10 Pieces of Advice That Every Couple Should Remember to Get Their “Happily Ever After”
For a lot of long-term partners and married couples, it’s normal to lose that proverbial spark. Every couple eventually gets past the so-called honeymoon phase. And then realize real-life relationships are nothing like their favorite romantic movies after all.
In the real world, relationships are less about sparks flying and more about keeping the fire burning. So Bright Side rounded up this love advice to help couples gain a renewed sense of appreciation for their significant others.
1. Practice the 6-second kiss.
Have you ever tried clocking how long you kiss your partner? Dr. John Gottman, the founder of the Gottman Institute, suggests kissing your significant other for at least 6 seconds.
The basic idea behind this is that 6 seconds encourages a more mindful kiss compared to, say, a split-second peck on the cheek. It is long enough to substantially connect with your partner physically, but not too long for you to miss the bus to work. It also builds appreciation and boosts fondness between you and your significant other.
2. Know each other’s love language.
The concept of the Five Love Languages was created by counselor and pastor Dr. Gary Chapman. In a nutshell, these are the 5 major ways we prefer to show our love, and how we want love to be shown to us in return.
To help keep your partner happy, learning their preferred way of receiving love could work wonders in keeping that fire burning. See which of these love languages appeals to your partner the most:
- acts of service
- words of affirmation
- quality time
- physical touch
3. Use a special code that only you and your partner know.
Aside from making you feel like a Secret Service agent (which is always a cool idea), having a special code can help couples during uncomfortable moments. It can be something silly as saying “guacamole” to mean “we have to leave, no questions asked.” So, for instance, your partner wants to leave an event, they can just say “guacamole” and off you go to fetch the car.
Another example, couples can also have a code for “time-out” which they can use in the middle of a heated argument. This kind of serves as an emergency brake. They can assess later on whether the time-out was warranted, but the time apart can give them space to blow off some steam and gain perspective.
4. “Can I help?” are 3 words that are more powerful than “I love you.”
When you see your spouse folding the laundry, making dinner, or mowing the lawn, there’s nothing sweeter than lending them a helping hand. Not only does the job get done more quickly, but you score multiple brownie points for showing your partner how much you care for and appreciate them.
Even better, when it comes to housework, a couple can sit down and have a proper conversation about who’s responsible for what household chores. If your partner struggles with a particular task, understand what they are having difficulties with and make a compromise.
5. Find deeper topics to engage with.
Notice how sometimes conversations between long-time couples have simmered down to generic questions like, “What’s for dinner?” or “What time are you coming home?” A lot of couples get so caught up with their daily grind that they sometimes forget to pause and have meaningful conversations with their significant other.
Finding deeper topics to talk about not only fosters better communication but also allows partners to know more about one another. Need ideas? You can find some topic suggestions here.
6. Talk less, listen more.
It’s important to note that when your partner is venting to you, they do not necessarily need you to solve their problem. Most of the time, they just want you to listen.
The emotional support you give through active listening is just as important, if not more important than offering up practical solutions. Fight the urge to always want to be the hero who solves your partner’s woes, and be the best friend who acknowledges their issues and reassures them that everything is going to be okay in the end.
7. Enjoy moments of silence.
Spoiler alert. Marriage is not an endless world of exciting adventures. Couples are not always embarking on spontaneous trips, enjoying fun hobbies, or going on romantic dates. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
A lot of times, you find yourself quietly hanging out with your spouse in the same room and doing nothing particularly important. And it’s actually beautiful, even if you’re both doing your own thing while sharing the same space. In those moments of silence, learn to appreciate each other’s presence. Having that level of ease will give you a warm sense of comfort.
8. Avoid stonewalling or giving them the silent treatment.
Stonewalling is when a person shuts down in the middle of an argument, and therapist Dr. John Gottman believes this is one of the biggest factors that contributes to a failed relationship.
When the stonewaller gives their significant other the silent treatment and feigns a calm exterior, it’s tantamount to saying to their partner, “I don’t care about what you are saying anymore.” Although the stonewaller might intend to just let things calm down at the moment, this method is ultimately detrimental. Instead, it is better to ask for a break and communicate to your partner that you need time to process your feelings. Then, when the dust has settled, return to the discussion at hand.
9. Small acts of love are more romantic than grand gestures.
Grand, well-organized surprises may seem ultra-romantic. But it’s the frequent little gestures that truly strengthen a relationship. Aside from being harder to fake, small acts of love show consistency.
They can be as simple as writing a love note every morning, asking your partner how their day is going, or bringing home a small present that says you have been thinking of them. Your significant other will surely start feeling all the butterflies again just like when you started dating.
10. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Just because you’re in a relationship, doesn’t mean your entire world must revolve around your partner. You still need to make time for yourself in order to be the best partner you can be.
Keep yourself fit, eat healthy, or have some me-time at the spa. There’s nothing wrong with taking a solo vacation either. Taking care of yourself and investing in your own well-being will show your significant other that you want to be the best version of yourself for them.
Which of these tips resonated with you the most? Do you have other love advice you would like to share with fellow readers? Let us know in the comments!