Daily Speculations The
Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer and Laurel Kenner
Write to us at:
(address is not clickable)
10 Things Happy Couples Do, by Mark Goulston]
[Just rediscovered one of my columns from three years ago. Thought it was apropos
for Valentine's Day. -- Mark
Happy couples know that the real relationship begins when the honeymoon is
over. In a recent column, you discovered the 10 relationship mistakes to avoid.
Now discover the 10 things that happy couples do:
- Go to bed at the same time. Remember the beginning of your relationship,
when you couldn't wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples
resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the
same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner
- Cultivate common interests. After the passion settles down, it's common to
realize that you have few interests in common. But don't minimize the importance
of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are
not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate
interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and
prevent you from appearing too dependent.
- Walk hand in hand or side by side. Rather than one partner lagging or
dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side
by side. They know it's more important to be with their partner than to see the
sights along the way.
- Make trust and forgiveness your default mode. If and when they have a
disagreement or argument, and if they can't resolve it, happy couples default to
trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.
- Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong.
If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something.
If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too.
It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the
- Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work. Our skin has a
memory of "good touch" (loved), "bad touch" (abused) and "no touch" (neglected).
Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the "good touch,"
which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.
- Say "I love you" and "Have a good day" every morning. This is a great way
to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle
traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.
- Say "Good night" every night, regardless of how you feel. This tells your
partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to
be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger
than any single upsetting incident.
- Do a "weather" check during the day. Call your partner at home or at work
to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations
so that you're more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your
partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to
be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.
- Be proud to be seen with your partner. Happy couples are pleased to be
seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact -- hand on hand
or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather
just saying that they belong with each other.
Even if these actions don't come naturally, happy couples stick with them
until they do become a part of their relationship. They know that it takes 30
days for a change in behavior to become a habit, and a minimum of six months for
a habit to become a way of life and love.