Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Would you like to know the secrets to a happy relationship? There are many relationship experts and gurus who tell us they have the “secrets” to your relationship success. Recently I’ve noticed people posting on “secrets to winning him over,” “secrets to all you need to know about her heart,” and “the secrets to finding your soul mate.”
Yeesh! Let me save you the time, energy and money to figure out the secrets that nobody tells you. There’s now research and science behind what actually makes a successful relationship.
But first let’s explore why we are all drawn to “secrets.”
The secret to why secrets sell
We all like secrets. Humans often feel like we don’t have enough of whatever it is we think we “should” have. And we look at others who have what we desire and attribute it to luck, romantic attraction, or something mysterious.
We think, “Those people in successful relationships know something I don’t. There’s a trick to this relationship thing that I don’t know yet. If I figure out that secret formula, everything will get better for me and my relationships.”
No one wants to read about, “This is the realistic way to get everything you desire.” That doesn’t sell!
Much of this is due to 21st century life where we’ve been taught there are quick and easy solutions for everything. And some is due to biological reasons. We are all wired to try and find the short-cut to a positive outcome. But at a certain point, we do need to do some work to reach a goal. That’s where the secret lies.
The 15 secrets to a happy relationship
Here are the real 15 secrets to a happy relationship that the science shows:
1. It’s work. Effort is part of the deal.
2. You need to have a goal and take daily steps to reach it.
3. There’s a level of risk involved. It means taking an informed risk which may result in either greater intimacy or the potential for separation when you truly reveal yourself. If you only play safe and don’t step out of your comfort zone, no change or growth happens. It leads to boredom.
4. It takes effort to reap rewards. Successful relationship partners invest in growing their relationships.
5. Relationship growth requires a robust presence. The people who “make it” challenge themselves, use courage to be honest about what they like or don’t like, and communicate in clear, non-blaming and respectful ways.
6. They plan conversations and outings. They know planning is just as important as carrying the plans out.
7. People in successful relationships are constantly evolving and know that their relationships and relationship contracts must constantly evolve. They know that without change and growth everything stagnates and disconnection sets in.
8. They expect some things to fail and accept that’s a normal part of trying new things to build their relationship.
9. Many seek out good role models or get help from counsellors, coaches, courses or books to support their growth and progress. They know that relationships matter and that no one becomes successful alone. They have a community of peers they rely on to support them in their journey of growing their relationship.
10. They put a lot of effort into their relationships. Have I said this before?
11. They recognise the importance of clearly asking for what they want instead of expecting their partners to read their minds.
12. They value their time together. They are friends and like to hang out together.
13. They give generously to each other in many different ways, such as energy, time, attention, listening, compliments, small gifts, and sexually connecting. They think about their partner’s needs as well as their own.
14. They innovate. They think of new ways to have fun, to change their routines and bring novelty into their lives.
15. They all started from the same place as you, which prompted them to learn from others who had successful relationships. They know there are no secrets to a happy relationship. They work as a team to create it.
The real secret is – make and execute a plan
Want the inside scoop? Here’s the summary of how to build a thriving relationship.
- Create your individual vision and develop a passion to have a great relationship. Figure out clearly what you want and require in a relationship.
- Keep seeking until you find the person who wants the same type of relationship you do. Don’t “settle”. Research shows that people with low expectations tend to be in relationships where they are treated poorly, and people with high expectations tend to be in relationships where they are treated well.
- Talk to your partner about their wants and let them know your wants. If these are similar enough, connect and start building a joint vision for your relationship.
- Listen to each other’s feelings, learn from the process of moving towards your common goals together.
- Expect problems and offer solutions to solving problems as they arise. Learn from the problems and keep moving towards your joint vision.
Make your own blueprint
What makes some couples successful is they take the above “secrets” to happy relationships and customize them to suit their personalities, lifestyles, and needs. Think about the good relationships you know about. They aren’t all the same. All have something unique about them.
That isn’t random. Successful couples put a lot of thought and effort into planning and creating the look, feel and tone of their relationship together.
The work and effort is sorting out the details in the points above. Sure, it takes effort. But in life nothing worthwhile is achieved without effort. Focus on a joint vision, plan your steps and steadily and persistently act on them. That’s how your relationship grows. Insight without action is worthless. Action without insight is foolish. Both are needed.
Let’s not forget the execution of the plan. Successful relationship partners don’t stop putting energy into their relationship. They know that it’s an ongoing process where sometimes more energy and sometimes less energy input is required. They did not get successful in relationship by accident. It’s not luck, it’s practice.
Often people looking for secrets don’t want to work that hard. They want to easy way out. Is that you?
Only you can decide what success is worth to you and consistently put in the effort needed to make it happen. You are the agents of change in your own life. No-one can do it for you. But there are relationship experts out there that can help teach you research-based skills so that your efforts pay off.
To get expert support in achieving your relationship goals, you may need an experienced relationship counsellor & coach. Call 0421 961 687 or email us to schedule an appointment. International callers phone +61 421 961 687.
You deserve the best trained relationship coaches if you’re planning to invest time and money in your relationship. If you’re not ready to book an appointment, call us on 0421 961 687 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
Thank you Vivian for your great work! The newsletter is interesting and full of great reminders for ways to be keeping a good relationship “good”.