While it should be fairly obvious to both people in a relationship where the relationship stands, sometimes two people end up on different pages of the same book.
International speaker, psychiatrist and best-selling author Dr. Mark Goulston wants to help couples improve in this area by giving us a few habits and signs of a happy and healthy relationship.
Whether you've recently entered into a relationship and want a picture of what you should strive for, or you've been with a partner for many years and want to see how many of these are accurate for you, these seven habits are a good place to start.
After all, the real relationship starts once the honeymoon phase has passed. If you can't figure out how to keep the love flowing, you risk losing it altogether.
1. You fall asleep together as often as possible
In those first stages of a relationship, bedtime is often exciting because you know there's a high chance of you and your partner getting to practice your sexy times.
As the relationship grows, the sexy times might not be as frequent, but happy couples still love falling asleep next to each other.
Even if one partner has to leave before the other wakes, falling asleep together is a good sign of a healthy relationship.
2. You establish interests that both of you enjoy
Once the beginning stages of love settle a bit, people often discover that they don't have as much in common with their partners as they'd thought.
That's okay, as long as you remember just how important it is for the two of you to develop new interests that both of you can enjoy together.
On the other hand, it's also very important to keep growing your own interests as well. If you can do both, you'll be happier for it and your relationship has a greater chance of flourishing.
3. Choose to trust and forgive before you do anything else
Trust is a must in every relationship.
You and your partner will undoubtedly have disagreements over the course of your relationship.
Instead of approaching them defensively or with malicious intent, choose to trust that your partner never deliberately wants to hurt you and forgive them if possible.
4. Choose to see the good over the bad in your partner
As humans, we have an incredible knack for judging others.
It's very easy for us to pick out all of the little tiny flaws that every person has. If you find yourself dwelling on all of the negatives of your partner, you will likely not be happy with them.
Instead, focus on all of the things that make them great. You can just as easily pick out all of the good things instead of the bad.
They might do some things that make you irritated from time to time, but remember that they also do a lot of things that make you smile.
5. They embrace each other after having been apart
Did you know that your skin has a quite a good recollection of all the times it's been touched (or not touched)?
It makes sense. Think about every time you've been away from your partner for some period of time. The first thing you want to do when you see them is wrap your arms around them and never let go.
Happy couples always find each other's embrace after a long day of work or being apart.
6. They always say "goodnight" or "I love you" before going to bed, even when mad
You and your partner could have spent the entire day fighting and bickering with one another.
But saying 'I love you' or 'goodnight' before going to bed tells your partner that you value your relationship more than whatever it is you were fighting about earlier.
It lets them know that you still want to be with them and are willing to work things out.
7. They like showing their partners off / are happy to be seen with them
Have you ever had a partner who became weirdly distant or standoff-ish when the two of you were in public?
Not a very good feeling, is it?
People who are happy with their relationship and partner want to show their partner off to the world.
They like being out in public together and aren't afraid to show others that they're in love by using simple affectionate gestures, like holdings hands or subtle touches.