What does it mean to have a healthy and happy relationship? Unfortunately, many of us don't know what this really means. It's different for each couple. But one thing is certain --- it's not easy to be in a relationship. Happy couples know that no relationship is perfect.

If you are working to improve your relationship with your spouse or partner, you've come to the right place. Below are our 6 top tips for a happy relationship.

Tip #1. Be honest

Communicating openly with your partner is key to keeping a happy relationship. Healthy couples do not avoid issues. They always tell the truth and face any hiccups squarely in the face, rather than letting it undermine their relationship in the future. Do not avoid conflicts. If something is amiss, sit down with your partner, get rid of all distractions, and talk it out without pride and prejudice.

Tip #2. Ask questions

Spark engaging conversations with your partner that help you connect. Avoid questions like "How was your day?" as this can be easily dismissed by a response like "It's alright. How about yours?". This type of question in no way improves your relationship. Instead, try asking deeper questions like:

  • What made you smile today?
  • Can you share your most challenging experience today?
  • Tell me about something that you are grateful for today?

These open-ended questions allow your partner to think and ultimately share something deeper and more honest. You can tell your partner to ask you the same questions too.

Another important aspect you need to consider is how you handle the answer. If you are asking open-ended questions, don’t rush your partner for a response. And then be ready for anything. Your partner’s answer may not always be pretty or happy and in some cases, it may trigger something in you as well. And that’s ok.

Vulnerability can lead to intimacy. The more you know your partner on a deeper level, the healthier and stronger your relationship will become.

Tip #3. Learn to compromise

We are living in a time where individuality and entitlement is the norm. Unfortunately, this will not work in a relationship. Once you enter into a commitment with someone, your life and everything you do is not about you anymore ---- it's about the other person too. So, if you want a happy relationship, learn to compromise. Get out of your self-centred shell and put yourself in the shoes of your spouse or significant other. Learn to empathize and view the world through their lens. Big and small compromises are key to keeping a relationship healthy and strong.

Tip #4. When you fight, take a break

Fights in a relationship are inevitable. When they do come up, make sure to treat your partner with the utmost respect and kindness he or she deserves. If you feel that your temper or your partners is beginning to escalate, call for a break to cool down. The secret to making this technique work is by picking a specific time (let’s say at 4 pm on Monday, or an hour from now, etc.) to revisit the issue so both of you can have closure. By taking a break when you are fighting, you are letting the cooler heads prevail --- avoiding any words or actions that can damage your relationship.

Tip #5. Conduct a relationship inventory

Trust me, this tip right here can fix a lot of relationship issues! A relationship inventory is a one to one meeting where you and your spouse or partner can talk about the status of your relationship and what you can improve on. You can schedule your relationship inventory weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly.

Doing a relationship inventory is easy. You can first start talking about the things you appreciate and then gradually opening up to things you need to improve on. Create a goal and a plan. And then follow up on this on the next inventory day. Lastly, end your inventory with words of gratitude and perhaps, a cup of hot chocolate or your favourite food, as a reward.

Tip #6. Keep passion alive

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You and your partner can easily reduce this tension by maintaining a healthy sexual relationship! Aside from strengthening your bond, sex can also help reduce stress, improve sleep, prevent prostate cancer, and lower blood pressure. It’s a win-win!

We hope these top tips for a happy relationship can bring back the spice and butterflies in your relationship!