Happiness in a relationship is more than just luck. It takes daily effort, practicing healthy habits, and consciously choosing to work as a team to build a healthy relationship.
A happy couple isn’t always like the one that’s portrayed in Hollywood movies or TV shows. They aren’t perfect, but they put in a lot of work into making sure that their relationship works.
There are a few habits of happy couples that are pretty common. It’s the things they consciously do (and don’t do) that make their relationship strong.
There are plenty of articles about all the things you should do in a relationship to make it stronger, but the real secret behind the happiest couples is the things they don’t do.
Here are 13 things happy couples don’t do.
1. Happy couples don’t complain about their relationship to friends and family
This is a big one because there’s no way you can go through life and never ever say a bad word about your partner to anyone. It’s just not realistic.
However, there are some couples out there who are constantly complaining about their partner to their friends and families.
It’s a pretty ugly habit for a multitude of reasons. It’s an extremely one-sided behavior. Their partner isn’t there to defend themselves or explain their perspective.
It’s all a bit “he said, she said”. Much of it is based on strong emotions too.
Also, it’s unclear what the goal here actually is. Is it to seek pity? Is it to ask for advice? Is it to just unload the negativity onto others?
Whichever it is, it’s not the nicest habit and it’s not nice to drop this kind of information on others.
Happy couples simply don’t do that kind of stuff. They know that it’s important to keep their relationship to themselves.
A sign of a happy relationship, therefore, is no incessant complaining to others about it.
At the end of the day, only two people dating know what their relationship is truly like and there’s little point involving others in it.
An issue could also arise if friends and family see this behavior as cart blanche to start expressing their opinions and getting involved.
Next time you have some girl time with your friends, don’t use it as an opportunity to complain about your partner. It’s just not healthy.
Not only will it make you feel guilty after, but it will also make your friends think your relationship is worse than it might actually be.
2. Happy couples don’t compare themselves to other couples
Every couple is different and unique. Sure, some will have more money, others will have five children in the course of 10 years, others will have a huge house or amazing careers.
A happy couple knows that they shouldn’t compare themselves to others. It’s just not healthy or beneficial.
The truth is that every couple has their own timeline and their own path. If you spend time with other couples, try not to fixate on where they are in their relationship journey.
Focus on your journey and what makes you two happy.
Don’t let other couples put pressure on you either. This is your life and your relationship. It should only ever be about the two of you, and nobody else.
It’s okay if everyone is getting engaged but you and your partner aren’t there yet. It’s fine if others are rushing to buy a house and you two are still happy renting.
Take your time and don’t sweat it. The grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.
3. Happy couples don’t take themselves too seriously
A happy couple is one where the two partners don’t take themselves too seriously – as individuals and as a couple.
What’s the difference between Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, and Beyonce and Jay Z? The former poke fun at each other all the time – including publicly.
They are not afraid to tease each other, be authentic, and share funny stories about each other with others. They are relatable, which makes them the heart of any party.
Beyonce and Jay Z are the epitome of a power couple. That’d never laugh at each other in the public eye. That’s what also makes them a bit unattainable and too perfect.
When it comes to who you are as a couple – you probably don’t want to push people away by appearing to be stand-offish and inauthentic, right?
Make sure you know how to have fun. That includes dating, being spontaneous, laughing often, and keeping things light.
Laughter and good vibes are the best things about being in a relationship – even when things are tough. It’s your choice, as to how you will react and how you handle the stresses of life.
4. Happy couples don’t fight ugly
Fighting is a natural part of every relationship, and you’re lying to yourself if you think you can avoid arguments.
The health of your relationship isn’t measured by how few fights you’ve had, it’s measured by how you fight and how to have made up after.
A happy couple looks for the good in each other and they assume good intentions. They don’t wage a war on each other each time they disagree.
Fighting fair means being able to hear the other person’s side of the argument, not overreacting, and being patient.
Fighting fair means:
- Listening to understand, not just to respond
- Respecting the other’s time to speak and hearing their points
- Not using blame or generalizing language, e.g. “You always do that!”
- Being ready to say you are sorry or to be the bigger person
- Not bringing old arguments into a current fight
5. Happy couples don’t try to read each other’s minds
A huge issue in relationships comes from a partner expecting their other half to be a mind reader. It’s a completely unrealistic expectation.
