What's the key to a happiness in a long-term relationship? While big gestures are important, it turns out it's the little things that make the biggest difference. Here are 5 small things you can do everyday to increase happiness in your relationship.
1. Make Eye Contact When Your Partner Talks To You - Eye contact is a simple, but necessary way to increase a sense of connectedness. Human beings actually thrive on eye contact, so not having that with your significant other can cause a severe sense of disconnection in your marriage. So whether you're saying good morning or goodnight, heading off to work or coming back home, make eye contact. Ultimately, this will help foster a sense that you care about your partner.
2. Hug Them Often - Hugs do two things. First, they use physical contact to convey caring. Second, hugs actually increase levels of oxytocin if they last 10 seconds or longer. This will cause both of you to feel happier, less depressed, and less stressed. So make sure you take a moment for every day to hug the one you love!
3. Pay Attention and Make Mental Notes - Studies have found that it's easier for women to tune into each other's needs than it is for men. This I mostly because of how we raise girls vs how we raise boys and the different societal expectations we have for girls vs boys (lame, I know). This can cause distance for a couple when it feels like needs aren't being met. Try to pay attention to what your partner likes and dislikes, what they want when they're happy or sad, what they enjoy doing and having done. Also be sure to express your needs to your partner if they're not being met. People can't read minds, so speak up! Not doing so will lead to resentment and increase distance. So speak up about your needs, but also take the time to pay attention so that you can try to anticipate your partners needs.
4. Do The Little Things They Love, Often - Small gestures really do mean the most. What's your partners love language? What small thing can you do to engage that love language? Does your partner like gifts? Bring them flowers or candy. Do they like acts of service? See if you can help with dishes or laundry. Is there love language words of affirmation? Text them at work and tell them that you're thinking about them. Physical touch? Give them a hug or hold them just because. Quality time? Make breakfast or dinner together. There's a lot of small things you can do to make someone feel cared for.
5. Make The Time - Often times when we're feeling like we don't have enough time our relationships fall to the bottom of the list. Life happens sometimes, but it's important to actively make the time for your partner. Even something small like going towed at the same time, having a cup of coffee together in the morning, taking a quick walk around the block. If you can, try to schedule actual dates. It's not as difficult as it seems to make time for one another and it'll go a long way to happiness in your relationship.
Do these things and you'll find that you'll have a happier and healthier relationship overall!