How to be a couple extraordinaire

by Dandy

In honor of Valentine’s Day I wrote a list on how to be a great couple all year round.  Being in a relationship is one thing, but being in a healthy, happy relationship is another.  I’ve been with my sweetheart for over 7 years.  We’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t.  We are still learning actually.  People grow and change over the years.  It’s important to grow together, to support each other, to be friends as well as lovers. 

  1. Reminisce about happy times.
  2. Accept one another.
  3. Have time with each other that doesn’t involve the tv, phone, internet, etc;
  4. Make future plans together whether it’s a camping trip, or trying out a new coffee shop.
  5. Watch comedies and laugh together.
  6. Be courteous – always.
  7. Always kiss goodnight and good morning.
  8. Read books, poetry, or bible verses to each other.
  9. Act silly together.
  10. Never, ever speak badly about your partner behind their backs, ever.
  11. Everyday tell someone one nice thing about your partner.
  12. Tell them about your day.  Did something make you think of them?
  13. Don’t compare them to anyone.
  14. Give them your full attention when talking.
  15. Lavish them with praise.
  16. Ask about their thoughts, opinions, and feelings.
  17. Take pride in them and show it.
  18. Say you’re sorry.
  19. Do nothing together.
  20. Pray or meditate together.
  21. Give each other space.
  22. Encourage their interests.  If something feeds their soul, it should be held sacred by you.
  23. Learn something new together.
  24. Make each other cookies.
  25. Forgive them.
  26. Let go of pettiness.
  27. Leave love notes.
  28. Keep promises.
  29. Give them a deep, wet kiss that lingers forever.
  30. Whisper I love you, in their ear.  It sounds so nice that way. 

A good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude”    -Rilke

What have you found that promotes growth and happiness in a relationship?

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50 Comments to “How to be a couple extraordinaire”

  1. Dandy, what a great group of tips! I find one we continue to try to do better is spending time with each other without phone, tv, interruption. It can seem like we spend so much time being busy that we forget how to “be.” I like to think I’m better at this with my kids, but I should be all the more better at this with my wife. Thanks for sharing this! Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  2. A sincere, heartfelt list Dandy. I’m printing this right now to share with my sweetie tonight!

    Alex

  3. > It’s important to grow together
    I like the way you put that. We can grow together, or we can grow apart. The key in either case is that we need to grow to become more of who we really are.

  4. Hi Dandy,

    I’ve been with my wife now for almost 9 years, and the learning has never stopped (on what does and doesn’t work). It’s been such a great journey, one I’m extremely proud and it reinforces my blessings everyday, multiple times a day.
    One thing that has worked great for us is not having separate lives. It’s a popular thing these days for a husband to have “his” life and a wife to have “hers”…but divorce is popular too.

    We have a life together, centered around our kids. It’s a selfless take, but we get so much fulfillment for it.
    Thanks for the “loving” post! Happy V-Day!

    • Jk, I am also celebrating 9 years this year. FistBump to you, my friend!

    • Hi Jk!
      I’m with you about not living seperate lives. There is nothing wrong with being wrapped up in each other, especially when that patnership is filled with love, positivity, and encouragment! It’s great to have separte interests, for example my sweetheart just spent 3 days sleeping on a frozen over lake to ice fish. Yeah, I stayed home on that one:) But when he came home it was thrilling to hear him talk about his trip and the great time he had. Our separete interests brought us together with something fun to share. But I love being the most important part of his life and he is mine. Divorce is all too frequent. When you find a fullfilling relationship, you have to cherish and nurture it! Happy Valentines Day Jk!

  5. Dandy,

    That is a really great list of reminders. I clock up 9 years in total with hubby but we are constantly learning!

    I found point 10 to be an important one – it never ceases to amaze me how people speak poorly of their partners/husbands – surely that must permeate into your relationship.

    Thanks again Dandy!

    • Hi Juanita,
      I’m glad you liked my list. Yep, # 10 is a good one. I’ve never wanted to be one who always complains about their partner. Even when I’m in a grumpy mood, I get myself out of it by telling someone something nice about my partner, even if I have to put it on facebook. It puts me in a better frame of mind. Thanks Juanita. Happy Valentines Day!

  6. A simple loving list Dandy but how easily we lose sight of such things. I can only add, ‘be the honest you with them always’. Being who you are with someone’s heart is the best way to keep theirs. Sending love on this loving people day!

