ve stuck it out this long. Saying, “I love you” or “You mean the world to me” regularly tells your partner that you consider your relationship every day, and decide you’re still so happy to be there.

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Giving affection, even when it’s random

When you’ve been together for a while and real life has taken over your relationship (most of your conversations are about cleaning your apartment, picking up groceries, planning events), you can start to treat each other more like roommates than lovers. But if your partner just wanted a roommate, that’s who he’d be with instead. One of the perks of living with your partner is that cleaning dishes comes with little kisses on the neck, and taking a shower comes with someone sometimes stepping in with you. Don’t let those perks slip out of the relationship.

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Pointing out your partner’s great qualities

When your partner does something intelligent, say  “You’re so intelligent!” Don’t just assume he knows you recognize those things about him. One of the greatest parts of being loved is feeling that you are seen and appreciated for all that you are, every day. So show your partner that you see and appreciate him!

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Keep a balance between separate and united lives

The most successful couples say that, even when all they want to do is hole up for the weekend, they force themselves out of bed to go see their friends, or go meet up with their softball league or go do something that they do separately, as individuals. The flip side of that is that couples that lead very busy lives make a point of conjoining their lives whenever they can. One person sacrifices their event to accompany their partner to theirs. Maintaining a feeling of sharing your lives, while still having your own identities is paramount to fully enjoying a relationship.

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Tell your partner about your day, even when you don’t see the point

Even when you think he won’t understand your problems, even when you don’t want to talk about it for another second, tell your partner about your day. How else will he feel connected to you? Or feel that he has a chance to make you feel better, or perhaps advise you? It’s only fair that you give him that chance, just as he would you. Telling him about your day isn’t necessarily for you; it’s for him.

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Call each other on your BS

The happiest couples are also the most honest with each other. If one person is being selfish or irrational, the other calls them out! It feels good to have a sort of moral goalie in your life, telling you when you’re out of line. Couples respect one another for being so honest, and feel closer because they know the other person holds nothing back; they let them know when they’re not pleased with the other’s behavior.

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Wait out the bad moods

When your partner is in a bad mood, don’t try to fix it, don’t try to help him forget it, and don’t become angry yourself because your partner is in a bad mood. The smartest couples understand that everybody gets in a bad mood sometimes, and it’s just a wave that has to be ridden. Let your partner vent, and for the most part step aside so he can do what he needs to in order to cool off. When the mood has passed, he will see clearly how well you handled it, and respect you for that.

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Random acts of kindness

Simply picking up a pastry from your partner’s favorite bakery, or grabbing two tickets to a movie he’s been dying to see shows your partner that he’s in your thoughts all the time—not only when it’s forced, like around Birthdays or anniversaries. And it feels good to know someone is thinking of you all the time.

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Take a moment before you speak

We all can be jealous, reactive or overly sensitive. And within the definition of any of those words is irrational. Often we feel a strong, negative emotion towards our partner when they haven’t technically done anything wrong. Stable couples pause to recognize, “Is it really my partner’s fault that his boss made him work late? Is it really my partner’s fault that that girl wrote on his Facebook wall?” They take a step back to evaluate where (if any) blame should be directed. And resist the urge to take out their emotions on their partner.

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Keep a regular date night

Maybe you live together, or hang out every night, but that’s not really a date night. You’re probably both reading side-by-side, or working on your laptops. But you’re not really focusing on one another. Again, to keep from feeling like roommates, successful couples make a point to have regular date nights, where each person gets the chance to get dressed up and be charming and be seen as a se*ual, romantic individual. That’s a very basic need that has to be filled in order to be happy in a relationship.

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Keep a level head about the “the grass is always greener” theory

Even if you’re happy in your relationship, you’re bound to meet other people who you recognize are attractive and whom you are even compatible with. And, when you’ve been in your relationship for a while and the excitement of things being new has worn off, you may mistake that feeling of excitement; you may meet someone at a bar and see them as being more compatible. But successful partners practice the exercise of thinking, “What would it be like if I dated this person, instead of my current partner?” and recognize that eventually, everyone becomes old news. And that their partner has solid, respectable values that make them a great partner. So why mess with success?

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Ask “Would my partner do this for you?”

Whenever your partner wants a favor from you and you’re feeling totally lazy, ask yourself, “Would my partner do this for me?” If you do this you’ll often find the answer is yes, and then you’ll realize that that’s a big part of what makes being in a relationship enjoyable: having someone else to help you when you’re tired, or burnt out or just need a little help. And you need to pull your weight in that bargain.

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Asking “Is it worth it?”

Before you get into a fight about where to have dinner, or who forgot to put a new roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” Happy couples are very aware of what issues actually affect the overall health and happiness of their relationship, and ignore those issues that do not. They suck it up, and just change that roll of toilet paper themselves.

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Resisting the urge to investigate

You’re not crazy if you’ve been tempted to check that blinking message on your boyfriend’s phone, or look at his emails he left open. You’re normal. You may be a little crazy though if you give into that temptation. Once trust is broken (i.e. your partner’s trust that you won’t go snooping through his things) it’s very hard to get back. It’s tough and it has to be practiced every day and often multiple times a day, but successful partners practice resistance, and usually don’t have the temptation to snoop.

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  • Errr…

    In reference to keeping a date night (#10), the article states that, importantly, “each person gets the chance to get dressed up and be charming and be seen as a se*ual, romantic individual.”

    Huh? Since when did the word “sexual” become a curse word that needs to be edited? a) your features are clearly aimed at an ADULT readership and b) it is a descriptor of a natural, biological function (regardless of whether the reader is sexually active or not).
    What an unhealthy perspective to embrace on a relationship forum.

  • me

    I’m not even going to click on this “magaine’s” articles anymore — which also means, I won’t see the wonderful things they’re advertising that I might buy — because I won’t waste my time on going through slide shows any more. They waste too much of my time for the amount of new information they give.

  • angchronicles

    Saying I love you without showing it, still means the person has no clue of what love is.

  • Alana

    I really wish this sight would stop putting a bullet point on every single page. It’s so annoying.