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So you’re looking for the secrets to a happy relationship? Did you know that a great relationship is not a box of treasure that you find out of the blue? No, instead, you have to put the treasures in the box. It takes time, mutual understanding, effort, discipline and commitment.
You see all those couples you’re always looking up to as “couple goals”? Yeah, they’re not as perfect as you think. And they sure as hell never post pictures when they’re fighting.
Regardless, having a happy relationship is not that difficult. If two people put in a conscious effort to understand and compromise for each other, their relationship is bound to work.
The issue with most relationships is that people expect things to be rosy and romantic, just as it was on the first date. But how many people actually bring their true selves to a first date? Very few I tell you!
There is always a need to package yourself in a certain way so you give the best first impression. While this is not bad in itself, in the long-run, you shouldn’t be surprised when your girlfriend doesn’t wear sexy outfits like she used to or your boyfriend doesn’t open doors for you like he did initially.
Basically, communication in a relationship is of great importance and cannot be overemphasized. If you want him to keep opening doors for you, tell him. He might just be unaware that it actually means something to you. See, the secrets to a happy relationship are not some hidden, ancient gemstones that are difficult to come by. As you read further, you will find that some of these secrets are as simple as opening your mouth and voicing your thoughts or even not voicing your thoughts at all!
We all long for happiness, true love and understanding in a relationship (and random chocolate gifts of course), but these do not come easy in the society of today.
In fact, money and love have become intertwined to the extent that people believe they can only be happy in a relationship where one spends heavily on the other (10 times to 1, it’s the guy spending on the girl). It is true that principles have switched up, but you can be different. Your relationship can be different. Your boo can be different (and yes, he can be your only boo, you don’t need two others for back-up).
Get a cup of water, grab a seat and immerse yourself in these 13 secrets to a happy relationship.
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1. Give it a definition
When starting a relationship, you need to know what you’re getting into. Why exactly are you getting into the relationship? Discuss the reason, purposes and perhaps the goals you want to achieve together with your bae/boo.
I know this seems like it’s too deep to talk about in the beginning, but it is actually one of the best ways to ensure neither of you are taking the other for a ride! Be open. If you’re in it for the long-term, let the person know, so they don’t enter the relationship thinking it’s just a fling. This will serve as a guard for you and your partner. This and the memories you share together will keep you going when things go a bit haywire.
2. Avoid comparison
The phrase “comparison is a killer of joy” says it all. Understand that your partner and your relationship will always be different from that of others.
Don’t be that person who compares Hollywood and IG stories with his/her love life. The earlier you realize that most RomComs are simply a facade, the better for you. People are quick to show you the fairytale of their lives on the internet. Their viewers are always oblivious of the hard work and the number of disagreements and fights it took to bring out those beautiful pictures.
A friend of mine once said “the bigger picture lies behind the scenes”. Why don’t you take the energy and time you exhaust in comparing your relationship to another, and channel it into building yours?
3. Don’t forget the word “Mutual”
Be sure the person you’re cray cray about feels the same way about you. Ask questions if need be, to avoid stories that touch. You can’t afford to go into a relationship based on assumptions. Save yourself the nagging, fault findings and unhappiness.
Also, both parties and not just one person should be making efforts towards the growth of the relationship. Recognize when it’s becoming more of a parasitic connection rather than a reciprocal relationship. Remember, it takes two to tango!
4. Contentment is key
Don’t gag each other with nagging and complaining. It gives room for unnecessary pressures, not just on your partner but also on your relationship. Stop talking about how quickly you want to get married or start a family and how you want your big day to be like the royal wedding when your income put together with your partner’s is barely enough to get by each month.
Is it bad to desire good things? Not at all! As a matter of fact, one of the things that make you a human are your desires, wants and needs. So, it is a good thing to aim higher and desire the best, as long as you don’t belittle your partner’s acts of love with ambition and discontent.
5. Let go of the past
Let the past be in the past, exes and their memories inclusive. Do not go into another relationship when you’re not over them yet. Take a moment; look up, then look down. Now try looking up and down at the same time. See how impossible that is? That’s exactly how it is when you start ruminating about your ex(es) and memories you had together while in a relationship with another. You’ll be caught in the middle of nowhere and you could end up ruining things for you and your partner.
Even when having a disagreement with the love of your life, do not let the past find its way into your thoughts, much less your words. It does not only show that you’re yet to move on, but it could also give the impression that you’re not happy with the other person and will automatically crumble the present relationship you’re building.
6. No third parties, please
Beware of “friendly” advice, jealous besties, news reporters (Hi Becca, I just saw your boyfriend with a girl at the complex), e.t.c.
