For people who are currently in relationships, as well as those who aspired to coupledom, one truth of being partnered is that there is always work to do.
Relationships that are left to stagnate quickly turn sour, and the longer partners go without checking in or making time for each other, the more likely it is that they’ll break up.
Here are several tried and true habits that help build successful relationships, which you should start working on now in order for your relationship to thrive.
1. They’re a team
Good relationships take work, and here’s a little secret: the skills you’ll need aren’t much different than the ones you learned in gym class as a child.
Teamwork is a huge skill that’s absolutely necessary for a relationship to function.
If you’re on a team with someone, you give of yourself, you work hard to set your teammate up for success, and you present a united front.
This is important when you’re together, but equally important when you’re apart- don’t badmouth your partner behind their back or say things that undercut their opinions or position.
That’s not good teamwork.
2. They resolve issues in person
Another habit of highly successful couples is that they resolves their issues in person rather than over the phone or by text.
Being face to face allows you to read your partner’s body language, which can give insight into why they’re saying what they’re saying.
It also encourages couples to hash out all of their issues all at once, rather than letting a conflict drag on for days.
The longer a conflict goes unresolved, the more likely it is that someone will wind up with their feelings hurt.
3. They learn their partner’s love language and take advantage of it
In the bestselling book The 5 Love Languages, author Gary Chapman claims that all people express and receive love in five unique ways.
The categories are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
If this book is to be believed- and it’s sold over 11 million copies, so there must be something useful in there- couples communicate best when they’re aware of their partner’s love language, and tailor their behavior accordingly.
If you know that acts of service make your partner happiest, think of ways that you can make their day a little easier.
If their love language is physical touch, schedule plenty of cuddle time every evening.
Even if you don’t read the book, get to know the things that make your partner feel loved, and strive to do them often.
4. They acknowledge their partner’s hard work
No one likes when their hard work goes unappreciated, and it can be extremely wounding when this oversight comes from a romantic partner.
One of the best ways that partners can build trust in each other is to notice the little things that the other person does to help out, like making the bed, or stocking up on milk, and acknowledge their effort.
5. They build mutual interests
Another great habit that many highly successful couples tend to share is that they’ve gotten involved in each other’s hobbies and interests.
It’s not necessary to have tons of mutual interests, but having a partner that can ask relevant, curious questions about your interests is a real turn on.
Tag along to watch them in action, and you may find that their passionate interest sparks your own.
6. They build routines throughout their day together
Couples don’t need to have the exact same schedule in order to build a great relationship, but it does help if you intentionally begin and end the day together.
This might mean waking up a bit earlier so you can drink coffee with your partner before they leave early for work, or ensuring that your bedtime routine aligns with theirs.
The more time you spend in a day together, the more likely it is that you’ll notice when things are off before it becomes an issue.
7. They’re forthright in asking for what they need
Clear communication is key when building a great relationship.
One of the best things that couples can do to build trust and establish clear patterns of communication is to ask for what they need.
Partners who believe that their spouse should be able to read their mind will often find themselves disappointed.
Clearly stating your feelings, as well as any issues you may be having, will lead to effective resolutions much faster.