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Happy Couples

dancing laughing coupleOver the past decade or so, the field of positive psychology has proliferated, with a lot of attention on happiness. As a relationship therapist and coach, I want to cite several key characteristics of happy couples.

happy coupleThe source of happiness is liking, loving and respecting oneself. Caring about others and the world at large emanates from basic self-esteem. The more a person develops self-appreciation, the greater is the likelihood s/he will be happy and genuinely caring/loving and respectful in a significant relationship.

Beyond fulfilling those core attributes, happy couples tend to:

  • Have sincere regard for one another’s overall well-being, e.g. health, satisfaction, enjoyment and sense of purpose/meaning.
  • Regularly affirm the partner’s qualities, talents and what he specifically appreciates about her.
  • Be readily accepting and forgiving.
  • Communicate feelings, attitudes, needs, desires, requests and invitations openly and clearly, including during conflict.
  • Connect and enjoy intimacy in various ways, including sharing new experiences.couple_fireworks
  • Have a strong balance of togetherness and autonomy. As my wife and I like to say, “you, me, and us.”
  • Mutually create an exciting vision for the future, i.e. dream-building, and devise a realistic plan to fulfill the desired outcome.

While I certainly hit the highlights, my list is not an exhaustive one. I encourage you to discuss with your partner how well you each feel you’re doing on the above items and add others that you feel contribute to mutual happiness.

Photos from Flickr Creative Commons

Your relationship coach,
Jim Sharon

Jim SharonJim Sharon, Ed.D., a licensed psychologist in private practice, has served as a counselor for over 40 years. He attained his life coach certification in 2001 and has received additional training in spiritual direction. Since 2014, he and his wife, Ruth, have specialized in coaching committed, devoted couples to significantly enhance their relationship. Jim and Ruth were voted best relationship coaches in Colorado in 2015 and 2016. Jim has previously served as a business and agency consultant, presented at state and national psychological conferences and has appeared on many radio and TV shows. He is the author of two books and many professional articles.

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