5 More Habits of Happy Couples
There’s a great little article going around online: the 10 habits of happy couples. I thought this one was excellent, and it inspired me to come up with 5 *bonus* habits that I think make for being a happier couple.
- Don’t leap out of bed in the morning. The other list talked about the importance of going to bed at the same time, and that’s 100% true. But mornings are important too. You’ve just spent 8 hours cuddling: take 20-40 minutes, waking up early if you have to, and spend that time touching, sharing remembered dreams, talking about the highlights of yesterday, and discussing what you are looking forward to for the upcoming day, especially the things that you will do together as a couple.
- Nap together. Humans are hard wired to bond with those we sleep beside. Plus sleep increases oxytocin AKA the love hormone. If you come back from a long run, bike ride, or busy time with kids, chores and shopping, take a 20 minute cat nap with your loved one snoozing on your chest and your arm around her. I dare you not to be more in love with them after you wake up than you were before.
- Kiss passionately. When we first meet as couples, there is a lot of wet and sloppy kissing going on. Within about 6 months, most of us do much less of that, and after 5 years almost all kisses (outside of the bedroom) are dry pecks. But at least weekly, and daily if you can manage it, try to do something that would embarrass your kids if they saw you. Maybe not over the top “necking” (or whatever it is called these days) but definite full on smooching, mouth to mouth, lasting at least 10 seconds. Tongues are good, and if one of you can lift the other up off their feet and twirl them around, that’s always good too. If you’ve gotten out of the habit, you will be surprised how much fun this is, and it will cast a happy glow over the rest of your day. If you do it extra well, you may get spots before your eyes or pass out, so you’ve been warned.
- Salutations and sign offs. You probably send 10-50 short messages, emails, texts or equivalent a day – many of them about quotidian tasks like walking the dog or picking up milk. You can miss it once or twice, but otherwise always start EACH one with a loving salutation: Darling, Lover, Dear One, etc. And always close with a “Love” and a sprinkling of x’s and o’s. Don’t think of it as a duty, chore or obligation: instead it is an opportunity to tell your loved one that you love them an extra tens of times per day! How can that be a bad thing? (I already talked about the importance of pen and paper notes in an earlier blog post.)
- Always be presents. That’s not a typo for being ‘present.’ And I don’t mean you need to give diamond jewellery every week! But we all have dozens of opportunities per week to buy a thing that our partner might otherwise buy for themselves, and make it into a romantic present. Every couple will have their own examples, but I try to buy Barbara a Starbucks salted caramel cake pop every day when I get my own afternoon coffee. She LOVES getting that little treat from me when she gets home from work. We both need clothes during the year: as much as possible I buy her stuff and make it a gift for her, and vice versa. We still spend the same amount annually, but this way when I wear something that is “from her”, it feels more special to me.