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7 Features of a Happy Relationship


    We've talked to many couples. Sometimes we couples don't realize how good we have it. Through thick and thin, we have our partner, and he or she has you. But that doesn't mean it's not tough. And we also sometimes wonder, when things get tough, what does a happy relationship look like? All couples run into some obstacles from time to time, and that's okay, and natural. GetLusty writer Lynn Olejniczak shares some thoughts on what makes for a happy relationship.

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    There is no greater lesson than a lesson learned. I’m sure all of us have walked away from one relationship or another with the thought, “I’ll never do that again!” Often, we remember the promises that we made to ourselves. Other times they vaporize the second we see those sexy, blue eyes, or those strong arms – if you know what I mean. So here is a reminder of the things that make a relationship happy, healthy, and good. Cut it out and keep it on your fridge so your best friend doesn’t have to have this conversation with you later.

    #1 Forgiveness 

    Forgiveness is terrific. Happy couples are able to accurately decide what is a little thing, (always leaving an ABBA cd qued up in the car), as opposed to a big thing (getting drunk at corporate functions). Obviously these examples are no-brainers. It is the ones in-between, the ones that eventually weigh on us to become big things that can be issues. Things like, never putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, leaving cosmetics all over the bathroom, and demanding total control over the remote that will eventually breed contempt. If it really isn’t a big thing – just let it be. If the cops are sending cards thanking the household for their business, happy couples know something needs addressing.

    #2 Communication

    Happy couples not only talk to each other, but like to talk to each other. This means big, important issues and little, stupid stuff. That person in the next work cubicle who calls their partner a couple times a day to share what’s going on? They probably really like their other half. Reporting every cup of coffee consumed, or asking permission to go out to lunch is a little creepy, and probably not healthy. But if your partner is one of the top two people you think of to share something with, then congrats! I’m guessing you’re pretty happy.

    #3 Stay true to you

    Happy couples are happy because they know they are secure in their relationships. If one of the pair wants to paint their face blue and orange while they freeze their ass off in a parking lot every other Winter Sunday while the other prefers Art Institute lectures; that’s cool. Happy people let their partners out of their sight without worry. Happy couples are still individuals. Their partner is their partner because they fell in love with the individual. Keep the individual happy, and the couple stays happy.

    #4 Tools to deal with difficult (ahem) family

    We all have relatives that suck. Let me say that again. We all have relatives that suck. Happy couples have figured out that even if they don’t live with the videogame-obsessed-unemployed-stoner-brother-in-law, he still attends family functions. When the conscious decision was made to join forces, freaky family members became part of the package. Learning tools to deal with in-laws is important to a happy home life. Holidays, and visits don’t last forever. A happy partner will smile and listen to Aunt Catherine’s UFO experience six times on Christmas. Every Christmas.

    #5 They support each other

    In every dispute, sides are taken. Happy couples support each other. It helps keep them happy. If mom-in-law insists on reorganizing the furniture every time she comes to visit, the happy homemakers both say no. Once outside family and friends see that there is power in numbers eventually Machiavellian schemes should stop. But if Martha Stewart is your mother-in-law, you’re on your own.

    #6 Respect

    A positive, happy relationship involves respect. Respect is shown in a variety of ways; not leaving socks all over the living room, politely differing in opinion without turning it into WWIII, helping out with the kids, and not assuming it is the other person’s job all the time. Look, if James Carville and Mary Matalin are still married after 20 years then any couple can respect the other one’s baseball team.

    #7 They're comfortable together... sexually

    Come on! You didn’t think this would be a GetLusty article without mentioning doing the nasty? Happy couples are happily showing their affection for each other. We already talked about the statistics regarding married sex. So cohabitating sex, happily engaged sex, and happily dating sex should be just as good, no? The kiss, the wink, the grope, all that and a bag of chips happens when a couple is happy. If they feel it, they show it. No reason not to.

    Obviously there are other things that happy couples do. These are just some of our favorites. If you’re happy for another reason, tell us. If you’re happy, we’re happy!

    Lynn Olejniczak is a native Chicagoan who loves her city and everything it has to offer. She spent 10 years as a NASDAQ trader in Chicago and New York in the 90's, then went back to college when "the rules changed and I realized no one was going to pay me lots of money to swear at them anymore." She loves good food, and a perfectly poured Guinness at any Irish pub in the city. Her Beastie Boys CDs rest comfortably next to her Misfits vinyl, and she believes Underground Garage is the best radio program known to humankind. Armed with degrees in History, and a love of Urban Planning, Lynn is currently writing and researching a book on the 80's Chicago bar scene. Get in touch with Lynn at editorial@getlusty.com.
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