1. They practice self-care as individuals. Relationships don’t create joy, they reflect it.
2. They stand together and refuse to let outsiders call the shots. – Relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside.
3. They respect their relationship as being a unique, incomparable bond. – Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s – not your parent’s, friend’s, coworker’s, or that random couple whose relationship seems perfect.
4. They are intimate about everything. Intimacy is what makes relationships last. It requires honest communication and openness about concerns, fears and sadness, as well as hopes, dreams and happiness.
5. They accept each other, without trying to change each other. – The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated as is.
6. They make uninterrupted time for each other. – If you neglect your relationship, your relationship will neglect you too.
7. They say what they mean and mean what they say to each other. – Your partner is not a mind reader. Share your thoughts.
8. They listen intently before replying. – Don’t listen so you can reply, listen to understand. Open your ears and mind to your partner’s concerns and opinions without judgment.
9. They don’t play games with each other’s heads and hearts. – Cheating and lying aren’t struggles, they’re reasons couples break up. Because great things fall apart quite easily when they’ve been held together with lies.
10. They practice the golden rule in their relationship. – In a healthy relationship, you get what you put in. You get nothing less and nothing more. There is no room for selfishness. If you want love, give love.
11. They cheer for each other. – Having an appreciation for how amazing your partner is leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.
12. They review and discuss their goals and dreams often. – For couples, it’s two against the world. Having regular discussions with each other about goals, dreams, passions and the future, in a way that’s positive and inspiring, will not only bring you closer together, but will also bring your collective desires closer to reality.
13. They negotiate and compromise on joint matters. – Since people’s needs are fluid and change over time, and life itself demands change too, the inner workings of good relationships are negotiated and re-negotiated all the time. And oftentimes a two-way compromise is the best solution.
14. They refuse to play the blame game. – Blaming accomplishes nothing. Take responsibility for your actions. Take responsibility for your relationship – the good times and the bad. Work with your partner. Communicate.
15. They don’t blow things out of proportion. – People make mistakes. Crap happens. There’s no reason to shatter your relationship into pieces over spilt milk. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?” If not, then let it go immediately.
16. They tame their anger the minute they feel heated. – Heated arguments are a waste. Your partner doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right. There are many roads to what’s right. And most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much.
17. They apologize to each other immediately. – Making up after an argument is central to every happy relationship. A simple, honest “I’m sorry” is usually the most important step.
18. They practice patience and forgiveness daily. – Apologies must be backed by sincere patience and forgiveness.
19. They make daily sacrifices for each other. – Intimate bonds are tied with true love, and true love involves attention, awareness, discipline, effort, and being able to care about someone and sacrifice for them, continuously, in countless petty little unsexy ways, every day.
20. They respect each other’s humanness. – Even the happiest couples on Earth are still just two humans. And all humans are imperfect. At times, the confident lose confidence, the patient misplace their patience, the generous act selfish, and the knowledgeable second guess what they know. It happens to the best of us. We make mistakes, we lose our tempers, and we get caught off guard. We stumble, we slip, and we spin out of control sometimes. But that’s the worst of it; we all have our moments. Most of the time we’re remarkable. So stand beside the one you love through their trying times of imperfection. If you aren’t willing to, you really don’t deserve to be around for their perfect moments either.
Beautiful article, more here.