By Balvinder Sandhu
Relationships aren't easy. It takes a lot to stay in love and committed in the relationship through good and bad times and it's more than just luck that keeps couples together.
Here are 10 secrets that happy couples adhere to:
1. Be realistic
A successful relationship goes beyond the initial rush of love. Joanne, 37, and Rick, 38, married with three children, emphasize the importance of being realistic about expectations, especially during challenging times. Simple gestures and shared moments can often be more valuable than extravagant gifts.
2. Be Accepting
Trying to change your partner or altering aspects of your personality can lead to conflicts. Jarrold, 22, highlights the significance of accepting and respecting his girlfriend's career-driven nature, recognizing that accepting each other is a key ingredient for happiness.
3. Agree to disagree
Recognising that not all problems can be solved immediately is crucial. Dr John Gottman’s research revealed that about ⅔ of relationship problems are unsolvable. Mr. Arthur Ling, Chief Executive of Fei Yue Community Services suggests that communication and patience are keys, and learning to communicate with your partner in a healthy way will help you both to work through differences and find compromises. Understanding that some issues won't have a clear resolution for now helps to maintain a healthy relationship.
4. Have 'me time'
Even amid a busy life, carving out personal time is essential. Joanne emphasizes the importance of taking moments for oneself and enjoying a cup of coffee during the brief periods when her husband and children are occupied. This 'me time' fosters individual well-being within the context of the relationship.
5. Don't hold grudges
Instead of dwelling on past conflicts, focus on moving forward. Priya, 39, and her husband, Ravi, 38, stress the importance of effort and compromise in resolving issues promptly, preventing them from festering. Jazlyn, 28, and Raymond, 32, make it a point to address and resolve arguments before bedtime to maintain a healthy marriage.
6. Embrace the downs with the ups
Acknowledging that challenges are inevitable, and this is especially relevant when you have children. Ms. Cheesiah Chang, a Relationship Coach and founder of Relationship Conversation, emphasises the importance of supporting each other during tough times, fostering strength and assurance in the relationship.
7. Don’t take for granted
Expressing gratitude and showing respect through small gestures is crucial. Ravi appreciates when his wife uses expressions like 'please' and 'thank you,' recognising the power of these simple acts in reinforcing appreciation.
8. Have aligned goals
Shared goals strengthen the foundation of a relationship. Joanne emphasises how common aspirations, such as starting a family, helped her and her husband thrive as a happy couple. Aligned goals provide a sense of purpose and unity.
9. Work on it
Relationships, like gardens, require continuous effort. Mr. Arthur Ling and Ms. CheeSiah Chang stress the importance of commitment, using one's will to love even when feelings are low. Addressing misunderstandings promptly prevents them from escalating.
10. Keep improving
Striving to be a better person benefits both individuals and the relationship. Ravi's advice is clear: "Nobody's perfect, keep improving yourself for your partner." Continuous personal growth contributes to the overall improvement of the relationship.
By incorporating these 10 secrets into your relationship, you can build a strong foundation for lasting love and happiness. Remember, relationships are a journey of growth, understanding, and continuous improvement.