4 underrated habits of genuinely happy couples, according to experts

We’ve all got that one couple in our life who we reckon will be together forever. 

They are, for all intents and purposes, the epitome of “couple goals.”

What does that look like? Well, for starters, they laugh at each other’s jokes, find excuses to sing each other’s praise, and genuinely enjoy being in one another’s company. And it’s never cringe, either. It’s a delight to be in the presence of.

Together, this couple are happy. 

Building a relationship like this—one that is full of warmth, love, and positivity—is no simple feat! 

But it’s certainly something that is a worthwhile journey, as it’s something many of us aspire to.

Which is why it can’t hurt to look to the experts—the psychologists, marriage counselors, and all-rounded romance aficionados—-who can help steer us in the right direction.

So, let’s take a look at a handful of underrated habits demonstrated by happy couples. Starting with a big one: honesty.

1) Radical honesty and openness

According to Dr Gleb Tsipursky, a “disaster avoidance expert”, honesty is one of the most underrated habits of happy and content couples.

Happy couples often keep things simple by being completely honest and open with each other. 

They are basically able to have straightforward and genuine conversations where they reveal their true thoughts and feelings without holding too much back.

He breaks it down. “It’s better to face the truth squarely in the face right now and address it, rather than let it sabotage your relationship in the long run,” says Dr Tsipursky.

So, what does this mean in a practical sense? Well, instead of hiding things or playing games, happy couples choose to be real and open with one another.

This means talking about everyday stuff, like how their day went, as well as deeper things, like their fears and dreams—even when it aint easy.

It’s all about being true to themselves and each other. By being open, they build trust and a strong connection.

It’s not about making things complicated—it’s about enjoying the beauty of a relationship where both partners feel comfortable being their authentic self. Build this up, and watch all the benefits flow from it.

2) Establish and maintain personal boundaries—even in the face of technology

Technological advancements, including smartphones and social media apps, mean we live in a new age of hyperconnectivity and visibility. But this isn’t always for the best.

Dr Tsipursky continues that it isn’t always healthy for couples to be in constant communication with one another. 

“Permitting each other to have privacy, as well as not pushing the other person to do things they’d prefer not to do, helps increase happiness in relationships, since it builds up mutual trust,” Dr Tsipursky tells Psychology Today.

For the happiest couples, navigating the intricacies of modern technology is not just a challenge but an opportunity to strengthen their bond and become more resilient as a team.

In an era where smartphones and social media often blur the lines between personal and public spaces, a happy couple consciously chooses to establish and uphold clear personal boundaries.

This decision reflects not a rejection of tech, but a strategic embrace of it within the context of a relationship.

By navigating digital spaces with intentionality and care, the couple takes control over the technology that surrounds them, rather than letting it dictate the terms of their relationship. 

In doing so, they create a safe space where trust, communication, and shared experiences can thrive.

3) They know how to be vulnerable

One of the most underrated traits of happy, long-lasting couples is the ability to be vulnerable.

Meredith Hansen, a clinical psychologist who specializes in romantic relationships, expanded on this in a piece for Psych Central.

Essentially, she floats the idea that vulnerability is not about sharing every thought that snakes its way through your head, but rather, how these thoughts make you feel. This is particularly important when it comes to the realm of conflict.

“When you argue with your partner, the facts do not matter. Rather it is important for couples to share how the incident made them feel or how it affected them emotionally,” says Hansen.

Being vulnerable also means being real about fears, desires, and simply being able to say, “I need you right now.”

It’s not about being perfect, rather, it’s about being okay with imperfections and finding the beauty in them.

Imagine a strong connection where you trust each other enough to be yourself completely. 

This openness creates a unique kind of intimacy made of trust and understanding and a love that lasts.

4) Using “gentle start-ups” instead of blatant criticism 

John Gottman is a renowned psychologist and relationship researcher known for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction. 

You might have heard of him being the pioneer of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a concept representing destructive communication patterns in relationships. 

One of the Four Horsemen is “criticism.” Perhaps you know this one well.

In the scheme of relationships, criticism involves expressing disapproval or judgment about a partner’s character or personality.

Gottman emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing these negative communication patterns to maintain healthy relationships.

He suggests replacing criticism with using more constructive communication styles to foster understanding and connection.

“If you are unhappy with something in your relationship, by all means, express it, but instead of attacking with criticism, you can use a gentle start-up,” an article by The Gottman Institute explains.

An example of a gentle start-up is saying, “I’m not a huge fan of the yellow wallpaper, I think green would really make our furniture pop! What do you think?” Whereas a more critical version of this would look like: “Eugh, yellow? I swear you have the worst taste in interior design.”

In other words, happier couples tend to avoid put-downs and try to focus on expressing their needs in a more positive manner. It’s a super useful technique to cultivate.

Final thoughts

So, let’s take a look at all that we’ve learned in this piece.

Happy couples thrive when they are able to keep it real. 

Being open and honest is key—they’re not afraid to show their true selves, warts and all! 

Also, these couples don’t sprinkle negativity around. There is no pointing fingers or sifting through to find faults and flaws.

Instead, they cheer each other on, creating a relationship full of laughter, positivity, and joy.

If you’re looking to build a long-lasting, happy relationship, being open, truthful, and kind are the underrated traits that can help you work towards that goal.

Picture of Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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