Dancing to the tune of old school jams, James and Dayo moved about the dancing floor. They looked good together; they synced their dance steps, I guess as a testament to their love for the art. Even though they weren’t the best dancing couple, they garnered the most attention.
Very soon, a circle was formed around them, and the rest of the party goers cheered them on, some rooting for James and others for Dayo, but most of them were for the team #JamesDayo. They were the centre of attraction and didn’t mind. They were having fun, laughing into each other’s faces, making faces and such. If you weren’t married, at that moment they would have made you want to fall in love and have what they had, with your partner.
At that same party was the couple who never danced. Each partner faced the business they came for; drinking and eating. Not even the cajoling of the compere was enough to move them. And the stiffness of their bodies showed they were not having any of the “nonsense” the Deejay was spewing, even though it was the soundtracks of their younger lives.
Yet another couple, Ladepe and Laolu met in the choir, got married and still remained in the choir. Their love for music is on another level, and it is a source of bonding for them. Between the two of them, they can infuse ordinary songs with so much melody, that you would wonder if it was same song, and most often without any prior rehearsal, and if they dared to rehearse, then you could be sure that the melody would be off the hook.
So, one day, I asked them if they ever sang together, when they were having a tiff. They both laughed and told me different versions of how singing had helped them to mend fences faster. All because either of them had not been able to resist joining in a song the other had raised. They would sing and then revisit the issue of their disagreement, or even sort it out, while singing.
If you guessed that their children actually sing-speak, you wouldn’t be far from the truth.
Between these two sets of couples mentioned above, they have 25 years’ worth of marriage experience between then, and the one constant thing that bind them, one thing they have in common, which often helps to rebuild broken fences in their relationship. Dancing for one, and singing for another.
It is from this treasure trove of wedded bliss that I will bring you the habits of people who are in healthy relationships.
They make each other laugh
James and Dayo are a perfect example of a couple who makes each other laugh at lot. They are forever whispering into each other’s ears and smiling at whatever it was they are sharing. The ease with which they danced that day, also showedhow comfortable they are with each other.
Even relationship coaches agree that a couple’s ability to make each other laugh is a big deal in a relationship. In fact, a shared sense of humour is said to be key.
When I spoke with Dayo about their habits, laugher was one point she picked and said;
“My husband and I laugh a lot. To the point where it’s difficult to be too upset for very long, because one of us will usually do something to lighten things up. Topics can, and should, be serious when needed, but having a sense of humor is a tremendous asset if you want to be in a healthy relationship. People that laugh a lot and generally just don’t take things too seriously can more easily enjoy a healthy relationship.”
They spend quality time together
It’s all about quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how much time you and your partner spend together. The most important thing is the quality of this time. There’s a huge difference between having dinner at a table while talking about your day at work, versus having dinner while sitting on a couch watching the latest episode of Big Brother Naija.
It’s fine to zone out together and enjoy distractions, but it’s crucial to make sure you two are still engaging and spending quality time together to maintain a deep connection.
They forgive and move on, instead of holding it in
Ladepe is a champion of forgiveness. She’s always talking about it. And apart from her and her husband’s love for singing, forgiveness is the next big deal for them.
She identified herself as the composer of long texts or WhatsApp messages, when she isn’t happy about something, but what she doesn’t do is hold grudges.
She noted that, for her, even though her husband is the introspective type, they have gotten to a stage where a disagreement isn’t followed by emotional distance. They both make mistakes, and own up to it. They apologize and move on. “We might be fighting in the morning, and still end up at the movies in the afternoon, sans children, just enjoying ourselves.”
They compliment each other…in front of others
Honestly, there is nobody who doesn’t like to be complimented, unless that person is a pessimist of the highest order, and even then, you just need to push the right buttons.
I agree that complimenting your spouse can become a chore, no thanks to the see finish attitude, where you are wondering what is there to compliment again.
But the truth is, every day, there is something about your spouse that can be complimented; their choice of tie, the sweet fold of flesh that appears when they smile. It’s all there, if only you will look at your partner with fresh eyes every day.
And if you are not into looks, then what about what your spouse does around the house? Just saying, “My wife makes the best pepper-soup in the world” or “My husband is a very handy man” can put a spring in the steps of your partner and a sparkle in their eyes.
What’s stopping you?
They appreciate each other
Again, the see finish syndrome is at the root of this.
It reminds me of the man whose wife wanted to move out of the house, on the basis that he didn’t love her, as he had never said it. When asked if he still loved his wife, he answered in the affirmative.
“So, why are you not telling her?”
He said, “I told her before and I have not changed my mind.”
Truly, he hasn’t stopped, but he has stopped telling his wife, who likes to hear it, and since he wasn’t saying it, his wife assumed it was because he had ceased to love her.
It’s the same with appreciating your spouse; yes, you know that you value your partner and all that they do for you, but when was the last time you verbalised it?
Show your special someone that you love him or her. This could be done with words, cards, flowers, acts of kindness, or more. Just pick what works for you and your partner, and stick to it.
Those are the five habits common to couples in healthy relationship. Do you desire a healthy relationship? Then you know what to do.
Stay in love!
Kristine is a member of The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.