30 Characteristics of Happy Couples

The happy couple checklist.

Linda: When my husband Charlie and I were interviewing the happiest couples we could find, we could clearly see that they were among the group that was keeping the passionate romance alive over many decades. These were some of the themes that ran through their stories.

Please consider this list and add some components of your own.

30 Characteristics of Happy Couples

1. Vision:

Hold a grand vision of what your partnership can be and roll up your sleeves to get to work to manifest that vision.


2. Define Romance:

People have different ideas about romance. Be sure to have conversations defining what romance means to you so you can manifest what you are longing for.


3. Commitment:

Commit each day and demonstrate that commitment.


4. Interests:

Have an interesting career, hobbies, and areas of interest to keep each individual lively.


5. Adventure:

Keep your sense of adventure alive, try new things, and take risks.


6. Listening:

Listen deeply.


7. Curiosity:

Be curious with the wonder of a child.


8. Questions:

Ask questions that show your sincere interest.


9. Healing:

Heal all past wounds.


10. Learning:

Keep learning and growing. When you remain interesting your partner will be interested in you. Having an interesting career, hobbies, and other areas of interest keep each individual lively. And therefore, they bring their happy interesting self to their partner.


11. Privacy:

Honor your partner’s privacy by spending time apart.


12. Staying Power:

Don’t quit during the hard segments of the partnership.


13. Honesty:

Be honest and trustworthy.


14. Agreements:

Keep agreements, big ones like fidelity, and even the small ones count.


15. Tolerance:

Be tolerant and accepting of your partner’s shortcomings.


16. Good news:

Focus on your partner’s assets and strengths.


17. Respect.


18. Conflict Management:

Arguments can be enlivening and exciting. Those who are conflict-avoidant can repress emotions with a result of flattening the relationship. Disappointments, frustrations, hurts, and grievances need to be brought forward. Only then can the couple negotiate to have their needs met. Respectful airing of differences breathes passion into the partnership, keeping the romantic quotient high.


19. No threats or ultimatums.


20. Forgiveness:

Be willing to forgive past transgressions.


21. Myths:

Examine your beliefs to find if there are limiting ones that may be detracting from having an excellent partnership.


22. Self-revelation:

Reveal rather than conceal; express rather than repress.


23. Secrets:

No secrets or lies.


24. Needs:

Tell your partner what you need.


25. Attractiveness:

Stay attractive.


26. Humor:

Humor is associated with novelty and the unexpected and will bring lightness and fun.


27. Stretch:

Stretch into your partner’s world if you possibly can.


28. Sex:

Refine your sexual relationship for maximum pleasure. Making love in a place in the house other than your regular bed adds sparkle.


29. Intimacy:

Non-sexual intimacy is a deep knowledge of each other, the innermost parts of each other.


30. Gratitude:

Express gratitude for the way your partner enriches your life.


The above characteristics of couples that keep the romance alive over decades can be yours.

Please don’t be confined to this list. If there are other items that you can give yourself credit for, by all means do so. And if there are attitudes and behaviors that you identify as those areas where you need to improve, by all means, note those.

It’s unlikely that you would get a perfect score of 100% by checking off every item on the list, but it’s a worthy goal to master each one over the years together. It requires some work on our parts to be eligible for such a passionate, long-term romance. But what have we got better to do with our time.


We’re giving away 3 e-books absolutely free of charge. The Ten Biggest Things We’ve Learned Since We Got Married, Your Guide to Great Sex, and An End to Arguing. To receive them just click here.

Written by Linda and Charlie Bloom
Originally appeared in Psychology today

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Linda and Charlie Bloom
Linda Bloom, LCSW and Charlie Bloom, MSW have been trained as psychotherapists and relationship counselors and have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975. They have lectured and taught at universities and learning institutes throughout the USA, including the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, 1440 Multiversity, and many others.  They have taught seminars in many countries throughout the world. They have co-authored four books, 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth From Real Couples About Lasting Love, Happily Ever After And 39 Other Myths About Love, and That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They have been married since 1972 and are the parents of two adult children and three grandsons. Linda and Charlie live in Santa Cruz, California. Their website is www.bloomwork.com


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