10 Little Things That Can Make Your Relationship Happier
A relationship isn’t an easy ride; in fact, it’s one of the bumpiest rides you’ll ever have, but strong couples learn to take the rough with the smooth, and they learn how to ride the storm together.
If your relationship has been a little bit under the cosh recently, and if you’re both looking for a pickup-me-up, take a look at what our experts have to say on the subject and put some happiness back into your relationship.
1. Eat Together
If you’re one of those people who gets frustrated and snappy whenever your hungry, you’ll know that a hearty meal suddenly transforms you into a happier, shinier version of yourself. And if you’re not one of these people, the chances are that you’ve had to deal with someone who snaps when they’re hungry, but who turns into the nicest person on earth once they’ve had a steak.
So why not eat together with your partner? Eating out – either indoors or outdoors – will ensure that both of you satisfy your hunger at the same time, and it will encourage conversation. Nourishment is not good just for the body, but its also good for the mind, and eating out will also help you both to try new restaurants together – which is an ideal thing to do together. It gets you out of the house, and it makes you feel good.
2. Be Tolerant Of One Another’s Changes In Looks
Okay, so your partner has developed a bald spot. What are you going to do about it? Call them Baldy? Tell them to consider getting a wig? Tell them they’ve just stepped down a level on the attractiveness ladder? Say that Brad Pitt isn’t bald? You could – but this wouldn’t be very fair. Neither would it do anything for the happiness of your relationship. People change physically as they get older, and you need to be more tolerant of each other’s changes.
3. Go To Bed Together (and we don’t mean what you think…)
No, we don’t mean sleep together – although that is a very good tip, too. Perhaps we’ll use that one later on! But so many couples admit that they don’t even hit the sack at the same time. This is pretty criminal, because going to bed together is pretty much the best time you get to spend alone together. If you’re a night owl and your partner is an early bird, just get comfy with them until they drift off. And if it’s still early, you can always slip off for a bit more television.
4. If One of You Is Successful, Celebrate It
If one of you is successful, rather than force a smile and say: “Sorry, we’ll talk about it later, I’m cooking dinner, can’t you see I’m busy here, hun?”, take the time to celebrate it. It’s not enough to just give your partner a pat on the back here; you need to share their excitement. You’d always offer your support in times of need, but by offering your excitement when your partner does well, you’re showing that the pair of you are a real team.
5. Be A Better Listener
It’s well known that guys are notoriously bad listeners, but in a couple you both need to work on this aspect of your relationship. Too many of us don’t really listen to our partners; we’re just waiting for our turn to talk. Instead, you both need more empathy and affection and you need to quell the urge to interrupt.
Even when they’re going on and on and on and on and on. And on and on and et cetera.
Just deal with it, yeah?
6. Make Them Coffee
According to the movies, we all love the big gestures. The HUGE flowers, the fast car, the vacation to the Bahamas. In reality, though, one of the best ways you can make your relationship happier is by offering a small gesture – such as a cup of their favourite coffee. The next time they’re settling down to watch their favourite movie, brew up.
Plus we can’t all afford those fast cars, can we?
7. Hug more
Simple, but oh so effective! Nonsexual touching, such as hugging, is very rewarding and helps to keep your relationship booming. If you haven’t been together for too long and are feeling a little down, by hugging more often you’ll start feeling more comfortable around each other again – and you’ll start feeling happier. When you hug your partner, you’re sending them a positive message.
8. Talk About Something Different
You know how the post-work conversation goes.
How was your day?
How were the kids?
How’s Sandra’s cough?
Has George in HR sorted out his skin condition?
This meal is nice, yeah?
You gonna eat that?
To make sure your relationship is happier today, you should try and chat about something different for once. Perhaps engage your partner about something exciting and interesting. Think about your common interests and come up with a fresh question. It could be about art, film, music, literature – anything.
9. Meet In The Middle
One of the reasons we become unhappy as a pairing is because one of us wants to do this and the other wants to do that. You want your partner to go to your mother’s dinner party, whilst he wants to go to the game. But if you’re going to stay together, you’ll have to work together.
A happy relationship is built on communication and compromise, and to meet in the middle on important issues, you’ll have to employ some serious teamwork.
And remember: There is no ‘I’ in team!
10. Go Back To The First Year
If you’ve been in this relationship for over 3 years, you might want to go back and try something you did during your first few months together when that sparkle, interest and happiness was at its strongest.
Think back to the places you went on dates – galleries, museums, vintage shops, seaside towns – and consider returning to one of them. This one works really well, because, after 3-5 years of being together, we tend to get stuck in a rut of doing the same things. The gallery becomes replaced with the kitchen, the museum is replaced with the lounge, and the seaside towns are replaced by the front garden. And this kind of tedium can make us unhappy.
What makes a healthy relationship? What are your tips for making your relationship happier?