Updated: Jan 7, 2019
Would you consider your relationship incredibly strong and happy? Participating in the following activities is a good indication that it is! How many of the following 7 habits can you either check off, learn from, or add into your life and relationship?
1) Play Together
Play is essential whether you are in a relationship or not! But, couples who play together are happier and more sustainable.
Couples who play together, stay together.
I mean, think about it! It’s play! Who doesn’t love to play? Often, when people begin ‘adulting’, they forget to continue playing in life (and no, boozing with your buddies or Netflix binging doesn’t count as play-even though it can be fun!).
As play is cast aside, life becomes serious, stressful, and overly scheduled. These are symptoms guaranteed to cause unwanted problems within your relationships. If this has happened to you, I strongly encourage you to begin adding weekly play time back into your life! Do it on your own of course. And also find activities that you and your partner consider as play, and watch the spark between the two of you reignite!
2) Talk Vulnerably
Beautifully strong, confident, sturdy and connected couples speak with raw, fearless vulnerability. Vulnerability is a learned skill that requires commitment and practice. Being truly vulnerable, or honest concerning our internal experiences, is usually experienced as quite scary at first. But, it is difficult to have a truly great relationship without vulnerability.
In a nutshell, vulnerability essentially means being your authentic self, versus acting out 'the person you believe you should be', or holding back in general. Put in this context, it is easy to see how important vulnerability is to a close relationship. Most people have at least an inkling, that we aren't going to be happy in a relationship without being one's true self. If you are in a place where you are feeling disconnected from your partner, it may help to look for areas where you aren’t being vulnerable and begin to open up.
3) Grow Together
One of the very best systems Chris (hubby) and I employ on a daily basis in a deliberate effort to continue growing as a couple- is reading together. We find that this practice supports and strengthens our relationship. We, literally read aloud to one another, as well as engage in open discussion. This allows a safe place within our relationship for new ideas to be discovered, and new pathways to be explored, and to feel totally supported. This is truly, sacred time together.
I wholeheartedly believe in this practice as I have experienced, first hand, its indescribable benefits.
We tend to read books that directly lend themselves to personal growth: psychology, business, spirituality, health and wellness, functional medicine…
I encourage you, to grab your sweetie, pick a first book (The 4 Agreements is excellent to start with!) and try this practice out a couple days each week. Feel free to read in the morning, after dinner or before bed.
4) Seek Win-Win Solutions
I love this idea. Couples spend too much time trying to be right or prove a point. But the strongest couples are constantly striving for win–win situations and solutions. They know that if both partners are not winning, then no one is winning!
So, what would this look like in practice?
If you and your partner butt heads, via for dominance, try way to hard to be 'right', you may want to adopt this new idea of consistently striving for win-win solutions. And begin taking more consideration for your partner's wants, needs, ideas, and concerns.
When both parties are doing this, it is easy to imagine how each partner, and therefore the relationship, can thrive.
Perhaps think of this idea:
You can be right (and lonely), or you can be loved and loving!
5) Share Unconditional Support
While partners might not always agree, the happiest couples share candid feedback, and then they support one another unconditionally and with love and encouragement. This is a big ask for some people, especially with pridefulness or right-fighting afoot (ie, a relationship environment of win-lose).
The bottom line: you don’t always have to like your partners’ decisions. Really, its ok if s/he does something you disagree with. You are two, separate people, after all. But, if you want to maintain a great connection, deep care, and intimate closeness, you will want to be wholeheartedly unconditional in your support of them as an individual person.
6) Trust Yourself & Your Partner
Most of the time, lack of trust toward an intimate partner stems from self-insecurities, fears and anxieties. As well as an inability to believe in one’s self-ability to handle what might come up in life and in a relationship. Fantastic relationships do the necessary work, or deep heart healing, in order to gain the skills to trust one’s self, and therefore his or her partner. So, if you and your partner are experiencing trust issues, the answer is to dive head first into your own healing journey.
Whether you choose literature, self-growth workshops, seminars, or programs, or want to hire a coach or therapist to begin (or continue) this journey, this is a piece of the ‘happy relationship puzzle’ that cannot be overlooked. We'd love to support you (and your partner if they are willing)- please don't hesitate to reach out to get the support you desire and deserve: firstname.lastname@example.org.
7) Time Is Spent Deliberately
Do you have your relationship values defined deliberately? Do you know exactly why you choose to spend your time in the ways that you do? Strong couples are impeccable with their time. Rarely is time spent escaping or numbing out with an overabundance of food, alcohol, social media, work, pornography, shopping, internet surfing and the like. Strong couples choose wisely and deliberately how their time is spent.
This way, actively spending time together is a priority and doesn’t get crowded out by the busyness or 'fire-fighting'. In this way, there is plenty of time and energy for connecting, growing, talking, dating and all the other amazing pieces of a super delicious partnership.
So, how did you do? Were you surprised at some of the qualities of a healthy relationship? Which practices are you excited to try within your relationship? And, if you are feeling at all overwhelmed or a bit defeated because your relationship isn’t where you'd like it to be...
Just remember lesson number 1…
Start with play!
OR, If you would like help strengthening your relationship, contact us today!