Marriage and Relationships: What Happy Couples Know
Have you ever wondered about what happy couples know about staying in love? Their secret sauce? I’ve written about this extensively in other posts and in my book, Love in 90 Days, and here is an excerpt:
There are four key secret sauce ingredients that underlie ongoing attraction in happy couples: having fun, laughing, going on exciting outings and doing novel things together. Just practicing these things for a few minutes each day can make a vast difference in your personal happiness and in your relationship!
What Happy Couples Know: They Have Fun Together
Laughter is the closest distance between two people.
Remember, how you first fell in love with each other—while you were going out on dates that were fun? So what happy couples know is how to keep having fun together.
First, create situations and interactions where you are happy, content, enjoying yourself and having fun. And he is too. Share activities like museum exhibits, plays, movies, parks, picnics, day trips, long walks, cooking a new dish, preparing a feast for friends or family, playing card games, hanging out at a community pool, or lounging in front of the TV and watching an entire season of that sci-fi or comedy series that you both love. These activities inevitably lead to holding hands, touching, looking at and appreciating each other, which in turn produce the hormone oxytocin which is the bonding and attachment hormone.
What happy couples know is that they need some quieter activities for their down-times together. In fact, these are perfect for couples that lead stressed lives either because of work or family responsibilities like children or sick parents. If you want to really bond with a highly stressed guy, try not to run him around too much and make a lot of physical contact with him so he slows his motor down.
Spending Time Alone
When I interview these guys about their mates and why they chose them, they nearly always point to how they felt at peace around them. I’m not saying you should never go to a club and stay out all night or go bungee jumping. There’s a place for that as well. But for bonding, there’s nothing like being alone and hanging out doing something you both really enjoy. So what happy couples know is that spending time alone with each other is a key ingredient in a healthy relationship.
What Happy Couples Know: They Laugh
Second, make sure you watch funny movies or more sophisticated cartoons, go to comedy shows, joke around or share funny moments of teasing or clowning. Shared laughter is a great stress-reliever and bonding agent. Besides, you can use humor to validate your partner. Or to make fun of yourself. It can break through and defuse arguments and soothe upset or bitter feelings. So for these reasons and more, shared humor has been shown by research to be a key component of happy marriages.
What Happy Couples Know: Adrenaline Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Third, and I didn’t forget you thrill-seekers, go on exciting outings that get the adrenaline pumping. These activities simulate the speedy brain chemistry of falling-in-love. Hit the amusement park, go bungee jumping, take a helicopter ride or hike a high mountainous trail. Then scream yourselves silly at a basketball game, have a foot race at the beach and even compete in a high voltage video game. Studies show that people who are emotionally aroused by any feeling, including joy or fear fall in love more easily. As two love researchers once wrote, “Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder.”
What Happy Couples Know: They Seek Novelty With Each Other
Finally, do novel activities together. Research studies show that novelty is a key factor in personal and relationship satisfaction. It helps to produce dopamine, the neurotransmitter of pleasure. Change things up. For example, where you eat dinner, where you make out, how you have sex. Another great way to seek novelty is by acting like you are having an affair with each other. Finally, pick out an unusual place to go on vacation.
For example, on one of our big anniversaries, my husband and I really wanted to shake things up. So we went on an eco-tour in the Amazon jungle in Ecuador! Instead of staying at a nice hotel we stayed with an indigenous tribe of ex-headhunters whose village was right at the edge of the river. Oh, OK. Maybe that was both novelty and adrenaline-pumping. And full of belly ripping laughs. I didn’t realize at the time I booked the trip, just how adrenaline pumping it really was!
On the left is a photo of us, stuck knee-deep in the mud having an awesome time. Oh yes, there are scorpions, piranha and deadly venomous snakes all around us.
My husband was as protective as could be especially after one of our group got washed down the rapids and gashed his knee. Fortunately, we had antibiotic cream with us and the guy was OK. Meanwhile, it was quite romantic and sexy as the sun would set each night on all the beautiful colors of the Amazon basin.
There is no need to go that far in creating the magic of bonding for you and your Beloved. Happy couples know that you can simply watch a stand-up comedy show right on your TV tonight. And have a blast laughing together over a bowl of popcorn!
So you no longer have to wonder about what happy couples know. Make sure you continue to have fun with your lover. I’ve shared four different ways to do so. If you want to learn about having great sex and passion in your relationship you can read about it here. The most important takeaway is this. If you and your partner each take 100% of the responsibility for making fun happen, then it’ll happen. But, if by chance, you and your partner have lost the magic of having fun together, please take advantage of our free relationship coaching strategy session. You just might have a breakthrough! Many people have from just one session.
Also, here is a short video all about what happy couples know: that great fun factor keeps couples in love:
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Dr. Diana Kirschner
Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
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