Relationship Advice: This 1 Secret Is the Key to a Healthy Relationship

What is the key to a healthy relationship? To find out, we spoke to Grant Langston, CEO of eHarmony. He discussed the ins and outs of getting the most out of a relationship as well as the results of a new study on the state of happiness in American relationships. Here’s what he had to say.

This is what a healthy relationship looks like

couple at sunset

Being yourself is important. | iStock.com/gpointstudio

The Cheat Sheet: How would you define a healthy relationship?

Grant Langston: I think it depends on the person, but generally, a healthy relationship is one where two people feel completely comfortable being themselves and feel loved and accepted for who they are. They have open communication, an active sex life, and a wide net of friends. Those who are satisfied with part of their individual lives outside of their relationship, like friends, health, and careers, tend to be happier as well.

Next: The survey.

The love survey

Happy senior couple standing on beach with arms outstretched

How does your relationship make you feel? | iStock.com/Ridofranz

The Cheat Sheet: What prompted eHarmony to conduct a study on relationship satisfaction?

Grant Langston: We are all about meaningful relationships. I was very curious to take the pulse of couples in America, and see where they are these days in terms of relationship satisfaction.

Next: These things can affect relationship happiness.

Issues that can wreck your relationship

Frustrated Couple Sitting On Couch Quarreling

Fights happen, but some issues are worrisome. | iStock.com/AndreyPopov

The Cheat Sheet:  According to eHarmony’s study, what are some issues that affect relationship happiness?

Grant Langston: In the study, we looked at a variety of factors to determine happiness (and subsequent healthiness) of relationships. For the happiest of couples, they shared personality traits like optimism and confidence. They were similar in age, had sex more frequently than average, were willing to compromise, and believed in open communication and therapy. They also had regular date nights and love to do things together – like camping!

Next: This is what makes couples unhappy.

Characteristics of unhappy couples

arguing couple

Do you or your partner exhibit these signs? | Hybrid Images/Getty Images

The Cheat Sheet: What results did you see when it came to unhappy couples?

Grant Langston: For the unhappiest couples, we saw that they had gotten together because they felt it was time to settle down, they had more of an age difference between one another, and they didn’t value quality time or have trust in one another. They also lacked regular intimacy.

Next: Surprising survey findings.

Surprising results

surprised woman

This may surprise you. | George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

The Cheat Sheet: What were some survey findings that surprised you the most?

Grant Langston: Perhaps the most surprising finding is that gender and age dynamics in relationships are evolving, debunking misconceptions long held about both men and millennials in relationships. The new survey reveals that millennials ages 25 to 34 are the happiest in their relationships, are most likely to be open to compromise, and have open communication despite being of the texting generation. Men were most open to relationship therapy, which is great.

Next: This 1 thing can determine the health of your relationship.

This will help you have a happy relationship

young couple in the morning

Could this be the key? | iStock.com/Ivanko_Brnjakovic

The Cheat Sheet: What is the most important component of a healthy relationship?

Grant Langston: I would say the ability to communicate effectively would be up there as a crucial component of a healthy relationship. In order to improve other parts of the relationship that may need work, talking through the problem is the first step.

Next: Here’s how to stay happy.

Tips for staying happy

happy dating couple at outdoor restaurant with lens flare

Don’t discount these tips. | iStock.com/rez-art

The Cheat Sheet: In general, what are some ways for a couple to stay happy in their relationship?

Grant Langston: Couples need to prioritize each other by spending quality time together. This includes romantic gestures, regular outings, shared activities, and traveling. Hold hands in the park, play games, go hiking, and continue to have fun together! Most importantly, be sure to keep up healthy two-way, open communication.

Next: Signs it’s time to call it quits.

This is when it’s time to leave

unhappy couple

Not every relationship lasts forever. | Image Source/Getty Images

The Cheat Sheet: What are some clues that it’s time to exit a relationship?

Grant Langston: If your relationship comes to a point where it’s sabotaging individual happiness, you should seriously consider making a change. Take a deeper look at what you and your partner value in life and in your relationship, and see if they align.

Next: Some wise words.

Follow this advice

Arab couple flirting piggyback in love on the beach

Keep this wise advice in mind.| iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

The Cheat Sheet: Anything to add?

Grant Langston: Life is too short to spend it with someone who doesn’t enhance your life!

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