Being happy in a relationship can be as easy as ABC once you know these simple secrets. We often make it a lot harder than it needs to be or even don't concentrate on what is important and lose track of the priorities.

Relationships come in every shape, color, size and income brackets. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been together. Whatever the demographics, when you see a happy couple, you just know it!

Many of us want that happy, stable, lasting relationship but few of us actually manage to sustain that loving relationship we had at the beginning.

How do these couples stay in love, in good times and in bad? Fortunately, the answer isn’t through luck or chance. As a result of hard work and commitment, they figure out the importance of the following relationship “musts.” Because few couples know about all of the musts, I think of them as the relationship “secrets.”


Secret Number 1: Have a realistic view of committed relationships

This is just to be aware and prepared that you will most definitely won't rest in the honey period of infatuation. Once you accept this you can full appreciate a fuller and richer relationship. A long term relationship has ups and downs and not recognizing this would be unrealistic, so remember even though a strong attraction is an important part of a relationship, you need to be aware that the initial fireworks won’t last and you must be able to accept that for you to be happy.


Secret Number 2: Choose your partner wisely

This may not sound very romantic but you should understand your likes and dislikes and what you want from a partner. Sharing hobbies, interests, ideas and views, especially on how you see your future and your values will make you happier than wildly conflicting ideas.


Secret Number 3: Good communication

Let's be honest not all of us are blessed with the capability and facility to communicate well. However this is extremely important in ensure a long and happy relationship. There are several forms of communication and ways that work better for some than others. Whatever your form find something that works for you as nothing is more important than being able to talk about our problems and feelings, as well as the littlest of things. The ability to have a good conversation with your partner will enable you to find each other stimulating, interesting and fun to be around, even when the initial fireworks have worn off. Laughing is equally as important because humour is often the glue that keeps people together. Finally don't forget to listen and truly take it on board.


Secret Number 4: Spend time together

Now this may seem obvious but I am not talking about any old time but good quality time. When you make a point of being together, without kids, pets and other interruptions, you will form a bond that will get you through life’s rough spots. Make an effort to get dressed up, go out or even do an activity, stimulating your feelings and senses. There is nothing more stimulating than making yourself feel beautiful and this being recognized and appreciated by a love one.


Secret Number 5: Accept alone time

Accept and value the need for both your partner and yourself to have alone time as believe it or not spending time apart is an important component of a happy relationship. It is great to have separate hobbies and interests and to come back to the relationship refreshed and ready to share your experiences. Missing your partner helps remind you how important he or she is to you.


Secret Number 6: Be honest

A good happy relationship is based on honesty, respect and trust. A little lie might seem the preferable choose sometimes to keep the peace or because it is easy but it will eventually either come back to get you or turn into a great big black lie and even get out of control. Once that honesty is lost it is almost impossible to reestablish. The happiest of couples are those where honesty comes as easily as breathing. Remember treat others how you wish to be treated yourself.


Secret Number 7: Work on the relationship

Just like an untended garden the weeds soon take over if left to grow. Tend to your relationship as you would your garden to keep it beautiful. Just like anything in life if you wish for it to work it takes hard work and to be tended to on a regular bases. Therefore address misunderstandings and issues and you will be sure to clear the path for the future.


Secret Number 8: Don't expect them to change

It is really important that you appreciate and love your partner for who they are or you will be eternally trying to change them which will cause endless conflicts and dissatisfaction. At the same time, each of you should focus on giving one another more of what you know the other person wants, even if it doesn’t come naturally, showing a mutual respect and understanding for each others needs. Your partner will most probably notice your efforts and start automatically making an effort themselves.


Secret Number 9: Recognize that not all problems can be solved

Remember everyone is entitled to their opinion and you won't always agree. With this in mind don't waste energy and agree to disagree. Compromise is a beautiful quality and an essential element to a happy relationship. It would be a complete lie if I said you would never disagree, but the really test of a happy relationship is how they choose to work through such issues.


Secret Number 10: Appreciate your partner

Who doesn't love being treated with love and respect? If you like being treated well then the chances your partner does too are pretty great. Remind them how their presence in your life enriches it and when you say "I love you" take a minute to really mean it and show it. Honestly as your relationship goes on you will forget to make that little extra effort, but remember if you maintain your efforts you will likely reap what you sow.


Secret Number 11: Remember the little things

A recent study by Open University showed that the littlest of gestures made the biggest of differences to a relationship. I am not talking about flowers on a regular bases but the simplest of things such as saying "thank you" and bring your loved one a cup of tea unexpectedly. Be appreciative and attentive and not only will you make them happy but your will feel valued.


Remember a relationship is hard work but if you work it right it is worth every second of the investment.


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