Being in a relationship isn’t easy, but healthy couples know how to take the ups and downs; how to weather the storm. Learn from the experts, with these ten ways to keep your relationship happy and healthy. (And yes, you should be having sex every day!)
1. Communicate Openly
Research shows that communication style is more important than commitment levels, personality traits or stress in predicting which couples will stay happy. Healthy couples don’t avoid conflict, but they do know how to keep the lines of communication open. Happy couples know that the best conversations happen without the distraction of phones, tablets and laptops.
2. Don’t Forget the Small Things
Saying please and thank you shouldn’t be reserved for the company. Manners are important – even with the person you’ve been with for 20 years. Extend the same respect to your spouse as you would to a visiting guest. Say please and thank you, make polite conversation and why not offer your partner a drink? A few manners and niceties will go a long way to maintaining a culture of mutual respect.
3. Exercise Together
Studies show that couples who exercise together are not only healthier, but more satisfied with their marriage. Psychology Today cites several studies that report that the symptoms of physiological arousal (the type of high you get from exercise) mimic the effects of sexual and romantic arousal. If you work out together, you will feel sexy, and in love!
4. Go On Vacation
A couple’s retreat can be energizing for a relationship, but so can traveling separately! Many happy, healthy couples take their own short vacations, or have regular trips away with a social group. Being alone, meeting new friends, or enjoying adventures without your partner can be very empowering. Ultimately, you will return to your partner energized, enthusiastic- and more in love than ever.
Laughter relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system and releases endorphins. Laughter expert, Lesley Lyle, author of the book Laugh Your Way To Happiness, says that smiling and laughing will make you feel better -even if it is forced! So, even if you and your loved one are both having a hard day, try smiling and laughing for no reason at all. The physical act of laughing will make you happier and healthier.
6. Eat together
Families that eat together, stay together. The supper table is a place for couples and their family members to connect and to receive nourishment – both physical and spiritual. Eating healthy food together at a table will not only encourage good family nutrition, but provides a regular, sacred space for conversation and laughter.
7. Have Sex Every Day
Having sex every day removes the anxiety that some couples feel when it comes time to “perform”. In his book, How One Couple Turned Off the TV and Turned On Their Sex Lives for 101 Days (No Excuses!), author Douglas Brown claims that having sex every day not only reduced this tension, but brought him and his wife closer together, after 14 years of marriage. Plus, sex itself can lower blood pressure, improve sleep, reduce stress and even prevent prostate cancer! Couples who have sex every day, claim that it not only strengthens their relationship, but improves their health.