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These mindful relationship habits show what it takes to maintain relationships for the long haul. They nourish our connections and strengthen them, allowing partners to grow together in love.
Do you ever wonder why some relationships grow and thrive over the years while others disintegrate?
A relationship full of passion in the beginning may not survive a decade, while one that grows slowly may flourish into something that only gets better and better with time. The key to healthy relationships is deliberate passion.
When we first fall in love, the emotions are heady, and the connection is sometimes so immediate and intoxicating that it feels out of our control. Over time, as that initial intensity fades, we need to make deliberate efforts. Think of it like watering a plant. If you don’t water the plant, it is going to wither.
What Does a Healthy Relationship Feel Like?
A healthy relationship is rooted in love, honesty, trust, and respect and has open communication between partners. Power is shared and in balance, and each person can make decisions for themselves without any fear of retribution or retaliation from the other.
A healthy relationship can nurture closeness and makes you feel better about yourself, while an unhealthy or unhappy relationship doesn’t and often involves lying, cheating, jealousy, and disrespect.
Additionally, if your partner constantly criticizes you or finds ways to put you down, this is a red flag. There is probably no willingness to compromise, and it is a one-sided relationship.
How can you avoid this? To be happy in a relationship, follow some mindful relationship habits, start making positive changes, and learn how to appreciate your partner.
How to Be Happy in a Relationship
There is something known as the 70/30 rule for relationship satisfaction. According to this rule, to have a happy and harmonious relationship, you must spend 70% of your time together and 30% apart. This gives each partner the freedom to explore their own interests while still making time to invest in one another.
When you spend time together in your committed relationship, consider the following mindful relationship habits.
1. Remember to laugh
When we first fall in love, often, the other person seems like they are more than human. We miss the flaws and imperfections. Over time, though, those flaws and imperfections surface, and we either grow to love them or lose the loving relationship. Sometimes you have to laugh at your own flaws and learn to let go of your disagreements.
Laughter is one of the most powerful ways to diffuse tension and release anger. It reminds us that we are only human, and that is something to celebrate and cherish, not dismiss.
2. Accept that Relationships are Shared, Not Owned
The biggest compatibility problems arise not when you and your partner differ in one regard or another but when you think that the relationship is something you, your partner, or both of you “own.”
A loving relationship is a shared space, and a happy couple remembers that. It is a space that belongs to two unique, amazing individuals who will sometimes disagree and may not always be 100% compatible in every way.
As long as you honor your connection and share that space with love and respect, the little differences won’t tear the relationship apart and won’t diminish the relationship quality.
3. Don’t Stop Getting to Know Each Other
You know how at the start of a relationship, you want to learn everything there is to know about the other person?
Over time, as that knowledge gets more and more saturated, and curiosity can wane. It is important, however, to recognize that curiosity is not the same thing as interest! Just because someone is not a huge unknown to you anymore does not mean you cannot continue to show interest.
Not only that, but all of us are changing every single day. There is no possible way you can know everything about another person when that person is making discoveries and changing in little ways (and sometimes huge ways) each day!
Share that journey by asking questions and never stop getting to know each other. That is how you keep a relationship fresh over the years instead of drifting further and further apart.
4. Say “Thank You”
It is easy to take something for granted when it becomes routine. But happy couples in a valuable relationship never do this. Each day they remember to thank each other for all the little things. If you enjoyed that delicious meal your partner cooked for you, say so.
If you appreciate the understanding they gave you recently while struggling with something, say thank you. Expressing appreciation daily is something no relationship can survive without.
5. Keep Doing Romantic Things
You probably made a few grand romantic gestures when you first got together with your partner.
The thing about romantic gestures, though, is that they may not seem so romantic in hindsight if they go away. Too often, we do romantic things while pursuing someone and feel like our work is done after we get the girl or guy.
Then we wonder a few years down the road what happened. Why has all the intimacy gone out of the relationship? Maybe because you have both taken each other for granted and stopped doing the things that made you feel so close, loved, and special!
There is nothing truly romantic about going out of your way to impress someone just so you can give it up when you feel secure with them! What is truly romantic is continuing to make those efforts long after you tie the knot. Happy couples do not see romance as a means to an end but as something to celebrate in and of itself.
6. Keep Doing Activities You Used To Do
This is very much in line with romantic rituals. What activities did you do when you first got together that made you see each other in such an exciting light? Do you still do those activities years later?
If you got together by playing tennis, and a few years go by, and you don’t play tennis anymore, why would you expect the magic to linger? If you both used to love to talk about challenging ideas but have set them aside because you have become insecure, why would you expect your relationship to stay strong?
Don’t give up on the activities that brought you together. Let them evolve, but never let them go.
7. Don’t Neglect the Physical
All it takes is a glance at a supermarket magazine rack to notice that couples often lose interest in sex over time. Either they feel like they have “done it all,” or they simply aren’t in the mood as often because they’re getting older and are no longer new to each other. And again, they wonder why the intimacy is going out of their relationship.
But why should sex be something you only do when you happen to be in the mood? What does that say about your interest in your romantic partner? When you let your relationship and sex life only exist for your convenience and neglect it the rest of the time, you are letting yourself and your partner down.
