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Updated: Aug 11, 2020

HAPPY TOGETHER: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts


Happy together written by positive psychology experts, husband and wife team Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James Pawelski.

In fairy tales lasting love seems to JUST HAPPEN. But it is HEALTHY HABITS that build happily ever after.

To Strengthen your partnership

To start relationship off right, weather difficult times, reignite passion, transform good to great relationship.

This book teaches us KEY HABITS for building and sustaining long term love.

Promoting a healthy passion

Prioritizing positive emotions

Mindfully Savouring experiences together

Seeking out strengths in each other


Being Happy Together is one of the greatest joys life has to offer. Being Happy Together is one of the greatest challenges life has to offer.

It is often the same people who make us happy also make us unhappy

The "together" part affects our happiness. The affect of romantic relationships on our happiness are enormous.


Happy together is about applying positive psychology research into relationships. Started as Romance and Research workshops, now into this book.

Authors believe in Brave beginnings, informed efforts, not magically fairy tale endings. NO EASY PROMISE.

Not about following steps and yielding perfect results. Its about getting better at relationships through well-directed effort.

Working on relationships like working on your body at the gym. It's about continual effort. This book is like a good personal trainer. Ready for the RELATIONSHIP GYM?

Based on evidence based advice.

Cultivating healthy habits through continued effort and directed attention.

Make time to do exercises. Put material into practice.


Our genes are equipped to fight against the things we don't want in our lives and to cultivate more of what we do want.

Lives are a combination of happy and unhappiness. We are always feeling some level of happiness and unhappiness at the same time.

To be happy we must be able to protect ourselves from things that threaten and harm us. But that in and of itself won't produce happiness. Getting rid of sadness doesn't automatically produce joy.

Nature has given us the negativity bias. We are hardwired to look for, anticipate, and avoid danger in order to survive. BUT amid all the noisy problems and worries, we don't always recognize the opportunities for improvement or greater happiness that surrounds us.

Positive psychology (takes into account that most of us tend to the negativity bias) is a science that focuses on human strengths and potential and celebrates what's best in life.

Emphasizing goals, well-being, satisfaction, happiness, interpersonal skills, perseverance, talent, wisdom, and personal responsibility.

Positive psychologist study the impact of concepts such as passion, gratitude, savouring, and spirituality on our well-being.

The ultimate goal of Positive Psychology is to help people cultivate and benefit from these qualities in their own lives and relationships.

We can learn to improve our lives. Our lives are a result of how we choose to respond to what happens to us. By learning how to respond more positively. (Seligman, Csikszentmihalyi, Deiner)

Applying Positive Psychology to romantic relationships.

Peterson believed you can summarize Positive psychology in three words: OTHER PEOPLE MATTER

Seligman identifies relationships as one of the five key elements of flourishing in his model of well-being. PERMA

Beyond fixing problems and dysfunctions. Yes fix things when there is a problem but in addition to that focus on what's right and working. Passion, Positive Emotions, Savouring, Character Strengths.

Mind Map

By Andrea Seydel


Inspired by Aristotle's insights: The ideal romantic relationships is the goal of becoming Aristotelian Lovers.

1. Partners love the good they see in each other.

2. They are committed to each other's well-being and supportive of their growth.

3. Lovers are inspired to become better people themselves.

EXERCISE: Think of movies As good as it gets. YOU MAKE ME WANT TO BE A BETTER MAN. Jerry Maguire YOUR COMPLETE ME. Consider what you think they mean in contact of a relationship. Consider the upside/downside of each. Where does your relationship or intended relationship fall in this?



Passion fuels our relationships, and many aspects of our lives.

It's important to know how to cultivate the RIGHT kind of passion.(obsessive passion swept off feet, take over rational part of brian) We often confuse love with with obsessive passion. Choose rather than fall for.

Secure attachment and healthier harmonious passion can be learned and practiced. Resulting in greater intimacy and stronger relationships.

TIPS: 1. Share good secrets with each other because you love and trust them. 2. Remember yourself. How do you enjoy spending your own time? book club, yoga, spa, friends? 3. Seek out new adventures together. Fun exhilarating and new adventures you both will enjoy.

CONSIDER: How do you like spending your own time? What adventures could you do/try in relationships?


Positive emotions are more then feelings to enjoy, they can also have ongoing impact on our lives. They cause good feelings to happen and are a result of good things happening.

Positive emotions also help us to take actions that will keep relationships healthy. Learning how to cultivate positive emotions in yourself and towards your partner. Positive emotions: Interest, amusement, joy, hope, serenity, gratitude, pride, inspiration, awe, love.

TIPS: 1. Prioritize positive emotions. Guide positivity in lives. What can you do to prioritize positivity? Change schedule. 2. Act out how you want to feel, and it directly influences ourselves to feel that way. Act as if, Be an actor. Practice positive emotions. 3. Cultivate positive emotions in our lives passes it along to benefit partners. Positive emotion conductor

Consider: What positive emotions come easy for you? (Joy, Interest) What positive emotions would you like to build and practice? (Pride, serenity) How are you going to do that?


Savouring helps us make themes of positive emotions and other good experiences. Savouring can be a powerful way to enhance happiness and satisfaction.

There is value in intentionally being open to positive moments and not taking others for granted, but rather fully enjoying. Savouring enhances anticipatory joy too.

TIPS: 1. Appreciate sharing and mutuality. Affection affirmation common interest and mutual engagement. 2. Self-disclosure. Share inner world with partner. Careful listening. 3. Minding. Consciously attending to and observing your partner. 4. Collaboration. Working on something together? 5. Sexual empathy. Mutually satisfying sexual relationships.

Consider: Think not a positive event that happened to you in the past week. How did you responds to that event? Did you forget about it and move on? How could you savour that event more?


Character is about who we are and how we relate to others. Knowing character strengths and how to cultivate strengths can help direct our effort and lives. Gratitude and kindness cultivate harmonious relationships.

Knowing strengths in others helps us avoid friction and frustrations. Making a relationship itself greater as a whole. (Do Signature strengths survey VIA)

TIPS: 1. Strengths Story exercise. Choose a strength and think about how you used it in the past. How could you use strengths in new ways? 2. Strengths story about partners strengths. 3. Express Gratitude well. Authentically and other focused. Open honest and vulnerable. Receive gratitude well. (Deflection, reciprocation, Acceptance, AMPLIFICATION, Advancement) 4. Kindness practice. How might you cultivate kindness? Assess your kindness initiations. Assess your kindness responses.

Consider: Spend a few minutes thinking about a recent time your partner expressed gratitude to you. How did you respond? What could you do to accept genuinely, amplify it, and advance your connection?

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