Can you imagine what your relationship would be like if you followed these 5 great relationship habits? I've been helping couples for a long time and I know that over time, couples can get pretty twisted up and disconnected. So, what if, from the very beginning, you maintained these habits? How strong do you think your relationship would be? And what if, even if you're disconnected and disillusioned, you dug down deep and put these habits into place? How fast do you think things might turn around? Never know til you try, right?
Habit #1 Kiss for Ten Seconds Every Day!
This is something many relationship gurus recommend and I bet you can imagine why. The kiss, over hugging and holding hands, tends to generate passion. Even if you don’t have time or energy for sex, you can get a dose of passionate connection every day in very little time. I can’t tell you how many couples tell me they stop kissing over the years. It gets....awkward. So, if it’s been a while for you two, in the first few days of trying this, don’t expect it to be easy or passionate. Just do it and be in the moment. Focus on enjoying sensations, kissing in a way you enjoy and touching their hair or body. Stay present to the sensations so you don’t think too much about what the other is thinking or if you’ll have sex afterwards or what you’ll do next. Just kiss. End it with a hug and then move on with your day. If it leads to something else, great. But, let the daily habit of kissing be just that: passionate kissing without expectation for anything else. And, to avoid boredom, vary it up by kissing in different ways and in different places. There’s the tender “face grab” kiss and the “push her hands above her head kiss” and “the sit on his lap kiss” and the “movie make-out kiss” and well, you get the idea. The more you do it, the easier it will be. And, likely your body and mouth will even start to crave it.
Habit #2 Say or Do Something to Express Appreciation and Gratitude
Many couples are good at this; others are not. Why is it so important? Gratitude and appreciation keeps our brains attuned to the more positive aspects of our relationship and our partner. Research shows that the more positive thoughts we have, the happier we tend to feel. Imagine being present enough in your relationship to notice and acknowledge in words or actions what you feel grateful for and what you adore about your partner every single day. Your partner won’t really have to guess how you feel about them and you build an arsenal of positive attributes rather than negative ones. Check out these ideas for how to appreciate your spouse!
Habit #3 Help Each Other
What if on a daily basis you asked, what can I do to help or if this was just your mindset? Maybe your partner is having a hectic morning, so you warm up his car or offer to run an errand. Maybe you just start chopping vegetables for dinner or put the kids in the bath (even if it’s not your turn). We often watch our partner’s struggle with a task or appear overwhelmed without thinking to step in and just do it side by side with them, especially if it’s a task we just don’t like doing. Sometimes we really don’t need or want our partner’s help. That’s okay. But, partnership is so much about not feeling alone. Many of us have demanding careers, busy family lives and too many things to get done. What if you could really count on each other just to help?
Habit #4 Say I love You
If you pay attention, couples who are really close and happy say it all the time to each other. Some couples over time stop saying “I love you” except for the occasional cards or special moments. Many assume their partners know by their actions, but most people love hearing it. And, actually saying the words is powerful. Think about it. For a second or two, you are powerfully acknowledging how important this person is to you; the depth of how much you care. It’s even more powerful, when you say it and look into each other’s eyes. Say I love you when you leave the house, when you get home at the end of the day, when you get off the phone. Say it in cards, say it in text messages, mouth it across a crowded room. Say it more than you think you need to. It certainly won’t hurt and it will absolutely help your relationship.
Habit #5 Take Responsibility
Taking responsibility is critical to the overall health of your relationship and tends to prevent or help you move through conflict much more quickly. Taking responsibility means you are handling your side of the relationship. Do you need to apologize for something? Did you forget to do something you said you’d do? Is something bugging you that you need to talk to your partner about? Are you letting go of the little irritations with your partner? Are you being responsive and affectionate? In other words, are you being someone that you’d want to be married to? If not, do a quick check on what business you need to handle that day and “get ‘er done.”