Relationships are hard. No matter how much we love our partners, there will always be challenges to overcome in any relationship. Maybe it's something small like arguing about leaving the toilet seat up or something more significant like reoccurring communication issues.
It takes a lot of work to have a healthy relationship, and this got us thinking, what are the main habits of healthy couples? There's only one way to find out: look to the experts for advice!
So we did some research into celebrities who have been together the longest to come up with these top ten habits of healthy couples.
1. You make each other laugh
Playfulness is often overlooked in relationships, but the truth is a little goofiness goes a long way in a happy marriage.
Take is from Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan, the couple met on the set of Family Ties, then tied the knot in 1988. “It’s hard, but you just have to have the perspective that you’re behind each other’s back,” she said, "and you have to be able to make each other laugh.”
2. You seek therapy when you need it
Therapy doesn't have to be the last resort in a relationship. Many healthy couples seek therapy throughout their relationship as a means of strengthening their bond. Therapy can be a helpful resource for learning new communication strategies and even to help shake things up in the bedroom.
Bryan Cranston has been married since 1989, and he said therapy is an important part of their success. "My wife and I go to a couples therapist. Our agreement is, if either of us feels like we want to go, the other can’t object.”
3. You inspire each other
David and Victoria Beckham are the definition of "relationship goals". Of course, there are many qualities of their marriage that have led them to be so happy together, but the most important thing according to Victoria is that her husband inspires her: “My husband constantly inspires me and guides me — he has done so much good work, I look up to him and have the utmost respect and admiration for all that he has achieved.”
4. You respect each other's independence
A healthy relationship doesn't mean the two of you have to be together every chance you get. Independence is important in a relationship because it allows you each to feel fulfilled on your own terms and reminds you not to rely on your partner to make you happy all the time. Only you can do that, girlfriend!
Lisa Kudrow and her husband just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and she said this in an interview: “We respect each other’s independence... I think people get in trouble when they assume they’re supposed to be one unit, in sync about everything. Marriage is like being on a team. Each teammate is different, but you have the same goal.”
5. You're best friends first
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were best friends before they got married, and Lively says that's the secret ingredient to their happiness.
"That's what I appreciate about our relationship is that he really is—he's my friend, first and foremost still, you know? Not just in our history but in everyday life, he is my friend first. And I think that's the secret to happiness.", she said in an interview.
6. You spend quality time together
Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham make it a priority to spend quality together and insist that it's the key to a happy and healthy relationship. We're not talking about watching T.V next to one another, either!
As we get complacent in our relationships we tend to forget about real quality time together, but that could be the underlying difference between couples that last and couples that don't. Our advice is to set a date night at least once a month, like that last Saturday of the month so it's consistent in your schedules.
7. You're open-minded in your conversations together
We know healthy communication patterns are vital to the success of a relationship, but Meryl Streep took it one step further by noting how important it is to keep an open mind when you're discussing something with your partner. Meryl's been married to her husband for 30-years, so she knows a thing or two about healthy relationships, stating "You have to listen to your partner's problems, suggestions, and advice, and accept that you're not always right. The conversation is the key to a successful marriage."
8. You both love yourself first
When it comes to famous couples, it doesn't get much more iconic than Beyonce and Jay-Z. They've been happily married with children and careers of their own for years, but Beyonce often refers to one key component that's made them last: self-worth.
Relationship experts always say that you have to love yourself before you love another person, and although it sounds a little corny, it's the truth. Just take it from Queen B herself, "I've seen, growing up, when a woman or a man in a relationship doesn't feel confident, they feel a bit trapped. Your self-worth is determined by you. You don't have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”
9. You are vulnerable with one another
Vulnerability is sometimes difficult for many of us because we don't want to get our feelings hurt. But with the deep level of trust you have in your partner comes the ability to be vulnerable with them and communicate what your honest emotional needs are.
Jessica Beil and Justin Timberlake put it beautifully when they were asked what the key to a healthy relationship is: “The ability to be really honest about how you’re feeling and what your needs are. Just be able to communicate really honestly and vulnerably with your partner."
10. You get the chance to miss each other
According to a few famous couples, getting the chance to miss each other really helps their relationships. This one isn't an obvious habit of healthy couples, but it definitely makes sense! Absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all.
"We're not together 365 days of the year. It's nice to be able to really be like, 'Oh my gosh, I miss you. I miss you so much.' That works for both of us.", said Chrissy Teigan in an interview about her and her husband, John Legend.
So there you have it: the top ten habits of healthy relationships according to the celebrity experts who have been together the longest. Every relationship is very different with its own unique set of challenges and "things to improve on".
There isn't a one-size-fits-all when it comes to managing the health and happiness of a relationship, but if you love each other and do your best at incorporating some of these habits into your love life, you're definitely on the right track for a long and happy relationship.