Having a great relationship instead of a bad one isn’t just the luck of the draw. Couples who have great relationships are always looking for ways to grow and improve their connection. They view things from a growth perspective. Here are seven common situations in which really happy couples see things just a bit differently from unhappy couples — and how to start seeing things this way yourself:
1. They view arguments as productive discussions.
Arguing has a negative connotation, but a lot can be learned from an argument. Great couples see arguing as productive, and try to keep it that way by fighting fair by allowing each other equal time to share their feelings without interruption, avoiding name-calling, and not bringing up other disputes within an argument. By the end of an argument, unless it’s something that requires multiple conversations, they have a solution to the issue that caused the discussion in the first place.
They look for the opportunity in the argument to smooth things over and avoid placing blame. Getting into an argument can be productive if you do it in a solution-oriented way.
2. They aren’t affected by negative relationship stories.
The influx of negative media regarding celebrity relationships, and constant discussion of issues in relationships among friends, can be damaging to your relationship if you aren’t in a confident place. Great couples see and hear these stories but don’t let them affect their own personal feelings or actions.
When you see or hear something negative about relationships, make the decision to not engage. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in other relationships. You’re in a one-of-a-kind partnership.
3. They see traveling together as an adventure rather than a stressful experience.
Traveling is inherently stressful for a lot of people, but your partner shouldn’t exacerbate that feeling. Great couples focus on making the best out of the worst situations. They see traveling as an opportunity to have new experiences together.
Instead of getting stressed out or angry because your partner forgot to pack something that you reminded them to pack, just let it go. Stop by a shop once you get to your destination and pick it up. If you decide not to sweat the small stuff, you’ll likely find that a large chunk of your conflicts will be resolved.
4. They are constantly finding ways to do and be better in their relationship.
You can always find ways to be better in your relationships. Great couples constantly look for ways to be better to their partners. They read positive articles about relationships. They read books about improving their relationships.
They listen to inspirational stories about couples. There are many things you can do to learn more about how to be better in your relationship. You just have to put in the effort.
5. They do what needs to be done, even if it isn’t their responsibility.
Some couples get into big arguments over things that need to be done, whether it’s a household chore or errands to run. Great couples might get into small discussions about certain things, but for the most part they do what needs to be done, even if it isn’t their turn to do it.
Instead of causing a big fight about something not being done around the house, just do it yourself. Your partner will appreciate it, and you’ll forestall any conflicts.
6. They enjoy each other’s company more than anyone else’s.
I know couples who enjoy spending time with their friends more than they enjoy spending time together. Great couples don’t mind if they spend more time with their partners than they do their friends. They enjoy each other’s company and are grateful for every minute they get to spend together.
In order to get to that point in your relationship, you both have to be on the same page in terms of what you like, what you want, and want you need — and work on improving your relationship daily.
7. They handle individual problems as a team.
Many people will deal with their problems as individuals. They will tell their partner it’s something they have to “handle themselves” and that they “don’t need help.” People in great relationships, for the most part, use each other’s help to solve problems more quickly and efficiently.
When you have a problem, don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help. That person is there for you and wants to help however they can. Having your partner help you when a problem arises reduces energy expenditure and creates less stress. That helps you be a better partner, too.
Viewing these seven situations in a slightly different way can ultimately help you become a better version of yourself and build a better relationship with your partner. Try it out, and see how it goes for you.