Everyone dreams of finding that special someone they get to spend forever with. However, it is not all fun and lovey-dovey games with long-term relationships. In fact, it seems that the longer you stay with someone, the more challenges you have to deal with over time.
So, how do you keep things interesting? How do you avoid getting to a point where you would rather drink a hot cup of soda every meal than continue being in that relationship?
Here are ten secrets to long-lasting relationship.
1. Appreciate your differences
Finding things you have in common with your partner is a huge part of building a strong relationship. The problems start when you become so focused on this that any small difference seems like a deal breaker. In order to make a long-term relationship work, you need to not only accept your differences but learn to love them as well.
Sometimes these differences are what make the relationship work. Take the example of money management. Say you are a spendthrift whose bank account is an ever-flowing waterfall. Your partner, on the other hand, only spends when absolutely necessary. You might feel like they are holding you back, but in instances, like these, the conflict is actually beneficial to both parties in the relationship.
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2. Learn to live in the moment
Something happens to couples when they spend too much time together. Maybe it is the familiarity or the loss of wonder that drives you to some weird hyper-focus on the future. You are constantly planning for everything from your next home project to your retirement package. There is nothing wrong with this, but it will turn you into a tunnel-vision robot and make your relationship boring.
Learn to live in the moment and have fun if and when you can. Surprise your beau at work with lunch. Plan a random vacation in the middle of the year. This spontaneity helps to keep things interesting and lively for a healthier and stronger relationship.
3. Expect and embrace change
Most of us don’t like change. I mean, it’s nice and safe in those little bubbles we work so hard to build. You know exactly what to expect and exactly how to handle challenges. But the way life is designed, change is inevitable. You will change, your partner will change, and your lives together will change.
Embracing this and learning to go with the flow is vital to ensuring the long-term survival of your relationship. It is also a great way for you and your partner to grow both on an individual and joint basis.
4. Enjoy your individual journey of physical intimacy
Working on physical intimacy is another secret to maintaining a long-term relationship. This type of connection is unlike any other you will have with your partner. It should therefore not be neglected or allowed to go stale simply because of familiarity.
It is true that your excitement for each other might not be as much as it was when you were getting started. However, this does not mean that years down the line things like sex and forehead kisses become monotonous chores. Try your best to spice it up and make sure that you do it on your own terms; not on society’s. This means that all those tips and tricks propagated as the truth should only be used as complementary sources of information, not complete guides.
5. Understand that no one is perfect
We all make mistakes. That is a fact of life. When you are still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, you might not be in the best position to spot these imperfections. However, with time you get to see your significant other without stars in your eyes, and you might not always like what you see.
If this happens to you and before you decide to call it quits, remember that no one is perfect. You need to be willing to give people a chance despite their shortcomings. That doesn’t mean you have to let them get away with every little mistake. Simply figure out what your hard passes and negotiables are, and you should be able to make sound decisions.
6. Be honest; even when it hurts
If you are planning on spending the rest of your life with someone you cannot afford to be coy about your emotions. It is important that you are honest with each other, even when you are afraid that the truth might hurt one of you. This ensures that issues that could later cause your relationship some trouble are dealt with before it is too late.
7. Be nice and kind to each other
Above all else, you and your partner should be friends. And friends do nice things for one another. This doesn’t necessarily mean buying them expensive gifts or making grand romantic gestures. Sometimes it is the little things that matter most.
Do the dishes when you know he or she is exhausted after work. Leave a nice note in their lunch box or car to remind them to be happy. Get off work early to spend a little extra time talking and goofing off. These little acts of kindness are more powerful than you think and might just be what your relationship needs to survive.
8. Give each other some space and freedom
Most of the tips and secrets on this list about doing things together or for each other. Sometimes, to make a long-term relationship work you need some time apart.
Get to work on yourselves whether emotionally, socially or even professionally. This doesn’t mean that you completely ice your partner out of your life. It just means allowing them that few extra hours in their home office to finish the project. Or letting her go on that girl’s getaway trip with her sisters for some R and R.
9. Make it a family affair
Do not just focus on your significant other when building something you want to last. Try as much as you can to get your families involved. Meet their parents and relatives, and your partner meet yours. Above all else, this creates a sense of security that every relationship needs to last. It also gives you someone other than yourselves to be accountable to.