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These days, it can seem like there are happy couples everywhere you look: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, even walking down the street. But if there's one thing the social media era has taught me, it's that everything is not always as it seems. There is no magic potion or lottery ticket to cash in for this elusive "happily ever after" relationship. A solid couple is composed of two people who are willing to put in the work, and healthy, lasting relationships are not built in a day. You have to start with a strong foundation individually, and then build the walls up together from there. Here are 14 habits of truly happy couples: 1. Independence It is important to spend quality time together and have a strong friendship, but healthy couples understand that they cannot expect each other to fill every bucket. People in these couples have passions and desires that they explore individually. 2. Communication Men and women communicate differently—our brains process thoughts differently and have different capacities for retaining certain information. The most crucial habit healthy couples form is the ability to communicatein a way that the other person understands and responds to positively. 3. Support These couples believe in each other. Healthy couples understand that in order to be supported, they must give support. They understand the value in the choice they each made to be in this relationship and they aim to help each other every day. 4. Respect People in healthy relationships understand that they will never completely agree with their partners, and that is OK. These couples motivate, inspire, lift each other up, and have the utmost respect for each other. 5. Consideration Everyone has feelings, and although they may not always be the same, they all have the right to be heard. Healthy couples seek to understand and learn the ins and outs of each other. While they may not share the same passions or needs, they recognize and appreciate their differences. 6. Optimism These couples see the glass half full. They believe in a world where the best is yet to come, and they make strides every day to be a part of it. Healthy couples know that they hold the power to control situations instead of letting situations control them. 7. Passion Healthy couples radiate passion. They are passionate about life, love, and happiness. These couples appreciate the value of every moment and they have mastered the art of being present. 8. Friendship People in happy relationships enjoy each other's company no matter the circumstance. They can spend the night in with takeout and a movie, head to the pub with some friends to watch the football game, or dance the night away at a black tie event. 9. Trust Trust is earned, not given, and healthy couples understand that in order to have a solid foundation there has to be trust. They believe that choosing to be in a relationship means choosing to trust each other, and until someoneproves untrustworthy there is no reason to waste time on suspicion. 10. Partnership Relationships are about two people coming together to form a team that increases the value of each person's life. Healthy couples believe in each other's strengths and complement each other's weaknesses. They utilize both to support each other and form a powerhouse duo. 11. Loyalty These couples understand the importance of having healthy relationships with the other people in their lives as well: family, friends, co-workers, etc. However, at the end of the day, they always put each other first. There is no question of where their devotion lies, and others respect them for that. 12. Compromise People in happy couples learn how to meet in the middle to do something they don't feel like doing, just because it makes their partner happy. 13. Gratitude Healthy couples have a genuine, sincere appreciation for each other. Not just for who they are in the relationship but for everything that makes them up as individuals. They take the time to say, "thank you," and remind each other how grateful they are to have the other in their lives. 14. Happiness Both individuals in a healthy relationship wake up in the morning andchoose happiness. They each find validation, worth, and security within themselves. They see their partner as an enormous addition to their happiness but not the sole source of it. By Sarah Rusca/MBG