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9 signs you're in a really happy relationship, according to psychology

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9 signs you're in a really happy relationship, according to psychology

Happiness is not so easy to define.

And this makes it extra challenging to define what a happy relationship is (or not).

Some relationships APPEAR happy, but actually aren’t. And some SEEM boring and toxic, but are actually…well, happy.

No wonder many of us are stuck in unfulfilling relationships or hopping from one partner to another in search of “happiness.”

Fortunately, psychologists have spent years – sometimes even decades – researching what constitutes a truly happy relationship.

I looked them up for you so you can better assess your relationship.

So… are you ready?

Here are 9 signs that you are in a truly happy relationship, according to psychology.

1) You turn towards each other, instead of away

Gottman Institutean organization dedicated to researching marriage conducted a survey of 40,000 couples.

They can predict with 94% accuracy whether a relationship will last after observing a couple for just 15 minutes.

And these couples are the ones who respond or “turn” to each other when given the opportunity to engage in conversation.

Do you and your partner pay attention and respond when one of you sighs, tries to make eye contact, or says, “Honey, come here. Look at this”?

Do you feel that you receive enough attention?

Congratulations then! Science says you have a truly happy relationship.

2) You have your own language

Do you have any inside jokes, pet names, and silly words that you’ve come up with?

People around you say: “What?! What a strange couple!” because they don’t understand you and therefore feel out of place?

Maybe you’re just in a really happy relationship.

Secret communication is a sign of a deep bond between couples, according to one study by Robert Hooper, professor of communications at the University of Texas.

It also strengthens the couple’s identity over time.

If you call each other silly pet names, you (and other people) might think you’re a stupid couple – and this can make you look at your relationship positively.

3) Household tasks are distributed fairly

If you’re like me, you would have thought that an adequate income, compatible political views, and shared interests go a long way in determining a happy marriage.

And sure, they do.

But you know what’s more important? According to a Pew Research Center Poll 2007it is sharing household chores.

That’s right: the dishes and the laundry and the trash, baby.

Sharing household chores is in the top three, third after fidelity and good sex.

So…do you feel like you and your partner share the duties equally?

Aren’t you fighting over unwashed dishes, rotting trash, and who’s cooking dinner?

Then you’re probably in a really happy relationship.

4) You both have lives outside the relationship

Eli Finkel psychologist and author of books like All-or-Nothing Marriage, says to have a happy marriage: we should not look to our partner for all our existential needs.

In other words, we should have our own lives outside of our relationship.

Related to this, a study by researchers at Stony Brook University concluded that longing for and THINKING about our partner when we are away from them makes people feel more in love.

It confirms the saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’.

So… if you have your own hobbies, if you meet your friends regularly, if you discover things on your own, you are probably happier than those who cling to each other 24/7.

5) You touch each other a lot

Speaking of clinging: you love to cling to your partner – literally!

In a healthy marriage, touch is used daily (Parrott & Parrott, 1995)

When I was with my ex, we touched each other a lot in the beginning of our relationship. We kissed, cuddled, tickled and had a lot of sex.

But as the years passed, we didn’t even hold hands anymore.

And I don’t know if it’s a result of our deteriorating relationship or if it’s the other way around.

One thing is certain: a healthy relationship requires touch.

I am now with a partner where we make sure we touch each other every day. Even if we sometimes argue or don’t feel like it, we make it a point to at least hug each other in the morning.

Do you touch each other often?

Do you rarely feel deprived of touch?

Do you have a healthy sex life?

Then you’re probably in a really happy relationship.

6) You invest in each other’s personal happiness

When your partner shares good news, such as that he or she has received a promotion, do you get excited?

Or do you give them a casual “Wow, congratulations!” and think further: “Does this mean they now earn more than me?”

Or “Does this mean he will spend more time with his colleague Liza?”

According to psychology, this is one indicator of a happy relationship how enthusiastically each partner responds to the other’s good news.

If you are truly happy when your partner is happy and vice versa, then you must be in a truly happy relationship.

7) You fight well

A happy relationship doesn’t mean you don’t whine and fight.

In fact, arguments can be a normal and even healthy part of your relationship. says licensed therapist Jaquinda Jackson.

But what separates happy couples from toxic couples is their ability to heal and bond after an argument.

According to relationship expert John Gottman, couples who are good at fighting do the following:

  • They communicate with their partner a model that if you are angry, I listen.
  • They don’t leave each other in pain.
  • They are very gentle in the way they talk about conflict.
  • They repair by making emotional connections rather than just using intellect. In other words, it is better for both of them to be loving than to be right.

Is this how you fight?

Then there is a good chance that you have a really happy relationship.

8) You try new things together

Novelty is important in long-term relationships, according to Dr. Arthur Arona psychologist who has studied the science of love and relationships.

According to his research, couples who do new things instead of sticking to their usual routine are more satisfied in their relationships.

Do you and your partner make the effort to try new things?

Do you discover new restaurants?

Are you learning something new together?

Are you trying new sex positions?

Do you visit at least one new city every year?

If you answer yes to all these questions, then you are a lucky person. Chances are you’re in a really happy relationship.

9) You both feel lucky to have each other

And not only that: you express it!

The Gottman Institute says that the phrase “Thank you” is the No. 1 phrase used in successful relationships.

But it’s important that you’re not just polite or that you’re not just doing it because it’s good for your relationship, but that you’re genuinely grateful for the things they do!

Do you really love (and not just) your partner as a person?

Are you lucky enough to have them?

Do you often say thank you or express it in other ways?

Congratulations then! You have to be in a really happy relationship.

Final thoughts

Will you get 9 out of 9?

Then there is no doubt about it.

You are in a really happy relationship, so never let them go.

But if you can only identify with a few of the signs on this list, don’t get discouraged.

It doesn’t mean you’re not happy, it just means there are some things you might want to improve.

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