1) Solid Friendship: Couples who have a strong friendship have lasting stability. They’re not only in love, but honestly like each other as people. They enjoy spending time together and think of each other as a best-friend.
2) Seek Communication: Many couples are not very good at communication. In order to openly express feelings in an emotionally safe way, a partner must trust that their partner wants to know what’s going on. Healthy couples don’t avoid communication or bury their feelings.
3) Laughter & Humor: Couples that make each other laugh tend to be better at managing conflict. They use humor to prevent their relationship from becoming to intense and stressful. They have a fondness for one another that can shine through even the most heated conflict (or soon after). They see conflict as healthy and not a result of some personality flaw.
4) Responsibility Sharing: Great couples share household and parenting responsibilities. Although people vary in how excited they get about household tasks, each partner contributes to building a home and future.
5)Loving Affection: Stay in contact in throughout the day to protect your relationship. Find ways to express love without the words. These acts protect your relationship and ensure you don’t grow apart. It can be a hug, kiss, swat, squeeze pat or simply flirting.
6) Sex & Intimacy: Couples who can communicate and negotiate their needs feel loved by their partner. People vary in sexual desires. What’s important is that a partner don’t shame, neglect and or abuse their partner. Couples need to communicate about sex.
7) Accessible & Reliability: Couple need to be there for each other and have each others back. They create a relationship of support by knowing their words mean something to the other.
8) Value Friends In & Out of the Relationship: Partners need to build relationships with other couples and keep individual friendships alive. Both increase relationship satisfaction.
9) Bonding: Happy couples are bonded to each other. They don’t criticize, show contempt for, get defensive or ignore conflict(The Gottman Institute). As these behaviors predict divorce and mean big trouble for the relationship.
10) Relationship with Meaning: Many couples don’t seem to have the big picture in mind. Happy individuals invest in themselves. Happy couples invest in each other. They build a sense of “we-ness” and a shared mission.