  7. Hi Dandy,

    It takes all these my friend to make a great marrige. Successful relationships are about giving love to each other, forgiving each other, and growing in love with each other. Praying for each other is crucial as well. You have nailed my friend with this post. Thanks for sharing Dandy 🙂

  8. I like number 24!! That one is sooo you. I don’t think you ever stop learning in a relationship and you have to remember to try every day to show love.

    • Hi Mandy,
      That one is one of my favorites:) It’s important that we want to work on our relationship, they deserve our energy, time, and heart! Thanks so much for your comment & support! Love you! Happy Valentines Day!

  9. Hello Dandy!

    You really have a very wonderful list here!

    What does it cost to make up some yummie cookies…and the nice smell!

    Warm cookies = Warm hearts

    “Do nothing together”

    Goes to show you that the price of an extraordinaire relationship can be free with no cost at all.

    I have always liked leaving love notes…there’s a lot of loving fun to this!

    Wishing you and your number 1 a most wonderful Valentines Day!

  10. “Act silly together” and “Don’t compare with anyone else”. These are my favorite two, Dandy. But WOW, what a great list!

    I have been married 17 years this July. It takes so much work, but it is worth it! We try hard to laugh alot, and just spend valuable time together as a family, but also as a couple. It is so important to find the time in our busy lives to only have to concentrate on each other!

    Thanks for a wonderful list, and Happy Valentine’s (one day late) to you and your sweetie!!
    Love,
    Jen

    • Hi Jen,
      Yes, those are my favorites too. I love how my sweetheart can crack me up even when I’m in a bad mood. I’ve also learned that my relationship doesn’t have to be like anyone elses, we are our own selves, so comparrison is useless. Thanks Jen for your comment. It is much appreciated:) Take care!

  11. I have been married for 10 years. I’d like to share that it is important to laugh together. Instead of perceiving faults and shifting blame, learning to make light of a tense situation can be very helpfpul in diffusing anger.

    I like your tip on “do nothing together”. I have not had a chance with applying this tip personally though. There’s always so much to do, discuss and work together. But the ability to be able “to do nothing together” speaks volume of a comfortable relationship.

    Belated Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Hi Evelyn,
      Humor does turn a tense situation off. Sometimes we just need to release the tension by laughing. Thanks for your comment Evelyn. It is much appreciated! Belated Happy Valentines Day!

  12. I think in a position of LOVE. We all have to give each other some place. I may not have been married for 10 years like Evelyn but i do realize love is a game. We have to give, to get and vice versa. Love is the only think that can turn an enemy into a friend. Martin Luther King taught me that. Great post Dandy.

  13. Dandy,

    This list was very comprehensive and I honestly for the first time in my life don’t think I have anything additional I could add. Every relationship is different so some things that work for my wife and I might not work for someone else but we do what fits. In our relationship my wife is my best friend and I don’t say that to win brownie points, she really is. We have a relationship that allows for us to be brutally honest with each other. This keeps up from hiding our feelings and burying our emotions. If we didn’t like something the other person does. We say, “I thought that was not a really good decision” or something in that fashion. Usually it is “brutal” but we know the purpose is not to be hurtful. She helps me to grow and I do the same for her. So to me an extraordinaire couple is one that is honest, open and connected.

    I will forward this to my wife she has a few things to learn. 🙂

    • Hi Frank!
      Thanks for your great comment:) Yes, every relationship is different and we need to find what works for us. That why I like “Don’t compare yourselves with anyone else”. I do concider my partner to be my best friend. I just wouldn’t want to do without him! I think it’s wonderful you have total honesty in your relationship. Subterfuge and duplicity will kill a relationhip faster than anything. It’s wonderful being in a relationhip where you don’t have to hide who you are! Thanks so much Frank! Take care!

  14. As a happily single person, I’m a bit left out of all the relationship tips of the holiday. However, what I have noticed is that so many of the tips are just as useful in any type of meaningful relationship–parent/child, friend, etc. Well, okay, not the kissing and sex part! But the rest…. Good advice for life.

    • Hi Galen,
      Your comment made me laugh:) Yes, as I was writing it I was thinking beyond a romantic situation. The past several years I’ve worked hard at improving and enriching my relationship with my parents I’ve used most of these tips (except #29) and it has been successful. Thanks for your comment Galen! Happy Belated Valentines Day!

