Ask anyone you know who is in a great relationship and they will tell you that they have at least one relationship role model that they can emulate. It is usually a couple who have the same values, who openly love and respect each other, laugh a lot, are really giving, are equals and best friends. Perhaps you’ll find your own role model in your parents, but that won’t necessarily be the case—as it isn’t for a lot of people. Maybe your grandparents have this kind of relationship, or an aunt and uncle, your friends or even your neighbors.

If you really find you are still stuck, then focus on well-known role model couples. Try to keep away from the smoke and mirrors of the celebrity world, but perhaps you could aspire to a relationship like the Obamas’ or even the Gateses’. (You obviously won’t know the ins and outs of what goes on, but you can probably piece some information together.) It’s obviously much easier to model yourselves after a couple you know, so the closer to home the better. And all of us, regardless of where we are from, know a relationship that seems to work really well and that we can emulate.

If your parents are happy together, watch and learn how they interact with each other. What works in their relationship that might work in yours? What might you do differently in your relationship? In the same way, if you come from a divorced home, you can learn from your parents’ mistakes and figure out what you want to do differently.

My parents are still very happy together, and I personally use some important parts of their relationship as a model for my own. As a child I watched my parents and the way they were together. I noticed that they always put each other first before us; they always spoke from the same song sheet and stuck up for each other, sometimes to our detriment. I hardly ever saw them have big arguments and they were always bolstering each other and telling each other how good they looked.

When I got married, I applied what I loved in their relationship to mine and left out what I wanted to do different. What couple would you want to emulate? And how? And if you are already in a great relationship please share with us if you have a relationship role model.