Let’s start with the counsels. Be careful of what advice you take from friends. What works for him/her might not work for you. Concerning news about your partner, confirm from him/her and learn to filter false information as quickly as possible. Be careful not to allow it register in your subconscious. If it does, you’re likely to start doubting every word your partner utters. Mistrust, insecurity and jealousy are not healthy prerequisites for a happy relationship.
7. Keep each other’s names off the naughty list
One of the secrets to a healthy and happy relationship is forgiveness. If you have not forgotten, you’re yet to forgive.
In a relationship, forgiveness means forgetting as well. Learn to forgive each other quickly and avoid keeping track of your partner’s wrongdoings. Avoid capitalizing on their flaws and mistakes. An unforgiving spirit is toxic for a happy relationship. It’s not just about your partner now but you too.
Love yourself enough to forgive yourself when you make errors. If you don’t, how would you forgive someone else? Understand that no one is perfect, embrace your flaws as well as your partner’s, correct each other in love and move on from past mistakes. With this, you sure are on your way to happily ever after!
8. Forget not the magic words
“I love you”, “I am sorry” and a “thank you” with a sincere heart go a long way when building a happy and long-lasting relationship.
Each of these phrases have their specific purpose at different moments and situations. It reassures your partner, eases tension in the room and shows them how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate their kind gesture.
9. Remember the compliments
Keep the compliments coming in, baby! You don’t have to wait for huge achievements or accomplishments before you praise yourselves. Be spontaneous with compliments, that makes you different from other people.
Sometimes, we all need to be reminded of how awesome we are. It hits differently when that reminder comes from a loved one.
Research has shown that couples who frequently compliment one another bond better than couples who seldom do.
Before I forget, shallow compliments hurt more than no compliments. Don’t be shallow with it, so it doesn’t look fake. If you aren’t going to do it right, please save them the flattery.
10. Slow down!
You read that right!
Don’t rush through things, rather savour the moment, make memories, learn from and about each other. When it comes to making decisions in a relationship, either individually or together, please take your time.
We tend to make errors when we talk and act in a haste. Save yourself the unhappiness that comes from mistakes and regrets.
Learn the art of patience and be skilled at it. Let there be moderation in all you do. Balance things well, know when to start and when to withdraw. This way, both parties won’t feel choked in the relationship. Don’t forget, good things take time.
11. Be Selfless
Selflessness is born out of love, and it comes with respect, care, thoughtfulness and kindness. Selflessness is often ignored and not counted as a key to happiness, because it appears to be contrary on the surface.
Don’t be shallow, be ready to make sacrifices. Learn to have regard for each other’s wishes, rights, decisions, opinions and privacy.
Don’t enforce your views or perspectives about things on your partner, it only shows that you are only thinking about yourself—that alone is enough to hurt your partner.
It starts from the little things like leaving the last cookie in the jar for him/her, to choosing his favourite resort over that village you’ve always wanted to visit for vacation. Be understanding and ensure the selflessness of one partner does not lead to the selfishness of the other.
12. True love births actions not vice versa!
True love births actions. You can’t claim you love someone and not show it. It’s mission impossible!
Showing your partner how much you love him/her comes easy when you’re truly in love. Don’t forget, a simple act of love can thaw a frozen heart. When your words are not in line with your actions, you’re creating room for strife and unhappiness.
Also, remember to avoid going into a relationship because of loneliness, material needs, public acceptance etc. Oh, he keeps me company, she was there for me when I was in need, my friends said we’ll make a great couple, blah, blah, blah. Wake up buddy! Your friends won’t be in the relationship with you. Last I checked, actions do not birth true love! When their texts go from 15 to 2 in a day, when the date nights are gone, when the regular gifts stop trooping in, would you still love them? Don’t fool yourself and start a relationship for the wrong reasons, rather save yourself and the other person the heartache!
13. Understand your partner’s love language
According to Gary Chapman, couples have a way of expressing love and heartfelt commitment to each other. These are known as the Love Languages and they can be classified into 5.
We’ve got the Words of affirmation, Acts of Service, Gifts, Quality time and Physical Touch.
One of the secrets to a happy and lasting relationship is knowing which love language your partner speaks and knowing the ones you speak and understand too.
For instance, one partner might prefer spending quality time while the other would appreciate Acts of Service better. Ensure you talk about it, let your partner know what you want, and get to know what he/she also wants. You both can reach a truce after the pillow talk and work something out.
With these 13 secrets to a happy relationship, you’ll be basking in love and light! Guard each secret jealously.
Don’t forget to pin these 13 secrets to a happy relationship!
Found these secrets to a happy relationship useful? Then I’d appreciate it so much if you could take the time to pin it to your love or relationships board on Pinterest. Thank you!