Why Happy Couples Have a Morning Ritual

About a year ago, friend and journalist Laura Vanderkam came out with a little ebook called What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. Based on stories from real people as well as scientific research, the book listed dozens of ways to take control of mornings and, as a result, influence the rest of your work day for the better.

Well. It. Took. Off.

Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam
Photo by: Michael Falco

Soon Laura wasn’t just a journalist that I happen to know. She was one of the most successful journalists that I happen to know. Her book was an Internet bestseller, reaching #1 for audio books on iTunes.

She was living every journalist’s wet dream, and we all envied her for it.

Now a year later the book is still selling like joints in Colorado, and it has spawned two spin-offs. It made me curious: What do the happiest couples do before breakfast? Are there things we could all be doing early in the morning to have more successful marriages and relationships?

I gave Laura a call. Here’s how the conversation went.

So when you were researching this book, did you learn anything about relationships and how couples could have better mornings?”
Even before I decided to write the book, I asked my blog readers what their perfect morning would look like. One of them said, “Get frisky at dawn.” I thought, “Hey that’s not a bad idea. Think about it: you are not as tired as you are at 11:30 at night. You have more energy, and it solves the problem of one person going to bed much earlier than the other. Over the years, I’ve asked hundreds of people fill out time logs. When I analyzed them, it was easy to see that many of the most successful people were using mornings to connect in some way. “

So, get frisky? Hum, I’m not sure I’m up for that at dawn…
It’s just about connecting. That could be cuddling or just saying “Good Morning” in a happy tone of voice. Even if you are racing out the door for you, take time for some physical connection before you leave.

What else did you learn about successful couples? What else are they doing in the mornings?They have a breakfast date. This is especially helpful for working parents. We always hear about how important it is to keep dating after you’ve had kids. Yet when the kids are in childcare all day during the week, it can be hard for some people to justify hiring a sitter at night or on a weekend. So some of the couples I interviewed date in the mornings. They schedule the start of their workday 20 minutes later, they drop the kids off, and then they go out for breakfast.

Other couples take the opposite approach. Instead of using mornings to connect, they spend this time filling their own wells. They get up before the rest of the family so they have time to read, exercise, or even do some goal-setting. That way they feel calm and refreshed, and they have more energy for their spouses and their families.

Coming up in Part 2: Find out how 8 busy and seriously happy couples (including Laura Vanderkam and her husband) make the best use of their mornings.

Read more of Alisa’s writing at ProjectHappilyEverAfter.com.

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