16 February 2017
You can be happy on your own but the fact remains that genuine long-term joy tends to involve shared experiences, with people you love.
Open doors, say ‘thank you’, make the bed, fill your partner’s car with petrol and put toothpaste on their toothbrush – these are all so obvious that I have mentioned them as a mere reminder.
These mutual acts of kindness oil the wheels of love. There’s nothing sexier than being a lovely human being.
So here are 10 easy-peasy kindness ideas. Yes, some are easier-peasier than others, but all are do-able so why experiment with what works for you? Binge on kindness.
Compliments: Go ahead and make your partner’s day with your words. Comment on nice hair, clothes, shoes, manners, attitude… it’s the most basic level kindness and it happens to be simple and free
Hugs: The average hug lasts 2.1 seconds but for the love to transfer a hug needs to last 7 seconds or longer. So use this as an excuse to envelop your partner for the full 7 seconds
Listen: And I mean really listen. Be genuinely interested in what your partner has to say. Your partner will feel wonderful and in a bizarre twist of relationship chemistry, they will think you are a wonderful person (which of course, you are).
Positive questions: Linked to the point above, why not go a step further and initiate a positive conversation – so instead of ‘how was your day?’ try ‘what was the very best thing about your day?’
Special pants: When you’re getting dressed in the morning and you open your underwear draw, there are always some knickers in there that you don’t really fancy? I call then your ‘last resort pants’. Bin them. Because there are also some knickers in there that are your ‘special pants’. Wear them and wear them often. The secret of happiness and successful relationships is to appreciate that life is a short and precious gift so stop waiting for a special occasion. Wear your special pants because life is the ultimate special occasion! (for extra effect, if you combine the special pants and the 7-second hug, it could be a big night)
Change your focus: There’s a big fat chance that your partner isn’t perfect. Here’s some devastating news…. neither are you! We’re all flawed human beings so instead of focusing on your partner’s weaknesses and noticing their bad habits, start noticing the good stuff. This links to a wider happiness point around the theme of gratitude. Most people spend an inordinate amount of time moaning about life and whinging about what they haven’t got. Genuinely happy people are more appreciative about what they have got
Brekky in bed: An oldie but a goodie. (Combined with special pants and 7-second hug… that might be too much happiness to bear?)
Be kind to yourself: This slightly left-of-field kindness tip will benefit your partner, but it starts and ends with yourself. Women are bombarded with billboards of airbrushed perfection. If we go beyond the aesthetics, women are under pressure to have the perfect career, children, partner and car. You also need to be the perfect mum, cook and lover. These are huge pressures which point to an unsurprising statistic of the modern era – prescriptions for anti-depressants are at an all-time high. Chill. Stop trying to keep up with the impossible. My advice is to list the top 10 happiest moments of your life. The likelihood is that there won’t be a single product on there. You list will consist of things you’ve done – moments of simple joy and achievements that have left you grinning rather than products you’ve purchased. These ‘happiness moments’ are also your moments of perfection.
So, stop trying to be perfect and start having more ‘moments’. You will feel a whole lot relaxed and your partner will benefit from sharing their life with a better version of you