On Happiness | Approximately 22 Ways to Help Happiness Thrive in Your Relationship.

Sometimes, and this may come as a shock if you don’t know the everyday Alison, but sometimes, I just don’t really feel all that inspired.

In fact it took me all the way until evening – 11pm, east coast time – to feel good enough about what I had written to actually have it go live on the blog.  That’s what an Inspiration Block is called, I’m now recognizing.  (And I mostly blame the jack hammering.*)

This lack of inspiration thing, it’s actually not something that happens often for me, but that’s only because I have this aggressively overactive mind in the best and most crippling ways possible.  I can’t stop thinking of ideas all the time, which doesn’t seem like a bad thing until you realize that they shoot through my skull at terminal velocity and pingpong around the inside of my brain like so many inconsolable tantrumming toddlers.  There’s no grabbing and compartmentalizing them for future use.  So most of the time I sit at my desk feeling more burdened by them than anything else.  And when I sit down to write a piece on ONE of the ideas, I have to scrunch my eyes and purse my lips as if literally closing off all parts of my body to being receptive to competing thoughts.  I literally Renée Zellweger my way through 65% of the posts I write.  This is my life.  And don’t get me started on what goes on inside my head while I’m showering.  You guys have suggested I get one of those shower notepads, and I’m *this close* to pressing the gas on that purchase, that’s how idea-intense it gets in there.  What’s holding me back is that I know my showers will be 80 bajillion hours longer than they already are if I make our shower a workstation.  So I am trying extremely hard to keep the bathroom off limits to being a room of productivity.  In a business sense, I mean.  It has a couple of very specific types of productivity as its purpose, and I’d like to keep it limited to those — I may be progressive, but I’m still a lady and need to maintain at least *some* boundaries in my home.  If I blur the boundary on what’s bathroom-appropriate, I’m one giant leap closer to holding conference calls on the toilet.  I’m talking to you, Male Bloggers Who Know Who They Are And Are In Fact Proud of It.

But anyway obviously today was different from all other days.  Today was one of my more rare days.  The days when I can’t get my mind to want to think critically.  So how did I solve it?  The same way I always solve inspiration lapses: I did some internet surfing and blog reading.  Letting go of that drive to be uniquely creative and to DIY your own critical thinking topics can be overf**kingwhelming if it’s something you have to do on almost a daily basis.  So the occasional foray into other people’s worlds on the internet is often just the thing you need to spark something deep inside of you, that you may not have even known was lurking, waiting to break out and be analyzed.

And so.  I found bits here and there, glimmers of thought… but nothing substantial.  Nothing that was sticking and growing into a topic I could dive into and feast upon, and bloom into a topic that felt worthy of sharing with you.

Out of ideas, shockingly I opened up Twitter– a place I rarely go to waste time.  (Read: a place I fairly often go to waste time.)  And in an uncommon move, my eyes panned down to where the top trending topics on Twitter sit on the page.  I ogled the list long enough to notice that there was a particularly intriguing for whatever reason trending topic today and I felt like clicking it would somehow be an interesting way to spend five minutes.

You know those times when you go, “I’m going to look at this for five minutes just to unwind a bit and clear my head” and then it’s half an hour later and you’re in the weird part of Twitter and you have to click *Back* 7+ times to return to where it’s comfortable and/or you no longer feel like you’re stalking strangers on Twitter?  Well that’s not what happened to me.  FOR THE FIRST TIME THOUGH.

And it’s because the good stuff was right there in front of me, in a single page load after clicking on that intriguing trending topic.  The trending topic was: “#HowToKeepSomeoneHappy.”  It’s an unfortunate title for the trend, since what you’re about to read is more about how to ensure happiness in a loving relationship.  But oh well, that’s what the trend was.

Ok, here’s the list of some of the most commonly tweeted tweets by Twitter users (say that three times fast):

  1. #howtokeepsomeonehappy smile at them :) even if neither of you are in a good mood, a simple smile will do wonders.
  2. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy ”goodmorning”s and “goodnight”s go a long way.
  3. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy RESPECT them.
  4. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy: keep telling them u love em.
  5. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy dont argue for the sake of pride.
  6. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy Allow them the opportunity to know the real u from the beginning, so no false expectations are formed in the process.
  7. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy: Be honest; it’s the lies that hurt the most.
  8. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy care for them, and be there for them when no one else is.
  9. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy: Keep promises that you make to them.  No one likes being let down.
  10. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy Treat them the same way you would want to be treated. With love and respect.
  11. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy : Give them food.
  12. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy each day, tell them why you choose them over a million other people to be with. (<== ok maybe not each DAY.  but occasionally, yes, this one’s a good one.)
  13. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy ..treat them like they mean everything to you.
  14. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy –> BE FAITHFUL.
  15. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy treat them the same in public as you do in private.
  16. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy surprise them with simple gifts every now and then.
  17. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy Don’t lie, don’t cheat.
  18. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy remember the little things. (<== tweeted by a GUY :)
  19. #howtokeepsomeonehappy make them feel important and make them a priority in your life (<== also tweeted by a guy :)
  20. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy don’t tell them you love them; show them you love them. (<== ALSO, by a guy! :)
  21. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy: truly love them.
  22. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy make them laugh!

Here are some that didn’t make my short list, for various reasons:

  1. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy it’s impossible, there’s always something someone’s going to get mad about.
  2. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy sandwiches and beer.
  3. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy Not letting them watch ASPCA Animal Cruelty commercials.
  4. #howtokeepsomeonehappy bacon. Duh.
  5. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy throw cake at them!

