How to Be Happy in a Relationship: Feel Loved and Appreciated
In the honeymoon phase of your relationship, you and your partner pretty much can't think of anything but each other. You communicate your affection, and all feels perfect. Inevitably though, things cool off and reality sets in. And you by now that ups and downs will naturally occur in your relationship or marriage.
However, happiness scientists have studied the impact of spousal relationships on our happiness and discovered that there are simple, practical things you can do on a daily basis to spice up your relationship and feel more loved and appreciated by your partner.
So, what can you do to be happier in your relationship?
Make Date Night a Priority
One study found that couples who spend time alone together at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to report “being happy” in their marriages. And get this: they’re also 3.5 times more “sexually satisfied” in their marriage than couples who don’t make time for each other. So take a hint from happy couples and schedule time for date night—not only does it let you spend time with each other without distractions—it's also an opportunity to be generous with your partner, and there's a good chance they'll do the same.
Inspire Thanks by Responding to Each Other's Needs
In a recent study, scientists evaluated how gratitude can increase positive behavior towards a spouse over time. In the study, they found that we feel thankful for our partner when they're responsive towards our needs, which in turn, motivates us to respond by attending to their needs, producing a feel-good cycle of gratitude. But someone's got to set it in motion (and it might as well be you)!
Step Into Their Shoes
Not literally, but figuratively. Oftentimes, we jump to conclusions about our partner's behavior before we truly make an effort to get into their head. For example, if your husband snaps at you when you ask him to lower the volume on the TV, you may immediately feel hurt or unloved, and assume that he's angry with you for something you did. Instead, scientists suggest practicing perspective-taking—stepping into our partners' shoes and trying to understand their thoughts and actions. Could he have had a disappointing meeting, or gotten yelled at by his boss that day? Could his migraines be acting up again? Taking the time to take your partner's perspective can help you both in the long run.
Improve Your Relationship and Feel More Loved with Happify's Science-Based Activities
For more strategies on how to improve your relationship, plus personalized activities, games, and quizzes that will boost your happiness and teach you how to apply these skills to your daily life, sign up for Happify's free "Feel More Fulfilled in Your Relationship" track. No matter where your relationship is today, you can feel better about where it's going and experience greater happiness.
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