But making time ― even just a few minutes! ― to connect with your partner before the chaos of the day sets in can make a big difference in your relationship. Here’s what the happiest couples do daily, according to Huffpost readers and marriage experts.
1. They make eye contact.
“We brush our teeth together. For those few minutes we look into each other’s eyes. We touch each other, a hand on the waist, hand on the cheek, head on the chest.” ― reader Brandi W.
2. They cuddle.
“My husband leaves for work before I can even imagine getting up and being a fully functional human being. So every morning after he’s gotten ready, he climbs back in bed and pulls me in close. And that five minutes, being close to one another, breath by breath, it’s the best way to start our day.” ― Meg Conley, marriage blogger
3. They try to get up around the same time when they can.
“Too many couples have two completely different morning routines and often barely see or speak to each other in the morning. I know of many partners who don’t even get up before their significant other is out of the house for the day ― and it’s not because he leaves at 4 a.m. or because she worked a swing shift. They just sleep late. As a couple, they don’t make it important to connect at the beginning of the day.” ― Dr. Kurt Smith, therapist who specializes in counseling for men
4. They enjoy a cup of coffee or tea together.
“My wife and I have breakfast together sitting on the front porch, side by side on the love seat. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, we have our coffee and talk about plans for the day and watch the birds.” ― reader Steve T.
5. They kiss goodbye.
“It so important to us that we always show affection before one of us leaves. Usually he leaves for work an hour before I wake up so he always says goodbye with a kiss on my head. It’s not about me needing the affection but more so knowing he is thinking of me before he heads to work.” ― reader Rebecca C.
6. They put down their devices.
“Even if we only have five to 10 minutes before one or the other of us has to rush out the door or get on the phone, we sit down to have tea. No phones or iPads allowed. No claiming we don’t have time. Maybe we talk about something coming up in our day or something in the news. Maybe we just sit quietly. With life being as crazy busy as it is, it’s a way to slow down and connect before we launch into the day.” ― Winifred M. Reilly, marriage and family therapist
7. They divvy up the morning chores.
“Getting the kids up, ready and off to school every morning can be a real chore. Nothing says that this has to be the mom’s job, but frequently it is ― or at least the majority of it. Couples who are happier share these kinds of family and parental responsibilities. Working as a team in the morning builds connection and relationship happiness that carries through the day.” ― Dr. Kurt Smith
8. They smile, no matter how tired they are.
“Mornings can be hectic for most people but it’s important to be able to at least smile at your partner. Even when trying to get ready and out the door, many happy couples find it natural to give a quick smile when interacting with their partner.” ― Dr. Marie Land, psychologist