Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


7 Simple Steps to Being a Happier Couple

There are a few simple steps you can take to boost your romantic life.

Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock
Source: Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock

Being a happy couple should come naturally, but there are a few things you can do to boost your romantic life and make your relationship bulletproof. Here are seven suggestions:

1. Be nice to your in-laws. Don’t make them outlaws; make them friends. All it takes is being nice to them and not letting their quirks get to you. You have your own quirks, so be tolerant. As you go through life with these people, they will become easier to be around, and they will also become your family. My mother-in-law is here, and it’s making my wife very happy (and I’m getting in a little football). It’s also nice having mommy energy around the house.

2. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t hold on to the little things that bug you about the one you love. If it becomes an ingrained habit to hate that part of your partner, it will taint the rest of your marriage. As we mature, letting go of these little things does become easier, but talking a little more from the start about what you want is the best prevention and relationship protector.

3. Hold off on making decisions that can affect your lifestyle until you talk to your partner. For example, we hate our kitchen faucet, and the plumber was here, but rather than make a unilateral decision and pick a new one (hey, the kitchen is my wife’s domain), I just told him to fix it for now. Tonight, we will start researching new faucets — it will be fun, and I do have a vote. I want a touchless, but she gets the final decision, and I did get to pick out the barbecue.

4. Argue respectfully. No name-calling, belittling, threatening the relationship, or bullying. Dear Abby once said, “We never talk about divorce, murder sometimes, but never divorce.” That works for me. You will have fights, it’s part of life, and they are uncomfortable — you just don’t need to make them more so. I never put my wife down, because that just ends up making me look and feel bad, and no one deserves to be treated that way.

5. Stay affectionate even if you aren’t sexual. People go through things that can prevent them from having sex. Some of them are physical, and some are emotional, but affection should not stop; there will be plenty of time for sex. If for some reason you are withholding sex as a punishment for some resentment you are carrying, then you may want to seek therapy, because the resentment will only push the two of you further apart.

6. Have adventures. Go to places the two of you have never gone to before. It’s really that simple. I have a favorite restaurant, but we only go there every few months, because we are trying every place in town. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Besides, research shows that having new experiences together makes you closer.

7. Share your love. Children, pets, friends, and family will all help you increase your love. The more you give, the more you have to give. I get a great deal of pleasure watching my wife play with the animals; they love each other so much, it’s just heartwarming. She’s also great with the little kids, who all think she is magical, because she interacts with them like a Disney princess. It’s really fun to watch, and again, it just brings in more love to both our lives.

These simple suggestions require that you have an open heart, and that you want to make things better. Couples who strive to make their relationships nicer have a much better time together than those who just stay with the status quo and let any negative feelings fester.

More from Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today