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by Kim Lance, associate publisher of Online Dating Magazine

Share Good Habits, Not Bad Ones

One of the best ways to bond and grow closer while in a serious relationship is to participate in activities together. With an average of nine hours spent at work, not to mention all the other “outside-work” activities, sometimes it is hard to find time to focus on your relationship. A great way to be able to spend more time together and grow with your partner is to share in some of your partners social habits, while he or she shares in yours.

While this is a good way to strengthen your relationship and find even greater common ground, it is vital to make sure that the habits you are sharing are positive to your relationship and not putting extra strain on it. Remember, share good habits, not bad ones.

Sharing habits that are good for you as an individual and good for you as a couple will bring multiple benefits to your life and relationship. Sharing habits that have a negative effect on you physically or emotionally or can compromise the happiness and stability of your relationship should always be avoided. Maintaining a relationship always requires time and attention and can be difficult at times… adding bad habits to the mix will only make matters worse.


In order to get a better idea of the pros and cons of sharing a “good habit” or a “bad habit”, let’s take a look at two very common lifestyle choices that individuals face and that relationship partners can participate in together – daily exercise and extreme alcohol consumption (a.k.a. “partying” or “binge drinking”). One is positive and, obviously, one is negative.

Share the Good Habit of Exercise

Health experts agree that in order to live a long and healthy life, you must get plenty of exercise. If you have already made this a habit in your life, congratulations. Since you want your partner to live a long, happy, and healthy life too, why not try to make your exercise habit an activity that you both can share.

Schedule time together several days a week to go to the gym or get outdoors to get some exercise. Be there to push your partner to jog that extra mile on the treadmill or, if weight lifting is your style, you can rely on your partner to “spot you” while you lift. It will not only get you in better physical shape, but will also build trust and commitment in your relationship as you commit to a healthier lifestyle.

Whether its daily gym visits or weekend outdoor activities like hiking, tennis, or swimming, exercise is one of the best habits you and your partner can develop together. Your work out will be another reason to spend time together and, as an added bonus, the endorphins released during exercise can often make you feel happier, which is always good news for a relationship.

Avoid the Bad Habit of Extreme Alcohol Consumption

Having a drink or two on a particularly stressful day may seem like a nice way to unwind and relax, but, unfortunately, drinking has the potential to become a very bad habit. It has an even greater potential to become a bad habit when you share it with your partner.

Just as going out to dinner with your partner every night can contribute to weight gain, heavy drinking with your partner several times a week can cause havoc on not only your body but also your relationship. You are more likely to argue and act irrationally when lots of alcohol is involved but, unfortunately, alcohol can be very physically and socially addicting.

If you notice that you and your partner are frequenting the corner bar or liquor store more than any other establishment, it might be time to break the bad habit and rely less on alcohol within your relationship. Communicating and connecting while sober will help strengthen a relationship much more than while intoxicated. And, although those wine induced conversations can seem romantic at the time, they prove no benefit if you can’t even remember what you talked about.

Other Good Habits to Share

Ok, enough with the negative scenarios. Let’s focus more on the positive things you can share within your relationship. If you and your partner are not into exercising together, don’t worry, there several other habits you both can share. Here are three more “good habits” that you and your partner can participate in to build your relationship and help you further connect:

1) Reading
Read aloud to each other or, if you prefer silent reading, each pick out a book that interests you and set a time together in a quiet spot to read. You can also build on your relationship communication by sharing what you have read with your partner and vice versa.

2) Gardening
This habit will not only improve your relationship, it will also improve the look and feel of your living space. Take some time out on the weekend to get outside and make improvements to your garden. As you nurture your plants, vegetables, and flowers, they will grow along with your relationship.

3) Learning
Just because you are out of school doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. If a thirst for knowledge is one of your good habits, share it with your partner by signing up for a class together. You will share yet another thing in common and walk away from it with greater knowledge on an endless number of subjects.

Whatever your choice, the important thing is that your shared habit brings the two of you closer together in a positive way. By avoiding bad habits and sharing good ones you will not only be providing a good benefit to yourself, but you will be developing an additional common ground you and your partner can share. Any additional reason to share time together will further connect you with your partner, and that’s the greatest benefit of all.

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