And of course, this one kicked and screamed its way into the trend:

  1. #HowToKeepSomeoneHappy (beliebers) – play Justin’s music, talk about him, show them pictures of him, read his book to them. Yep:)

Even though that’s a pretty good list to start off with, I have a few of my own to add, though I’m not reinventing the wheel or anything.  Namely:

  1. Hug ‘um.  Hugging works wonders on all relationships, in my opinion.
  2. Let them know in words (like, out loud, or in a love letter) how much they mean to you.
  3. Find things/activities you both enjoy, and experience them together.  It’s a way to make BOTH of you happy, and win-wins are kind of amazing.

Is there anything you can think of that you’d add to any of these lists?  The silly list or the serious list, or both, or none, or whatever.  But I really would love to hear them.

Oh, and why was I so intrigued by these particular Twitter trends discussed today, over any others I’ve seen?  Well it could have something to do with the fact that they weren’t these ACTUAL TWITTER TRENDS OF OLD:

  1. #IfIHadAGun,
  2. #BieberTurns18IsSexy,
  3. #OneDirectionIsABandIWantToSex,
  4. #BieberIsMyBoyf,
  5. #BeliebersUnite,
  6. #OneDirectionIsHot,
  7. #ChicksSuckBecause,
  8. #WhyBitchesAreTerrible,
  9. #50WaysToCheatOnYourGirlfriend,
  10. #youknowshesDTFwhen or anything you know, of that genre of typically popular Twitter conversation topics that are dumb and/or offensive.

So yeah.  It was just a real treat to see a twitter trending topic that was so positive for once.  I wanted to celebrate it.

So I’m curious… what would you add to the list?  Or are there any that especially stand out to you?  Also, do you wish you experienced more of any of those listed, from someone you love?

Feel free to share some simple things that make you happy, too.

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. :)

xoxo  - Alison

*Footnote: You know, I’ve always wondered if a month of sustained jack hammering could result in a full mental disconnect from reality – like mind body and soul level disconnection – or if it would just make life kind of a drag while it’s happening, but in the scheme of things be no biggie.  So I guess I’m just really excited that I finally got to test out that theory.  Thank you, massive road and building construction project in my neighborhood!  You make dreams realities.

Label(s): Real Life Issues, Your Mood

Love all of this...


  1. Meghan on May 9, 2012

    Oh Alison. I think you are my long-lost, wittier, funnier and more creative twin. You put the same scattered thoughts I have into eloquent words that make sense. Please, never stop!

    Oh, and Bambino – omg. Self hi-fives. Love it.

    Best thing I’ve read in a while. xo

    • Alison on May 14, 2012

      Meghan – when you say something like this, you run the risk of me liking you a lot. And if you ask my friend Lena, who commented below, you’ll find that like her, I might #MondayMace you on twitter with my pepper spray of love. Her eyes are still sore; it’s nothing you want.

      Also, thank you :)

  2. Kelli on May 9, 2012

    Can I just say that I love that you talk about more than weddings on your blog?! It’s why you’re one of my fave wedding blogs. You help me plan my wedding and get through the emotional stuff that can come up in between. I seriously feel like ur my therapist.

    Last thing before this comment gets too long: the posts you write when ur feeling uninspired are my faves! great read and great list :)

    • Alison on May 14, 2012

      Kelli – :) I love that you love it!

  3. Ummm…. I think listening is a pretty good one. Everyone likes to be listened to, right? Or is that just the counselor in me talking? No I’m pretty sure everyone likes that.

    You are hilarious as always. I’m glad you got to test out that theory of yours. Way to see the silver lining in that jack-hammery cloud. ;)

    Bambino – self-high fives. Amazing.

  4. Catherine on May 9, 2012

    Love this! A silly way to make someone (well, most someones) happy: wave a cute puppy at them. And a serious one: the things you don’t have to do, do them because you want to.

    My happiness comes from many things and has been increasing this year as I really shift the focus of my life to things I want for myself. When you come out from under the oppressive dead weight of a toxic friendship the world is suddenly full of possibilities and happiness.

  5. Janna (Sparkly Love) on May 9, 2012

    This post is so perfect. I have to agree with “not letting them watch ASPCA commercials.” Those things make me want to adopt every abandoned dog on the planet. And that’s just not OK.

    But seriously, sometimes we get so comfortable in our relationships and our lives that we forget to do things like this for our partners, our families, and our friends. It’s a nice reminder!

  6. Maire on May 9, 2012

    I definitely lunge for the remote every time I hear Sarah McLaughlidofnalkdja;l start to sing in order to keep my fiance from having a breakdown and giving our rent money to the humane society.

  7. emily on May 9, 2012

    when i have to travel for work and we don’t see each other in a while, my husband emails me pictures of cute baby bunnies. it makes me happy.

    as does reading this blog to get my daily dose of Bambino.

    i’m really very cynical and businesslike…those damn baby bunnies are so cute though….

  8. Genesis Diamonds on May 9, 2012

    “So I am trying extremely hard to keep the bathroom off limits to being a room of productivity. In a business sense, I mean.” made me guffaw in the office. I didn’t know what a guffaw was, exactly, nor did I know that I was capable of it until just now. Thank you.

  9. Lena on May 9, 2012

    Bambs would top my list. And when I know John’s having a hard day, he gets Bambs, too. So really, YOU help our relationship thrive, and that is serious influence.

  10. Wedding Flowers Co. on May 9, 2012

    everything that has been said here is so true! lovely thank you for the remainder!

  11. Marie on May 12, 2012

    First of all that picture of Bam had me at hello and when you said you Renée Zellweger your way through 65% of the posts, the deal was sealed. I lol’d my friend. Loud.

  12. Malaya on May 6, 2013

    I love, love, love this post. Starting with that picture of your precious pup only sets it up for yet another fabulous post. Seriously though, you make me laugh. Hard. And you helped me remember that there’s more to happiness than I remind myself of.


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