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Most of us want a happy relationship to where it feels like a fairytale.
We want to love someone so much, that to see them smile becomes the highlight of our day. And we want them to love seeing us smile as well.
Happily ever after, right?
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? It’s not!
If you want to have a happy relationship, you need to put the effort in. This involves doing things to make sure your partner is happy being with you. It’s the little things you do that matter.
So what can keep a partner happy? I’m glad you asked.
Here are suggestions from me (and my husband!) on how to have a happy relationship.
(By the way, did you know that is us in all the images for this article? We look adorable, don’t we?)
Anyway, away we go!
1. Take Responsibility For Your Actions
Look at how you are treating your partner on a daily basis and KNOW you aren’t being the best partner you could be.
Be self-aware. Know you aren’t perfect and own up to it. You can’t expect flowers and sunshine if you don’t treat them like you would want to be treated.
Respect their feelings and put yourself in their shoes.
Think about how you would feel if they talked to you that way? Said those things to you? Disregarded your feelings? Demanded things? Did that to you?
You need to understand how you interact with them, in order to make sure you aren’t the problem.
If you are good to them, they will be happy and it will be reciprocated.
Years ago, my husband and I met another couple for dinner. The woman complained the entire time because she was sick earlier in the week, and her husband went to the drugstore to get her medicine and came back with the wrong brand.
I hear this type of thing so much. Most people don’t realize what they are doing. In concentrating on the negative, you overlooked the most important part: THEY WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY FOR YOU! They didn’t have to do that! Trust me, there are a lot of people who wouldn’t.
Stop concentrating on what they got wrong and start concentrating on what they got right!
Appreciate that they tried.
If you constantly point out what they do wrong, in their quest to do something for you, they aren’t going to even try anymore. Why would they? I sure wouldn’t!
Try to thank them for everything they do, even if it isn’t to your expectations.
Thank them for everyday tasks like going to work, thank them for walking the dog, thank them for taking out the trash, dishes, cooking, going to the store, taking care of the household. Thank them for being the person you love and your kids love.
Being appreciated is one of the biggest things you hear people wanting in their relationship. You may feel unappreciated, but they probably do too!
So go thank your partner for the little things they do. Once you start doing this, you will begin to realize they do more things right than they do wrong.
An appreciated person will always do more.
An appreciated person will also be more grateful and thank you in return.
I had a relative that constantly complained about their spouse and the things their spouse did. When I asked if they told their spouse what they were bothered with, their response was “Well, they should just know”.
Did I miss where people are mind readers somewhere?
You need to communicate when something is bothering you! Stop doing hints and come out and say it.
People shouldn’t “just know” or assume. If they aren’t bothered by it, what makes them think you will be, unless you say something?
Be completely open and honest with them. When you have a discussion, listen with the intent of putting yourself in their shoes. Don’t just listen to respond or get defensive. Communicate how you feel, your wants, etc. Do it nicely and without blame.
When partners communicate with each other, they are happier and trust each other more.
4. Be Happy Yourself
Have you ever been around someone who is constantly stressed and complains about everything?
It isn’t pleasant, is it? It eventually starts to stress you out and the negativity gets to you. You tend to avoid that person because you start to get anxiety when you see them.
So if you are constantly stressed and constantly complaining, how do you think it affects your partner? Not good. Are they pulling away from you or grouchier lately? This might be why. You can still go to your partner when you are stressed, just don’t make it a part of every interaction you have.
I used to be one of those people who stressed about everything and I could tell it was wearing my husband down when we first started dating. Luckily, I found a way to help myself and my relationship is so much better for it.
In a nutshell, if you are happy and positive, they will be too.
Related Article: How To Overcome Anxiety So You Can Live Again
5. Pay Attention to Them
You get home from work. You do things with the kids, make dinner, run errands, watch tv, spend time on social media, go to bed. Did you forget something?
Yes, you forgot to spend time with your partner.
Did you ask them about their day? You can run errands, make dinner, and clean up together while having a meaningful conversation. You can take a walk together. Sit on the couch and just talk about your day and goals in life.
If you watch tv or a movie together, hold hands on the couch, while leaning into each other. The close contact will make both of your brains immediately feel more relaxed and happy with each other.
A partner who can feel you want to be with them and listen to them will be happier with you.
6. Be Their Cheerleader
Partners often need to be encouraged. It’s important they know you have their back and you believe in them.
Are they debating getting a new job or starting a business? Then throw away any doubts you have and KNOW they can do it.
You believe in them and want them to do what makes them happy, right?
Then show them!
They will feel less stressed because they know you would be okay no matter what.
It makes all the difference in the world to know you have someone who has your back.
7. Contribute To The Household
If you live together, you need to either help with the finances/cost of living, help with the house duties (like cooking, cleaning, picking up after yourself), or both.
If you don’t do either, what are you contributing to the relationship?
Your sparkling personality?
It doesn’t work that way.
No one wants to do this stuff, so why would you stress your partner out by making them do it all? This is what usually leads to resentment. Don’t be that person. Help out. Be a partner.
Your partner will be happier if they don’t have so much pressure on them.
8. Have Fun With Your Partner
Go out and do something fun, like go to a shooting or archery range. Take swing dance lessons. Joke around with them. Break out in a dance with them for no reason. Sing a weird, made up song, to them to get them to laugh.
You don’t even have to leave the house to have fun. Get a cheap classic game system like Nintendo , that has all the old favorites loaded on it, and play each other. If you have a Nintendo Switch, I highly recommend Mario Kart 8. That game brings out ultimate competitiveness, which means ultimate fun. Aaron and I play these nearly every weekend and love it. It gives us something to do together.
Buy or rent some movies, make some popcorn, and have a stay at home date night while you cuddle on the couch. Buy some trivia or board games and have game night. Get on the floor and play with the dog together. You all will have smiles on your face within seconds. Even the dog will be happy!
Just keep having fun and joking around together.
9. Go The Extra Mile
Leave them a note letting them know you love them. Bring them lunch at work on your day off. Cook their favorite meal one night. Give them a compliment.
See something at the store you think they will get a kick out? Buy it for absolutely no reason!
Do something to make them smile.
Once you see that smile, it will keep you wanting to do it more. And you know what? It will make them want to do the same for you!
10. Let The Little Things Go
If it won’t matter a year from now, why are you mad about it now? If you understand the little things don’t matter, you both will be happier.
Do Unto Others
Doing these 10 things show your partner you appreciate and love them. This is what is key to making your partner happy.
If you sit and wait for things to change when you aren’t changing your actions, you will be waiting a long time.
If you make an effort, they eventually will see this and do the same.
A happy partnership is about being self aware in how you handle things. It’s about appreciating and loving your partner. It’s about how making them smile can brighten up YOUR day.
Because you want to, not because you have to.
Are They Still Not Happy?
When things aren’t happy, you should always be asking yourself if there is anything you could do, or could have done differently.
If the answer is no, you couldn’t have done anything differently, then check out my article on Toxic Relationships, because you might be in one. If none of those apply to your relationship, then check yourself again, because there probably IS something you could have done differently.
Side Note: There are instances where a relationship is not toxic, and you do all of these right, but the partner is just not happy. It can mean the partner is unhappy with themselves or that you just aren’t compatible. Don’t be bitter about it and keep doing what you are doing. It will work out in your favor eventually!
Those are the tips I have learned are most important to being happy in a relationship. I hope it helps someone as much as it helps me!
What makes your relationship happy? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!