September 14, 2020

5 Signs You're In a Happy Relationship

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How do you know if you are in a good relationship? What is the science behind happy and healthy relationships? Have you wondered if there is anything that is proven to help improve your relationship? In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky discusses 5 signs of happy relationships.

IN THIS PODCAST

SUMMARY:

  • Communication and connection are important elements of happy and healthy relationships.  
  • Being responsive to your partner’s attempts at connecting with you will help improve your connection and the quality of the relationship. 
  • Own your insecurities, behaviors, and ways you contribute to problems. 
  • Sex can have a big role in relationship satisfaction.  ​

1. A sign of a happy relationship is the ability to Communicate & Connect with your partner 

  • ​​Make sure to check out Episode 3 for more information on communication and Episode 4 for more information on connection in relationships. 
  • If you are able to communicate and have a sense of emotional closeness and emotional safety in the relationship, then that is your first sign of a happy relationship. You want to have 5 positive interactions to every 1 negative interaction in the relationships and send clear and direct messages to your partner. Lastly, in a happy relationship you should feel like your partner is your home and your safe place.  

Your partner cannot read your mind. They do not know that they hurt your feelings or what you want unless you tell them. But you have to tell them in a way that they will hear it”. 

2. A sign of a happy relationship is the ability to be responsive to bids for relationship attention. 

  • What are bids? A bid is anytime your partner is trying to get your attention. 
  • There are three common responses that happen when someone tries to get their partners attention:
    • they might ignore you,
    • they might criticize or make fun of or dismiss you, or
    • they might capitalize on the situation by treating it as an opportunity to connect with you. 
  • If you and your partner are responsive to bids and capitalize on those moments as time to connect, then this is a sign of a happy relationship. 

3. A sign of a happy relationship is mutual kindness. The next sign of a happy relationship is kindness and agreeableness. Kindness isn’t hard to do because empathy is hard wired in the brain. All you have to do is pay attention to your partner’s emotions. Blocks to kindness are not paying attention, relationship anxiety, or being overly focused on yourself.

If you are focused on the other person, the part of your brain that is hardwired for empathy will kick in and it will be easier to be kind to each other.” 

4. A sign of a happy relationship is the ability to owning your sh*t!

  • If you and your partner can own your own stuff then that is a sign of a happy relationship. If that is not happening, then my top recommendations are to go to therapy and to learn to cope with your own anxiety, emotional pain, and mental health. Too often couples say that it is their partners fault and they don’t realize that how they act in relationships influences how their partners interact with them. Therapy helps you understand your own role in relationships.

Own your stuff; go to therapy and learn to cope.”

5. A sign of a happy relationship is the ability to talk about sex and increase sexual satisfaction. 

  • Sexual satisfaction increases relationship satisfaction. But emotional connection increases sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction. So the more emotionally satisfied you are, the more sexually satisfied you can be and the more satisfied you can be in the relationship. 
  • You’ve got to talk about sex. So many people grew up in an environment that old them that sex was bad or only good if it happens in a certain way. Talking about sex is hard for couples to talk about because it is a vulnerable place where people can feel very rejected by their partner. You’ve got to communicate about it and respond kindly.

ACTIONSTEPS:

Capitalize on the relationship bids and add in a little extra kindness!

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Relate Assessment is the most comprehensive relationship assessment in the world and is based on 10 predictors of marital stability. It’s supported by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is the one my husband and I used during our premarital couples counseling. To get 20% off the assessment, go to https://relateinstitute.com/ and enter “POLINSKY20”.

Thanks for Listening!

     

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.

    DISCLAIMER:

    My podcast, blogs, videos, newsletters, and products are general information for educational purposes only; they are not psychotherapy and not a replacement for therapy. The information provided is not intended to be therapy or psychological advice; and nothing I post should be considered professional advice. The information provided does not constitute the formation of a therapist-patient relationship.

    I cannot answer questions regarding your specific situation; you should consult your doctor or mental health provider regarding advice and support for your health and well being. If you are experiencing a medical or mental health emergency, you should call 911, report to your local ER, or call the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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