Ever see a couple that looks and acts like they’re so much in love, you wonder what their secret is? Of course, everyone disagrees and has moments where they may want to ditch their partner who’s being a jerk, but some couples seem to have figured out the key to long-term relationship success. Plenty of research has been done on the subject and it points to these five attributes happily married couples have in common.
- They make good manners a priority - When you’ve been together for a long time, it’s easy to let niceties like “please” and “thank you” slip when asking your S.O. to pass the salt. But couples in solid relationships tend to make an effort to regularly express gratitude and one study finds that showing appreciation is the key to a healthy and successful marriage. It suggests simply saying “thank you” to your partner can offset damage from a blowout fight.
- They don’t overshare online - Some people love to share every little milestone they experience as a couple on social media, but do we really need to see the first time they shared an ice cream cone together? According to researchers at Haverford College, happy couples enjoy celebrating their milestones privately and the more insecure someone feels about their relationship, the more likely they are to post about it online for validation.
- They like trying new things - Several studies find that couples who mix things up are happier in their relationships and that’s because novelty works. Just doing new stuff together can bring back those sparks and chemical surges in the brain’s reward center, just like in the early days of the romance.
- They don’t mind a little PDA - No one’s suggesting you have wild sex every night, but happily married couples are good with small acts of physical affection. According to one study, initiating physical contact like holding hands and cuddling on the couch shows your partner you desire to be close to them.
- They don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink - This is the biggest pet peeve for some folks, but a Pew Research poll reports that couples who make it long term pitch in on dish duty together. Sharing household chores may just be one of the keys to a happier marriage.