If you really want a happy and successful relationship, science says start doing these 8 things every day

Maintaining a happy, successful relationship might seem like rocket science to some. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be!

Science has offered us some clear insights on how to cultivate and sustain a fulfilling relationship. The best part? It’s all in the little things we do every day.

As Tina Fey, founder of Love Connection blog and a relationship maestro, I’ve seen these scientific principles work wonders in many relationships, including my own.

In this article, I’ll share with you eight scientifically-backed daily actions that can make your love life thrive. Trust me, they are easier to apply than you might think.

1) Daily appreciation

A healthy, thriving relationship is often defined by the little things, and one of those is appreciation.

We all love to feel valued and appreciated, don’t we? It’s a universal human desire. This is where the science of psychology steps in.

According to numerous studies, showing appreciation to your partner each day can significantly strengthen your bond. It’s not about grand gestures or lavish gifts. It’s about acknowledging the small things your partner does for you.

A simple “Thank you for making breakfast” or “I appreciate you picking up the kids today” can make a world of difference. These expressions of gratitude help to reinforce the value and worth of your partner in your life.

Make it a habit to express genuine appreciation to your partner every day. Not only will it bring you two closer, but it’ll also foster a positive environment in your relationship.

2) Open and honest communication

Communication is the bedrock of any relationship. It’s also something I’ve personally struggled with in the past.

As someone once said, “The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” This quote by George Bernard Shaw perfectly encapsulates the importance of clear, open, and honest communication in a relationship.

Science backs this up too. Research shows that couples who communicate effectively are more likely to maintain a happy, healthy relationship.

So, how do we ensure we’re communicating effectively? Start by sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly with your partner. If something bothers you, talk about it instead of holding it in.

Remember, it’s not just about expressing what’s on your mind, it’s also about listening to your partner. Active listening shows empathy and respect for your partner’s feelings.

Practicing open and honest communication doesn’t mean there won’t be disagreements. But it does mean those disagreements will be healthier and more productive.

In my own relationship journey, I’ve found that the more we communicate, the less room there is for misunderstandings and resentment. And remember, sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” or “I understand” can make all the difference.

3) Independence and interdependence

Now, this might seem a bit counterintuitive, but hear me out. While having a strong bond is essential in a relationship, maintaining a sense of individuality is equally important.

The healthiest relationships are those where both partners can stand on their own two feet, while also leaning on each other when needed. This balance between independence and interdependence is key to a fulfilling relationship.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I dive deeper into this concept. I talk about how holding onto your individuality can actually strengthen your connection with your partner.

Giving each other the space to be yourselves allows for growth, both individually and as a couple. It encourages respect for personal boundaries and fosters a healthy level of reliance on each other.

Go ahead, encourage each other’s personal interests, support individual goals, and respect each other’s alone time. Remember, it’s about being a ‘we’ without losing the ‘me’.

4) Embrace conflict

Yes, you read that right. Embrace conflict.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Tina, isn’t conflict a bad thing?” Well, not necessarily.

Believe it or not, conflict can actually be a healthy part of any relationship. It’s not the presence of conflict that’s the problem, it’s how you handle it.

Avoiding conflict or suppressing your feelings to keep the peace can lead to resentment and a lack of intimacy. On the other hand, couples who face conflicts head-on usually come out stronger on the other side.

Research shows that couples who argue effectively (meaning with respect and without personal attacks) are ten times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who sweep issues under the rug.

So don’t shy away from disagreements. See them as opportunities to understand your partner better and to grow as a couple.

It’s not about winning an argument, it’s about finding a solution together. And sometimes, agreeing to disagree is the best solution of all.

5) Prioritize physical affection

Physical affection plays a crucial role in a relationship, and I’m not just talking about in the bedroom.

Hugging, holding hands, a peck on the cheek, or a simple touch on the shoulder can all convey feelings of love, care, and comfort.

In fact, studies have shown that regular physical contact can improve relationship satisfaction and reduce stress. It’s a simple way to maintain closeness and connection with your partner.

I’ve seen this in my own relationship. My partner and I make it a point to show each other small gestures of affection every day. It could be as simple as a hug before leaving for work or holding hands while watching TV.

These actions might seem insignificant, but they’re powerful ways to express love and strengthen your bond. So, make sure to prioritize physical affection in your daily routine. Trust me, a little goes a long way.

6) Accept imperfections

This one is tough, but it’s a hard truth we all need to accept: nobody is perfect. Yes, even your partner.

It’s easy to fall in love with the best parts of a person. It’s a whole different ball game to love their flaws, quirks, and imperfections. But that’s what real love is all about.

When you’re in a relationship, you’re signing up to accept your partner for who they are – the good, the bad, and the frustrating.

This doesn’t mean you have to put up with bad behavior or ignore red flags. It simply means recognizing that we all come with our own sets of flaws and embracing our partner’s as part of who they are.

I’ve learned this lesson firsthand in my own relationship. I’ve realized that accepting my partner’s imperfections didn’t mean settling for less than I deserve. Instead, it opened up space for understanding, patience, and unconditional love.

7) Practice forgiveness

An old saying goes, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” This couldn’t be truer, especially in relationships.

Mistakes happen. We’re all human and we all mess up sometimes. Holding onto grudges and resentment only harms you and your relationship in the long run.

Science backs this up. Studies show that forgiveness is linked to increased relationship satisfaction, stronger emotional connection and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

I’ve had my fair share of moments where forgiveness was the last thing I wanted to offer. But once I did, I realized it wasn’t just about freeing my partner from their mistake, it was about freeing myself from the burden of resentment.

Practice forgiveness not because your partner deserves it but because you deserve peace. And as Mark Twain wisely said, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

8) Invest time

This point is as raw and honest as it gets: love takes time.

In today’s fast-paced world, we often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. But a successful relationship requires time, attention, and effort.

Research suggests that quality time is one of the most significant contributors to relationship satisfaction. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending every waking moment together. It means investing time in shared experiences, meaningful conversations, and just being present with each other.

I’ll be honest. Balancing my personal life, career, and relationship has been a challenging journey. But I’ve learned that making the conscious decision to invest time in my relationship has been one of the most rewarding choices I’ve made.

Make your relationship a priority. Carve out time for each other in your busy schedules. Remember, love isn’t just a feeling, it’s an action that requires ongoing effort.


In conclusion, a happy and successful relationship isn’t built overnight. It’s the result of daily actions, small gestures, and conscious choices.

By practicing appreciation, open communication, acceptance of imperfections, and forgiveness, you can foster a stronger bond with your partner. Remember, it’s about being a ‘we’ without losing the ‘me’.

For more insights on maintaining a healthy balance in your relationship, check out my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship.

Remember, the best relationships are those where love is a verb, where you choose to love every day. Because at the end of the day, love isn’t about finding the perfect person. It’s about seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

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