Loving Couples Communicate
The happiest couples are those who communicate with each other. They make an effort to talk about feelings, desires, wants, needs and everything else. Even the most communicative couples will sometimes fail to bring important topics up, but they don't let those lapses discourage them. Communication is also an attitude. It requires honesty and vulnerability. Anyone can talk, but a great couple will deepen their relationship through communication.
Listening Is Important
Successful empathetic communication begins with a willingness to talk and to listen. If you are both trying to talk, you won't get very far. Instead, loving couples listen to each other. This encourages both parties to feel safe enough to bring up delicate subjects. Allow your significant other the opportunity to share his or her thoughts and feelings before responding. You'll often find that your willingness to listen will be appreciated and reciprocated.
Don't assume that loving couples never have arguments or fights because they do. The difference is that they fight fairly. Instead of tearing each other down with verbal abuse, a couple that fights fairly will stick to the issue. Your words can have a powerful and lasting impact. Choose them wisely and remember that day-to-day differences do not warrant abusing your partner.
Resolve Issues Right Away
Successful couples deal with issues immediately instead of allowing them to fester. To resolve an issue like a pro, address why the problem came up, what it means to you, and how it impacts you emotionally. After understanding your partner's perspective, brainstorm ways to resolve the problem together and be mindful of implementing your solutions, especially if it's an issue that keeps coming up. Note that issues that continue to surface on multiple occasions can signal to you that you and your partner are not fully understanding what you need from each other, so it's best to re-address the topic.
Little Things Add Up
Another characteristic of strong couples is performing kind acts for one another. The little things really can make a big difference and some couples understand this. Always be on the lookout for ways you can help each other; it doesn't have to be elaborate. Often the nicest acts are when you do something without being asked. For example, take out the garbage when you see that it is full, even if that is not your normal duty. Or, load the dishwasher when the plates start piling up on the counter. The job has to be done by someone, so why not do it yourself? Your partner will appreciate it, and you'll have more time to spend doing other fun things when you share the workload.
Spend Quality Time Together
It may seem obvious that loving couples spend lots of time together, but there is a difference between time and quality time. Sitting next to each other for three hours watching television and not saying a word is not quality time. Turn off the television (or eliminate other distractions) for an hour each night and do something together. Sit on the couch and talk, make love or go for a walk. Try this for a week and you may find that you'll want to spend even more time together.
You might expect a loving couple to constantly romance each other and experience that giddy in-love feeling, but this is not necessarily true. Like any other couple that has been together a long time, a great couple still has to work at making romance happen. The difference is that they don't get discouraged when romance requires effort. The couple is secure enough in their love to know that the giddy feeling is unsustainable over the long run. They know that love is much more than an adrenaline kick.
Know Your Partner's Love Language
Understanding your needs as well as your partner's creates a loving foundation for your relationship. One of the best ways to cultivate a strong relationship is to figure out your and your partner's love language. The five love languages include acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, and quality time. Knowing your partner's love language is like being given a cheat sheet to their relational happiness.
More Loving Qualities
For a relationship that lasts, it's imperative for each partner to have three very important qualities: patience, respect, and support.
A loving couple is also very patient with each other. While you would prefer that your partner instinctively know what makes you happy, the reality is that it may take a while for him or her to learn. With loving patience, your significant other will feel encouraged to try to change or learn something new for your benefit. If you lose patience, the two of you will only end up mad at each other.
Great couples also respect each other. In a long-term relationship, you end up learning all the faults of the other person. It can be easy to let those faults annoy you to the point where you begin to devalue the very worth of your partner. Instead of allowing this to happen, loving couples remember why they fell in love in the first place and focus on that rather than the little annoyances.
As a couple, you may experience highs and lows together and individually. It's important to continue to support each other through difficult experiences while recognizing each other's strengths. Providing unconditional loving support helps cultivate trust and may make your relationship even stronger. When you support each other consistently, it shows a mutual respect for each other's decision making abilities.
Expressing Your Love
Keeping your love alive can help maintain a happy, healthy relationship with your partner. Be mindful of your own needs as well as your partner's and communicate them often to foster a loving relationship.