5 Things We Can Learn From Couples In Great Relationships

Everyday when we log onto social media, we're greeted with photos of couple after couple with the perfect smiles, wearing the perfect outfits and who are having what seems to be the perfect time together.

Double tap for the “perfect couple".

And while we all know that in the real world, that "perfect couple” doesn't really exist, there are more important qualities all couples in successful relationships have that we can all learn from.

Here are 5 of them:

1. They're great friends.

Couples in successful relationships genuinely enjoy each other. They like to spend time with each other, make each other laugh, be there for each other when things aren't great and playfully get on each other's nerves.

At the outset of a relationship when everything is fresh and exciting, it's easy for things to be sustained by the newness of it all. Over time, when that newness wears off and all you're faced with is each other is when the true importance of your friendship kicks in.

It’s when you're not distracted by other activities and other people, that you focus on strengthening the qualities of your relationship that are based on character, and not just having fun.

2. They forgive each other early and often.

I once met an older guy on the basketball court who mentioned he was celebrating 31 years of marriage that week. When I asked him what the key to his long-lasting relationship was, he simply said, "We forgive each other."

It's easy to let your ego get in the way of you and your partner moving forward by holding onto grudges, but any couple in a strong relationship understands the value of forgiving, learning from the situation and letting it go.

For them, every moment holding onto a grudge or an offense is a moment they could be enjoying each other that they're missing out on. It's just not worth it.

3. They communicate well.

We've heard it a million times, but communication still remains one of the main issues in any relationship.

Most problems arise when expectations aren't met, one of you don't feel heard and understood or you feel like your opinions aren't valued as much as they should be.

But you don't have to be eloquent or have a masterful use of language to be a great communicator to your partner. Healthy relationships thrive when the communication is honest, respectful and transparent.

4. They share values and respect the values they don’t share.

In a recent interview, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson mentioned that he and his girlfriend [and singer] Ciara are abstaining from sex until they get married.

I think it's pretty safe to say they wouldn't last very long if only one of them valued abstinence and the other didn't.

Couples in strong relationships understand that their values guide their every decision and ultimately shape how they live their lives.

This is exactly why it's so critical for you and your partner to share the same set of basic values, and at the very least be able to respect the ones you don't share.

For instance, if you value being frugal financially, it's important to be with a partner who's also frugal or at least able to respect your approach to money and be willing to adjust their habits to find common ground without having sacrifice who they are.

5. They’re committed to each other.

The thing about commitment in our current culture is that there are so many options available to us that unless we're intentionally committed to making the relationship work, it's easy to wander off in search of something better.

Now if you're unmarried, it doesn't make sense to treat your relationship like you are, but what's important is in being confident that you're both willing to turn over every stone to find a solution for your issues before you choose to walk away.

Couples in successful relationships have better things to do than to spend all their time trying to figure out whether or not their partner will be there for them when things get tough.

They're both committed to making things work and are there to reassure each other whenever they have moments of doubt.

At the end of the day, there's no such thing as the perfect couple, regardless of what image they portray on social media or while out in public. But what makes a great relationship work is the intentional effort to be the best partner you can be to each other.

 

**This is a post I originally wrote for ChelseaKrost.com. Click here for the original blog.**