Couples in intimate relationships have some things in common. Much of the time it's not about what they do or don't do; it's about who they are as people and how they behave with each other.
Here are some of the many ways the happiest of couples interact with each other. Try them out.
1. Be best friends.
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg both say that their wives are their best friends. People who think that having a best friend as a partner is unromantic are usually single and bitter. Having a best friend in your heart and bed is the best part of a loving relationship.
2. Be able to laugh at yourselves.
Maintaining a sense of humour about your life and your relationship is one of the keys to thriving. Life can throw many curves and without the ability to see and appreciate the irony, you could end up hating the world and each other.
3. Be open to new ideas and experiences.
If your partner only wanted to do the things you like to do, life would soon become dull and uninteresting. Having a partner who exposes you to different perspectives and dreams will make your world and soul fulfilled.
4. Be willing to be willing.
When change or compromise is called for, you don't have to accept it immediately. Just being willing to look at things from another perspective can often be enough to help you resolve most differences that occur in an emotionally fit relationship. (Discover 8 issues all couples clash over.)
5. Be kind.
Kindness and courtesy are perhaps the most undervalued and underused of human virtues. Courtesy, communication, and kindness can turn conflict into consensus.
6. Be able to give all of your attention.
Giving your partner 100 per cent of your attention when they want to talk to you is one of the most bonding and powerful things you can do. Put down the remote control or whatever you're reading, face your partner, and say, "What would you like to talk about?" It will make your partner feel loved and important.
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Couples who often touch and hold each other often have fewer arguments, enjoy life more, and stay healthier. Touching is one of the deepest forms of communication.
8. Be trustworthy.
Never give your partner any reason to doubt your loyalty or devotion. Whenever you are away from each other, check in regularly to let your partner know you're okay.
9. Be available.
If your partner has a problem, be the one they call first. Commitment means that you can count on your partner to be there for you when you need them.
10. Be proactive.
Couples who take a relationship inventory and see what they have as well as what it is they might need in the future are much better prepared for difficulty and have longer lasting, more successful relationships.
Excerpted from Emotional Fitness for Couples by Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. Copyright 2005 by Barton Goldsmith. Excerpted with permission by New Harbinger Publications. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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