When it comes to relationships there are no certain rules to stick to, but there are definitely some tips to try and take on board.
Especially if you are planning a wedding or hoping to get engaged in the future, it’s always best to make sure you have a happy relationship.
In the lead up to RTÉ’s new show Then Comes Marriage, where they are looking for couples to take part in a relationship bootcamp, they have shared some tips from Psychologist Allison Keating for a happy relationship and marriage.
Be emotionally responsive
To enjoy more fun in the sheets and to keep sexual desire alive, it’s what you do out of the bedroom that counts.
Listen to what your partner has to say, be interested and respond back. It sounds simple but with work, kids and with a never ending ‘to-do’ list, it can be hard. Take your head out of your phone, and you’ll reap the benefits.
Use the magic ratio
5:1 is the ratio for a wonderful marriage. Doesn’t sound all that exciting or sexy, but ‘Love Lab’ founder Dr John Gottman found that for every one negative comment you give to your partner, ‘why didn’t you take out the bin, you always forget’ you need five, yes, FIVE positives.
So the next time you are about to dole out that criticism, think about how to sandwich it with a positive to start, constructive feedback as the filling and to finish on a positive.
Marry your best friend
We’ve all heard it, whether it’s on Facebook or during the wedding speeches, but the clichéd gush of “today I marry my best friend” is actually a strong predictor of a healthy and happy marriage.
Research from the British Household Panel Survey found that married couples’ life satisfaction was double when they considered their spouse as their best friend.
Learn the art of a good fight
Sticks and stones and all that… but arguments do have a disintegrating impact on your marriage over time.
Watch out if your rows include any of the ‘Four Horseman of the Apocalypse’ – criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt. Choose your fights well. Take deep breaths and identify why you are really upset. If you can, write this out and come back to the argument with a fresh head.
Laugh your socks off
Laughter changes how we perceive an event. A good belly laugh can make you feel extra connected. Sharing the same sense of humour is often a very unique component that makes you both feel special and unique as a couple, that feeling of just ‘getting’ each other can be highly intimate and funny.
A hearty laugh can break a tense mood or end a stand-off in an argument – often bringing you closer together.