The Surprising Habit of Happy Couples

Relationships, Wellness
Secrets of happy couples

Photo: Getty Images

What if you could do one thing that could safeguard your marriage for the end of time? Easier said than done, right? Well, if you keep this idea in mind, you might just be well on your way to wedded bliss, say experts.

The trick? Never let the third date end. Come again, you say? Let me explain.

First dates are, often, awkward. Second dates, a little less so. By the third date, you're building intimacy, and you're talking about big dreams, ideas, life. And the surprising advice from relationship experts is to hold onto that third date.

Yes, in every relationship, and as time progresses, you've got to talk about everyday life things, too (hello first-year finances, kitchen trash, and the dog's vet appointment), but if you can keep yourself rooted in the wide-eyed wonder of the third date, where you revealed new and exciting things about yourselves to each other, you'll be a happier couple for it.

Psychologist Terri Orbuch, author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great followed 373 couples since 1986 and found that out of the couples who were happiest, 98 percent said that they knew and understand their partners intimately. And you know how that happens, she says? Keeping that third date alive.

Here's Orbuch's recommendation: Talk to each other for at least 10 minutes a day, and make sure it's not about family stuff, work, or even your relationship. Think: big lofty things that you might have talked about on your third date, such as "have you ever dreamed of going to the Greek islands?" or "Where do you want to be ten years from now?"

Bonus points: Allow yourself to recreate that third date. What restaurant did you go to? What did you wear? Do you remember what he said between glasses of that amazing bottle of pinot noir that reached you? If so, tell him.

Sarah Jio

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