We all dream of that ‘happily ever after,’ but the reality is, sustaining a relationship requires effort beyond grand gestures.

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Material things may bring temporary joy, but the secret to long-lasting happiness lies in the small, daily actions that strengthen your bond.

So, what’s the secret recipe to becoming one of those delightfully happy, contented couples? Here we explore nine simple things that long lasting couples do to maintain their connection and make love last forever.

Nine Things You Can Do to Live Happily Ever After

Express Affection: Regularly kiss, hug, or compliment your partner. These gestures serve as constant reminders of your love, reinforcing the bond between you. The chemical ‘Oxytocin’ is released in our body when we touch someone. It’s called the ‘love hormone’ for a reason! It heightens feelings of connection, bonding and trust.

Be Attentive: When your partner speaks, give them your undivided attention. Show respect by putting aside distractions and responding to their cues for connection. Be aware of things like being on your phone when they’re speaking to you.

Check In: Life can be chaotic! So take a moment to send a text or make a call to say “hi”. It’s a small act that communicates that you’re thinking about them.

Show Gratitude: Instead of focusing on complaints, express gratitude for your partner’s positive qualities. Saying ‘I love you’ and wishing them a good day can set a positive tone.

Treat Your Partner: Small favors and surprises, like making a cup of coffee or helping with chores, demonstrates thoughtfulness and appreciation. Treat them how you would like to be treated.

Have Fun Together: Infuse humor into your relationship. Share jokes, funny videos, or play harmless pranks. A sense of humor is not only a stress reliever but also a bonding agent. Laughing together emphasises the bonding process.

Forgive and Forget: Choose your battles wisely. Forgiving your partner for minor mistakes prevents resentment from building and unnecessary tension from arising. Think about whether what happened is worth the fight, or could you let this one go?

Go to Bed Together: Whenever possible, share moments before bedtime. Whether it’s cuddling, talking, or simply being together, these moments positively make a big difference on your relationship.

Support Dreams: Be aware and take time to understand your partner’s dreams and aspirations. Offer support, celebrate achievements, and be a pillar of strength during challenging times. Knowing what you each aspire towards means you can work as a team to get there, and support one another with your dreams. Also take time to have some shared dreams you can work on reaching together, e.g. an overseas trip you may want to take together in the future.

Building a lasting relationship requires commitment and time, and even the best relationships encounter bumps along the way. By incorporating these nine little steps into your daily routine, you can nurture a stronger connection that leads to a more loving and fulfilling relationship.

Remember, it’s the small things that make love last forever.

If you find that your relationship is facing challenges that seem to be persistent, or if you simply want to enhance your connection further, seeking professional counselling can provide valuable insights and support. Talking with a relationship professional will help you both navigate the complexities of a relationship and foster a healthier, more enduring bond.

Written by Clinical Psychologist Rebecca Deane