1. Healthy couples have frequent sex – even if it’s scheduled.
Let’s get this one out of the way first, because it’s just true. However, how you define “frequent” is, of course, up to you and your partner. Maybe that means once a week; maybe that means twice a month. Maybe less, maybe more – as long as you’re on the same page. One study done at the University of Colorado Boulder discovered that couples who reported having sex two to three times a month were 33% more likely to report higher levels of happiness, too.
If there is a drastic difference between how much either partner wants sex, that’s a real concern that must be addressed. But simply having less sex because you’re too busy is no excuse. Healthy couples make time, even if they literally have to plan it into their schedules. Once you’re stripping those clothes off one another, you’ll forget that this was a planned moment and simply rejoice in the moment itself.
2. Healthy couples are friends with each other, each other’s friends, and like at least some of the same things.
The happiest couples have a strong, emotional bond in the form of friendship as well as romantic love. Passionate, rip-off-your-clothes lust is awesome, but if you have nothing to talk about post-bang, it’s going to be very difficult to maintain a real connection no matter how great the sex is.
On top of being friends with each other, it helps if you share friends too. Research that was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships discovered that partners with overlapping social circles felt closer to each other and stronger about their relationship in general than couples with obviously different groups of friends.
But it’s okay if you’re not best friends with each other’s friends. Another important way to strengthen that bond as found by the same research highlights what they call “shared media experiences.” Whether it’s a TV show you both can’t tear yourselves away from or a deeply abiding love for the same novel, shared appreciation makes the heart grow fonder.
3. Healthy couples sleep better.
We mean literally sleep, not with each other. (For some people, that could mean actually sleeping in separate beds!) The quality of our sleep is so important for so many different reasons, but you might not have realized it would actually be adversely affecting your relationship. In one study conducted at the University of Arizona, women who slept poorly showed a higher amount of relationship problems than women with better sleep schedules!
4. Healthy couples have similar drinking habits.
On a somewhat related note, healthy couples also share drinking habits – but it’s not what you drink, it’s how much you drink of it. Studies done at the Buffalo Research Institute concludes that couples with contrasting drinking habits (one drinks much more or much less than the other) had a higher likelihood of breaking up when compared to couples who are on the same imbibing page.
5. Healthy couples do nothing together – and enjoy it.
One of the simplest ways to test the strength of a relationship is to sit back, relax, and simply do nothing together. The happiest healthy couples find real comfort in simply being with one another. If you’re constantly finding things to do, perhaps it’s time to slow down and reassess. Ask yourself, why? Of course, simply being busy people doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your relationship – but it IS important to take the time to slow down and revel in the comfort of simply sitting together, even if it is only ten or fifteen minutes.
It’s all about appreciation. Healthy couples take the time to be mindful of the present, making it easier to appreciate living in the moment instead of constantly worrying about what to do next.
6. Healthy couples know how to shut down minor arguments before they spiral out of control.
Knowing how to shut down an argument is different for everyone, isn’t it? Yes, of course it is – but there’s one simple way to approach a fight mentally that can completely alter the course of the argument.
This “secret” comes from a study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. If you take a moment to wonder whether you will actually care, 20 years from now, that he didn’t put the dishes in the right cabinet, you are actually more likely to resolve the issue and move on.
In the study, 300 participants were asked to either think about the future or focus on the present when mid-argument with their partner. Those who looked to the future were less likely to put blame on their partners, had a better understanding of what was actually upsetting them, and even showed greater forgiveness post-argument – all crucial components of a healthy, happy relationship. In the end, it all comes down to perspective. Take the time to give yourself a mental timeout; try to learn from the argument in a way that brings you closer together instead of further apart.
As always, Our Romance Specialists are always here to help healthy couples stay as happy and horny together as possible! Whether you actually ask us specific questions by clicking here or on Ask A Romance Specialist at the top of any blog page, or stop by your local Lover’s Lane to speak with someone face-to-face, we’re here to help.