Happy couples don’t pretend to read each other’s minds and don’t act like that should be a thing. They simply talk to each other.
Happy couples know how to communicate well and are aware of each other’s feelings and needs.
Spelling things out clearly is always better than assuming the other one will simply get it, take a hint, or notice a subtle gesture.
6. Happy couples don’t have role expectations
The worst thing a couple can do to each other (especially after moving in together) is to stereotype one another and place them into specific roles.
That means the woman is expected to cook, clean, and do the laundry, and the man is expected to fix things around the house, earn all the money, and manage the finances.
Some women may start out thinking that these roles are okay, but secretly end up resenting their partner and not speaking out.
Some men think that if they do something around the house, they are technically “helping” their partner, or doing them a favor, which are actions and feelings that stem from traditional gender roles.
Happy couples know that there are no such things as gender roles.
Yes, some house chores might come naturally to one or the other, but overall, they need to help and support each other and be able to step into each other’s shoes seamlessly.
That’s a sign of a happy, healthy relationship.
7. Happy couples don’t ignore money talk
Happy couples know that financial stress can ruin a relationship or marriage, that’s why they stay on top of their finances and don’t ignore talking about money.
A happy couple’s healthy money habits mean:
- They are open and transparent about how much they make and what they spend their money on
- They know that taking care of the house and putting food on the table comes first
- They discuss all big purchase decisions together
- They talk about savings, investment, and pension
8. Happy couples don’t nag each other
There is of course a huge difference between asking your partner to do something for you and nagging them every five minutes.
Happy couples know how to talk to each other effectively in order to get the best result.
They also know that repeatedly nagging and pestering one another breeds resentment and negativity.
Nagging makes one partner feel like they are constantly told what to do while the other feels misunderstood or like the “bad guy” for doing it.
Happy couples respect each other’s judgment and don’t force their opinions on one another.
9. Happy couples don’t keep score
Happy couples know that keeping a running tally of arguments, who said what, and wins vs. losses is extremely unhelpful and unhealthy.
Instead, they are focused on moving past arguments and disagreements in a constructive and meaningful way.
As arguments are a natural part of a relationship, they work on learning from them and not being defined by them. A happy couple acts as a team – and a team is united.
10. Happy couples don’t let their careers take over
It’s okay to be good at your career and want to be in a happy relationship. These two aspects of life should go hand in hand.
Happy couples don’t let the career take over their life and impact their relationship.
They strike the right balance between personal with professional, making sure that their careers don’t take their toll on the relationship.
Every once in a while, they have to make important decisions that could impact their work and lifestyle.
Happy couples make sure they talk through those life decisions and remember that life, not work, comes first.
11. Happy couples aren’t possessive or jealous
Some say jealousy is the spice of life but be careful not to make your relationship so spicy that you can’t even taste the sweet stuff anymore.
Happy couples feel secure with their partner and don’t let feelings of jealousy or possessiveness take over the relationship.
Jealousy usually stems from personal insecurity; therefore, the jealous partner might have to deal with their own self-confidence before tackling their jealous episodes.
The thing that makes happy couples different is that they have a high level of trust.
They establish healthy boundaries and respect them. They have their own life, friends, hobbies, and interests, and don’t become consumed and defined by their relationship.
12. Happy couples don’t leave sex to chance
Every couple is like a pair of newlyweds when they first get together, but after the initial honeymoon phase, sex will likely become less frequent.
A happy couple knows that physical intimacy is essential for relationship satisfaction and personal wellbeing.
Therefore, they don’t leave sex to chance but make time and space for it. Sometimes, that might literally mean scheduling sex on the calendar.
This might feel a bit weird and not sexy enough, but this way at least they know they will have time for it.
Happy couples do more than make time for sex, however. They also schedule romantic activities and date nights because they know they are equally as important.
13. Happy couples don’t let anyone dictate their relationship
One of the ultimate signs of a happy couple is their independence. They know who they are, both as individuals and as a couple, and they don’t let anyone dictate their relationship.
They welcome the advice and opinions of others, but at the end of the day, they make up their own minds about their life.
By doing this, their families and friends also know their boundaries and can appreciate that this couple is unlike any other.
They are stronger together, wise together, and better together – and no one can question that.