Dr. Mark Goulston is psychiatrist, international speaker, and best selling author of books such as Just Listen: Discover the Secret to getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, The 6 Secrets of a Lasting Relationship: How to Fall in Love Again…and Stay There, REAL INFLUENCE: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In, Get Out of Your Own Way, and Get Out of Your Own Way at Work.
His post 10 Habits of Happy Couples offers valuable tips to will help you improve your relationship.
Happy couples know that the real relationship begins when the honeymoon is over. They know that unless you maintain the garden of love, its beauty will wither and die.
Go to bed at the same time. Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn’t wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps. And when their skins touch it still causes each of them to tingle and unless one or both are completely exhausted to feel sexually excited.
Cultivate common interests. After the passion settles down, it’s common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.
Walk hand in hand or side by side. Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it’s more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.
Make trust and forgiveness your default mode. If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.
Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong. If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.
Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work. Our skin has a memory of “good touch” (loved), “bad touch” (abused) and “no touch” (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the “good touch,” which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.