Relationship Keys

What you need to know for joyful, lasting love


Happiness within a relationship is hard to define. Not only is each relationship different, but within each relationship, each person defines happiness in an individual way. Some people view happiness as a peaceful conflict-free life. For some, happiness involves a tremendous amount of fun, great intimacy or lots of laughter. Whatever your definition, it directly correlates to your expectations, desires, wants and needs—and those things can change over time.

What holds constant are 7 specific behaviors and attributes laid out below that can almost guarantee the likelihood of long-term success and happiness in a relationship. If you work toward incorporating these keys into your daily life, you will experience greater joy and less conflict in your primary relationships.

1. Respect

Every successful relationship is built on a foundation of respect. Respect means caring about your partner’s wants and needs and always taking them into account before speaking or acting. The expectation is that your partner will follow the same guidelines. 

2. Loyalty

We feel happy when we know that someone has our backs. Relationships have the greatest success when each partner focuses on supporting one another at all times. This means that if someone is antagonizing your partner, you will either back your partner up directly or support him or her from behind the scenes. 

3. Priority

If you want to build a stronger positive relationship, let your partner know that he or she is a priority. Commit time and energy to talking and addressing each other’s wants and needs. Be sure that the two of you have “quality time” alone to connect and enjoy each other’s company. 

4. Pick Your Battles

Strong and happy couples know when to bring up issues and when to put them aside. If you can let something go, move on and still enjoy your partner…let it go! If you cannot move on, then bring it up. Never bring something upsetting up in bed, and never in earshot of children or other family or friends.

5. Loving Gestures

The concept that “actions speak louder than words” is an important one when it comes to relationships. It is not enough to simply feel that you love someone, you must also show that you love that person. Use kind words, be physically affectionate, leave little love notes around the house…whether it’s a verbal gesture or a material one, make sure to let your partner know that you love him or her.

6. Put in the Work

Partners in a successful relationship understand that you need to put in the work to keep things running smoothly. That means sometimes you need to do things that you do not want to do because it matters to your partner. 

7. Focus on the Positives

Even the best of relationships have challenges and even the most wonderful of partners can have less-than-stellar moments. When times are tough, those who are seeking a happy relationship will combat the negative with a positive. Reverse your thinking to remind yourself that your mate has great qualities and that you are happy to be together.