Couples that take an intentional approach to their sex life and never stop learning about each other in the bedroom have more fun and enjoy more intimacy. Remember, you and your partner are changing over time; none of us are static. Odds are that there is always new ground to explore!
To improve any intimate relationship and avoid relationship problems in the future, start by talking to your partner. If you find you can’t discuss sex and intimacy openly, then you are not in the right place mentally for this relationship.
To build intimacy in a good relationship, express yourself, offer compliments, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, learn to love yourself, and provide support.
8. Try to Understand Each Other
It is great to be able to finish each other’s sentences, but do you really know what your partner is thinking? Happy couples don’t talk through each other or assume they know what their partner is trying to say.
Couples listen carefully to each other and try not to jump to conclusions in their minds, even when enthralled in misunderstandings and divisive arguments. They realize that they are both unique, distinct people. They recognize, respect, and appreciate the ongoing trust in their relationship.
9. Deliberately Spend Time Together
With busy lives, jobs, and obligations, it can be easy to relegate relationship time to the back burner. But this is another way of taking the relationship for granted. If you really love someone, you will demonstrate it with your actions. Where we spend our time and energy determines our true priorities.
Happy couples prioritize each other. They schedule time just for each other, even when they are busy. They respect each other’s schedules and understand when time is limited, but they never allow relationship time to “just happen.” They make it happen.
10. Practice the Golden Rule
The golden rule goes, “Treat each other as you would want to be treated.” That is a great rule of thumb for relationships, but happy couples also realize that there are differences in what they want, expect, and need from a partner.
They take this rule a step further. They treat their partner as their partner wants to be treated. They celebrate each other’s uniqueness. They empathize with each other but realize they cannot read each other’s minds and emotions.
They ask for clarification when needed and strive to understand each other’s unique needs.
11. Practice and Embrace Vulnerability
When discussing vulnerability, “naked” is a word that pops up frequently. While it can be scary to bare your soul to another person and reveal your insecurities and fears, it is a mindful relationship habit that can lead to a more fulfilling relationship. Vulnerability fosters trust and can strengthen the bond you both have.
To practice vulnerability in your relationship, be compassionate toward yourself and never focus on another’s opinion of you. Vocalize your feelings, be upfront about your needs, and most importantly, be in the moment.
12. Create a Relationship Vision Together
Goal setting is big. You probably already have goals for your career and personal life, but what about relationship goals? A vision for your relationship can be developed through mutual visions of each partner that prioritize goals you wish to share. You can do this while still attending to your individual needs.
To do this, some experts say to write out the story of your relationship and compare notes when you are done. This exercise can be revisited regularly and is expected to grow and adjust according to the current nature of your relationship.
13. Couples Should Make Love Themselves, Too
To love someone else, you need to first love yourself. This mindful relationship habit helps create a greater sense of personal value, allows you and your partner to maintain healthy boundaries, engage in open and honest communication, and urges you to forgive yourself and your partner for small mistakes.
Start loving yourself, stop comparing yourself to others, don’t worry about others’ opinions of you, and allow yourself to make mistakes. Try to find a way to break toxic habits that drag you down, but do it because you want to be better – not out of obligation.
Mindfulness Exercises for Couples
Now that you know some of the more important mindfulness habits for a happy relationship, let’s go over a few mindfulness exercises you can practice at home with your partner in everyday life to build an even stronger relationship.
1. Create a Vision Board
A vision board is a good way to practice the habit of visualizing your lives together, as we have discussed above. You can use a vision board to put together the life you both see, including experiences you wish to share and goals you want to achieve.
2. Get Couples Massages
Massages are a good way to practice intimacy and become closer as a couple. There are simple and basic massage techniques you can try out. It helps you relax and allows you to tune into their needs.
3. Declutter Your Space Together
While this may sound more like a chore than a mindfulness technique for your relationship, it can help you unwind and unplug. Focus on one area of the home at a time and be in the moment. Consider each item together and decide if it has meaning to either one of you. This mindfulness exercise can spark emotion and positive feelings.
Tips for Practicing Mindfulness in Personal Relationships
Practicing mindfulness in personal relationships is just one way to encourage a deeper connection and enhance relationship dynamics. Curious how to start using more mindful relationship habits? Here are a few tips to help you start using them in a romantic relationship.
- Express Gratitude. One mindfulness practice and tip are to express gratitude and be more aware of the positive things you have in life and your romantic relationship. To do this, you can write a letter to your partner and express your appreciation.
- Breathe Through Difficult Times. Every relationship will have its fair share of ups and downs. How you handle these difficult times will make all the difference. Remember to breathe and be more open and receptive to your partner.
- Learn to Listen. Listening and understanding what you hear is a good way to encourage positive communication with your partner. Any mindfulness practice you do requires a certain degree of attention and is something that needs to be practiced daily. Be fully present when having conversations, listen, and try to understand without responding negatively.
- Ask Questions. When doing mindfulness exercises, never be afraid to ask questions. When listening to the answers, avoid being judgmental.
The bottom line with relationships is that they are always changing and evolving, which is a good thing. Even implementing only a few of these relationship habits will help you stay ahead of the curve.
Even the most successful relationship can fall apart when they are taken for granted. Your relationship should flourish as long as you approach your partner with intentional daily gratitude, love, interest, and passion.