7 Essential Habits of People in Healthy Relationships published | 07 January Healthy Relationships—They take work, self-awareness, and (frequent) communication. And that’s not all. Growing a budding relationship into a thriving one that feels good for everyone involved takes deliberate and focused attention. What we pay attention to grows, and our intimate relationships are no different. Whether you’re on your third date or you’ve been together for three decades, studies show that the more connected we are to our partners, the happier we are in all other areas of our lives. Those in the healthiest relationships have some key things in common. They practice relationship-building habits. And not just at the beginning of the relationship, but years into their intimate adventure too. Here are 7 habits to go deeper in your intimate relationships: 1. Lay on the praise Peek inside a healthy relationship and you’ll see an abundance of compliments and praise. They’ll do this publicly too—they aren’t afraid to show their appreciation for one another. They also talk about their partners in a positive light instead of complaining. The healthiest relationships focus on all the good things about their partner(s) instead of focusing on all the things they wish were different. 2. Prioritize connection People in healthy relationships regularly connect each day and every week—no matter what. No matter how busy life and work gets. In our practice, we’ve seen people taking regular after-dinner walks, making the time to connect over coffee in the morning, scheduling date nights and sticking to them. Even 20-minutes spent alone with your partner, distraction-free, even from bed, can do wonders to amp up the closeness factor of your relationship. To make the most of your conneting time, put all outside distractions such as your phone, computer, and all other screens away! If you have kids, an excellent opportunity to do this may be when they’re asleep for the night, or at Grandma’s. Doing so is good modeling for children too! When they’re old enough, direct the kids to avoid interrupting you because it’s your adult time to connect over coffee (or whatever else you’re connecting over!). 3. Laugh—a lot Having a sense of humour is essential for life, and possibly even more important for people in relationships. It’s hard to stay mad when someone can lighten the mood. Of course, leave the laughs out of the serious conversations, but the more you can weave some snorts and giggles into all your moments, the more connected your intimate relationship will feel. 4. See life from their eyes Great relationships are filled to the brim with empathy. They know how to put themselves in each other’s shoes. When people empathize with one another, they’re usually able to get past common misunderstandings that creep up in all relationships. Helping the other person feel seen, heard, and valued is a way to show you genuinely care. 5. Keep flirting Keep the fun and flirty interactions going long after the first few dates. When partners flirt with each other, they’re showing their love and excitement for life with each other. It simply feels good! Think about flirting as the long game, and not just when you’re hoping to get a date or get to the “next stage” of your relationship. 6. Think like scientists Constantly think of new ways you can look at your relationship. People in healthy relationships often think of it as having two or three relationships with the same person. Play and experiment with everything from your date nights to how to feel more connected. And when something doesn’t seem to be working, put your scientist hat on and get curious about what you could do differently or try next. 7. Stay forever curious It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day hustle and take our loved ones for granted. When we combine this with the understanding that we’ll all change and grow throughout our lives, and if we’re not pausing to tune in, we could end up growing in different directions. Constantly stay curious and get to know your partner. Ask questions about what’s making them tick, what’s driving them, and then really listen. Here are some ideas to prompt a deeper discussion: What can I do for you right now to help you feel more loved? Have I done anything recently that may have unknowingly hurt you? Is there any kind of emotional or physical intimacy you feel is missing? How do you feel about our sex life lately? Is there anything stressing you lately and can I help alleviate that stress for you? Asking these questions may feel scary at first. Listen and stay open. Then sincerely thank them for sharing their thoughts—sharing often isn’t easy either! While these are just some examples of the habits that the people in the healthiest relationships regularly take on, there are countless other ways that you and your partner(s) can love each other through the tricky situations and deepen your connection. The best way to find your groove is to keep talking. Written by Bliss sexologist Kelly McDonnell-Arnold. Learn more about Kelly and get her secret “Tips From the Couch” here. If you enjoyed this article you might like these too: How to start a meaningful conversation about sex Others will treat you the way you let them —3 keys to boundary-setting Sex therapy virgin? What to expect Do you have any questions for us? Or do you need some help with creating healthy habits in your relationship? We’re happy to help! Get in touch with us here. If you’re interested in booking your first appointment with Bliss, you can do that here.