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3 Things happy couples know

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Keys to a happy relationship

If you repeatedly find yourself in dead-end relationships, look around and check out what happy couples are doing right. Tina B. Tessina, PhD (aka "Dr. Romance") reveals these three things happy couples know.

Keys to a happy relationship

What do happy couples know?

1How to stay connected

Busy couples find ways to communicate. Dr. Romance says when you are in a relationship, you should have a weekly "State of the Union" discussion with your partner.

"This is not an argument or complaint session, it's an opportunity to update each other on how things are going between you. I recommend it because people often tend to avoid talking about what's going on until a problem is created. If you keep each other informed of both the good things and the problems on a regular basis, nothing will get out of hand or become too dramatic to solve easily. This works every time with every couple in counseling with me who are willing to do it."

2How to express love, kindness and sweetness

Being nice and kind shouldn't be underrated. "The relationships depicted in the media (and perhaps your own parents' relationship) do not model kind, loving and considerate behavior very well. Although the press may be bored by politeness, kindness and happiness, those traits will make your partner and your relationship flourish and blossom. Consider kindness to be the lubricant of your communication; and expressing love to be the fertilizer that makes the relationship bloom."

3How to care for yourself and your partner

You have to love and take care of yourself to be part of a happy, healthy relationship. Dr. Romance says, "Guard against sacrificing too much by making sure you care about yourself, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Guard against narcissism and selfishness by caring about your partner in the same four areas. Achieving balance in these areas is the best way to ensure that your relationship will thrive, and no one will carry too much resentment, which is the only emotion that can destroy love."

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka "Dr. Romance") is a psychotherapist and the author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage (Adams Media) 1-59869-325-6.

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