  15. Hi Dandy,

    It’s lovely to read that you have been with your sweetheart for 7 years! That’s 7 years of growth and learning together! 🙂 I agree fully with you that a relationship is about growing, supporting and being best friends as well as lovers. I am sure there will be many wonderful years ahead for the both of you.

    Your list has many great points. Here are some that stood out for me.

    2. Accept one another.

    I think this is very important. If we judge or have conditional love for our partners, it will be hard to have a great relationship in the long run. When we fail to accept them fully as who they are, the barriers we create will undermine the relationship eventually.

    22. Encourage their interests. If something feeds their soul, it should be held sacred by you.

    I support this point strongly. We should be our partner’s greatest supporters. If they cannot share their hopes, dreams and interests with us, who can they share it with? I feel we should always have an awareness of our partner’s likes and dislikes. There is no need to be an expert, but having a working knowledge can do wonders for the relationship.

    27. Leave love notes.

    It is great to leave little surprises around for your partner. It keeps the romance alive in the relationship so that things don’t get stale and boring. It is also a good way to remind them how important they are to you.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

  16. Great list. I have one that I find fun. Cook dinner together. You know have a glass of wine and cook together. We have a lot of fun doing this and just never know. LOL I do like this one and feel it is very important, “17.Take pride in them and show it.”

    thanks Dandy for the great list.
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie!
      Yes that is a good one. Cooking is a fun thing to do together. #17 is one of my favorites. Our partners need to know we are proud of them. Thanks so much Debbie. Take care:)

  17. Dandy, What a fabulous list. I love the confidence you exude about your relationship balanced with the humility of know it’s an ongoing learning process. This is one I have trouble with, but am getting better: “Do nothing together.” Lovely photo too!

  18. hello dandy
    how are you?
    i believe relationships are always work in progress because you never stop learning, accepting, loving, supporting, at times tolerating each other……..
    for me:
    spending time together without the tv, enhances communication, strengthens the bonds that exist, allows you enjoy each others company etc
    acting silly just does it for me lol!!! and complimenting one another just shows you appreciate the roles played by both of you.
    saying you are sorry shows that you ar humble enough to accept corrections.
    thanks for sharing this list
    take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the day

    • Hi Ayo! Thanks for your comment on my blog. I’m glad you liked my list. Being happy as a couple is really important and any work that we have to put into them is so worth it. Take care Ayo!

  19. As you may have noticed, I’m currently in a relationship too 😉

    I keep blahhing on about it, but I love where I am in my life because everything seems to be working. And the best part is my girlfriend, so has inspired me to push myself to greater things. So, I can relate to these items that you list Dandy, I think this was a great read.

    Hope you had a good Valentine’s 🙂

  20. It just goes to show Dandy that it’s the little things that are the big things in relationships. Being good looking, a healthy intimate life, and looking like a million dollars for each other count for zip when simple things like doing activities together, keeping time and space for the one you love, and small compliments, are missing. For love to last they have to last with it. Great flag for true romance Dandy and I wish you and your sweetheart even more happy times ahead.

  21. Dandy: I am a little late with this comment, but I did want to let you know that I thought this was such a great list. You are so right that it is one thing to have a relationship, and a completely different thing to have a great one that is functioning, loving and healthy. This list is so great and thoughtful. Thanks for passing it along.

  22. Hi Dandy,
    This is a great list. I’d like to add one thing that is very important in my relationship with my husband: unconditional love. It’s important to know that regardless of what you don’t or don’t that your partner will continue to love you and will be there for you. This is a very powerful commitment.
    Thanks for this reminder of love. Loving blessings.

    • Hi Andrea,
      You are so right! Unconditional love is a big one. To be accepted for who we really are and be enough for out partner can make or break a relationship. Being loved unconditionally and knowing we are being loved unconditionally is the most important feeling one can ever experience I think. Thanks Andrea! Take care of yourself!

  23. Dandy,
    What a great list! I especially love #9 (act silly together)!! I just feel really connected to my wife when we have those moments where we are being goofy – and it creates some very wonderful memories!!

  24. if couples were to follow this they would have a perfect relationship
    very nice post Dandy 🙂

  25. Hi Dandy,
    I give my wife on her 50th birthday a card listing 50 reasons why I loved her. I then realized how much I loved her because it was so easy. Wish you the best.
    Riley

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