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Healthy Relationships: 5 Powerful Habits of Truly Happy Couples

Healthy relationships and truly happy couples exist.

Four years ago, during a normal day at the office, my friend Sarah went to the kitchen and a nice guy approached her.

She knew he liked her, as she had caught him staring at her a few times. He was nervous, and she could see it. So she did her best to make him feel at ease.

They had a short and pleasant conversation that afternoon, then chatted on Messenger for a few days, and after a week they went on their first date.

Fast forward to today, they are one of the coolest couples I’ve ever met. They have a truly healthy relationship.

Healthy relationships characteristics

I’ve asked Sarah how they can make such a perfect couple.

She answered their relationship is far from being perfect, as they came from different backgrounds and have arguments from time to time — all couples do.

However, they know how to communicate and healthily resolve conflict.

She then shared with me what in her opinion are the points of strength of her relationship with James, her boyfriend.


Sarah and James tease each other a lot, and they often use humor to deflect useless arguments.

When there is some tension and they are about to fight over something small, they have the habit of changing the tone of the conversation from upset to funny. And it works.

Sometimes they just use an inside joke and immediately switch from feeling bothered to laughing together.

Or they make fun of each other and any small tension that could grow into a pointless argument fades away.

They still address the problem, but they do it playfully — and healthily.

Obviously, if a more serious issue arises, they sit down and talk, as they believe in the importance of resolving conflict.

How to apply this habit:

Whenever you feel you and your partner are about to fight over something small, try to use some humor.

According to a study conducted at the University of Kansas, humor is positively associated with relationship satisfaction.

A simple inside joke can often help release the tension and has the power to resolve a small issue without the need to argue.

Assertive communication

Some people have the habit of subtly expressing their negative feelings through their actions instead of addressing them assertively.

Other people avoid conflict by completely shutting down when their partner calls them out on something.

Sarah told me that until a few months ago, any time she tried to tell James something she didn’t like, he got defensive and sometimes even a bit nervous.

And he would just shut down. So she felt unable to communicate her needs because she always found a “wall.

One day they talked about it and they realized that what triggered James’ defensive behavior was Sarah’s attitude when bringing something up.

Although she thought she was doing everything right, the way she addressed issues was the cause of many arguments — and she had no clue about that.

James explained to Sarah what exactly he didn’t like and she understood how she had to communicate negative feedback to him.

On the other hand, he understood the importance of listening to her needs and learned how to be more open to receiving feedback.

They found a way to talk openly about their expectations and needs without upsetting each other or keeping things to themselves, and things improved a lot from that moment on.

All this was possible thanks to assertive communication, which is much more effective than a passive-aggressive communication style.

How to apply this habit:

Never keep things to yourself.

If you have to communicate your needs, make sure to do it respectfully, without making your partner feel criticized.

Never blame or make your partner feel guilty for communicating their feelings.

Try not to lose your patience, and don’t tell them they are being “too sensitive.

Learn to actively listen instead, and always create space for healthy and non-violent communication.

Healthy relationships are all about respectful communication.

Spending some time apart

Healthy relationships always have this essential element in common: time apart.

Sarah loves spending time alone, from time to time. In fact, being an introvert, she often needs some time alone.

James knows and understands this and always gives her all the space she needs.

Probably because he’s an introvert as well, and he consequently needs some alone time too.

Sometimes they also spend time with their friends, or on their own hobbies.

While it’s important to spend quality time together, successful couples know that time apart helps each partner recharge.

It keeps things exciting and fresh. When you focus on your dreams and passions and have the ability to respect your significant other’s space, a healthy relationship can grow.

The need to spend time apart is often overlooked.

How to apply this habit:

Always make sure you and your partner make enough time to pursue your dreams and focus on other areas of your life — like your career or your hobbies.

When you have a fulfilling life, you bring positive energy into the relationship and massively contribute to its success.

Recommended read: 23 Traits of a Sigma Male

Consistent, small gestures

James loves to cook. And he takes real pleasure in preparing some delicious meals for Sarah. He does that almost every day.

He also loves to make her life easier. For example, if he goes to Sarah’s place he always asks if she needs something from the grocery store. It’s his way to show her his love.

He sends her a good morning message every day, and checks in often throughout the day.

The fact that he consistently does all these small things for Sarah makes her fall in love with him every day more.

All those small gestures help her feel grateful for being in a relationship with James.

How to apply this habit:

When you consistently make an effort to make things work, you nurture the relationship and make it solid and special.

Keep doing nice things for your partner, like complimenting them, bringing flowers from time to time, or preparing breakfast — not only during the honeymoon phase of the relationship but even after months or years.

Be an attentive partner.

Recommended read: How Soon Is Too Soon to Move In Together? Here’s the Truth

Supporting each other

James knows that whenever he has a difficult day Sarah is there for him.

He knows he has her back.

Also, anytime he has to share some good news Sarah is the first person he calls. Because he knows she’s his biggest fan.

Similarly, every time Sarah feels satisfied for any job-related achievement, or something related to her passions — like dancing and painting — she can’t wait to call him or text him, because she knows he believes in her.

She knows he is genuinely happy for her every time she succeeds.

If they’re planning to meet, but she asks him more time to work on a painting, he is happy to give her all the time she needs.

When things like that happen, she feels supported. That’s love.

He’s not only there on the other side of the phone if she needs to talk, but he’s also able to show he truly cares through his actions.

How to apply this habit:

Being there for one another and being supportive through concrete actions is essential to make a relationship flourish. That’s real love.

Understanding and respecting your significant other’s needs and priorities is the key to successful and healthy relationships.

Healthy relationships: Final thoughts

No relationship is perfect. All couples have their ups and downs, even the seemingly perfect ones.

However, despite the challenges, all relationships have the potential to improve.

Using humor, communicating assertively, spending time apart, consistently doing nice things for each other, and supporting each other, are all habits that can make your relationship thrive.

And these are habits most happy couples have in common.

Healthy love is possible. It’s all about the desire to make it work and respecting each other along the way.

Photo by Marcelo Matarazzo on Unsplash

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