There is no such thing as the “secret” to making a relationship last, because every relationship is different and no two people are alike. Relationships are not one-dimensional, it’s a lot of different components pieced together to make one giant puzzle that works as a whole. The pieces change as we evolve and mature through out the years, and you must keep working on it to keep it whole.
Picture From: Hollywoodtake.com
I have been in a healthy long-term relationship with my high school sweetheart for fourteen years. There have been many lessons learned, trial and errors, and growing pains along the way. I wish I could tell you that love is enough, but it’s not. Yes, it can be very easy in the early stages, but once that honeymoon stage goes away you need to decide if you’re in it for the long run. If you are, get ready to invest your time and patience.
I want to pass along some knowledge I’ve gained through the years and possibly help other lovers along the way. Here are 7 key components to a long lasting relationship.
1. THERE ARE NO RULES
The first thing I can tell you and probably the most important to remember is that there are no rules in relationships. This is not a game; this is real life. Go with what you feel and what you think is right for your relationship. Don’t go by ridiculous dating rules please, just go with your gut! Don’t let others’ opinions make it into your relationship, you need to tune everyone out and know what is best for you two.
2. COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Communicate, communicate, communicate. I cannot stress this enough. No one is a mind reader, and especially not men. Don’t expect your significant other to know what you are thinking. If you want them to express their feelings more often or if they are constantly doing something that bothers you; tell them. Don’t just complain about it; be proactive and not reactive. Voice your expectations and concerns to them, if you don’t, you may end up resenting them for something they have no idea they did wrong.
3. DO NOT LIE
Have you ever heard of the phrase “What’s done in the dark will eventually come to light”? This is a phrase I live by. Do not lie to your partner. Now, I’m not talking about a little white lie like hiding all your shopping bags in the closet after an impromptu shopping spree, well unless finances is an issue in your relationship. I’m talking about an earth-shattering lie that will change the dynamic of the relationship if it ever came to light. Secrets will only diminish your relationship and weaken the strong bond between you two. Your partner will respect you more for telling the truth instead of trying to hide something from them. Don’t be afraid of the consequences because if your bond is strong enough you will find a way to work through it. Tell the truth, it will set you FREE!
4. KEEP THE ROMANCE ALIVE
Do not let the romance die. Remind your lover how much they mean to you through romantic gestures. Creativity goes along way, it’s not always about buying them a gift at the store, you can easily show them you care without spending a dime. Have date nights, and every once in a while do something different from your daily routine.
5. DON’T TRY TO CONTROL ONE ANOTHER
Jealousy is an ugly thing and a turn off. No one likes an insecure partner. Let them have their night out with friends away from you. Do not smother them, because it will only drive them away and possibly into the arms of someone else. You do not own them and in my opinion do not have the right or shouldn’t tell someone where they can or cannot go. If this is where your relationship is at, then honestly it is not in a healthy state so it may be time to reevaluate.
6. DON’T BE CO-DEPENDENT
Remember, you are sharing each others lives together. You are an individual who is merging your life together with someone else. You need to have your own accomplishments and independence. Do not be co-dependent. Do not look for your self-worth in another individual, go out and find it on your own.
7. CONTINUE TO WORK ON YOURSELF
Alone time is your friend. Before you got into a relationship you had time to work on your relationship with yourself. I’m sure you had your hobbies and things you liked to do. Just because you’re sharing your life with someone else doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you love, and if they have a problem with that then they are not the one for you. You should never change for someone else. Sometimes you just need to spend time with yourself and work on yourself to be a better partner. If you’re spending all your time with each other eventually you will start getting on each others nerves and start fighting more frequently. Missing each other is healthy. The phrase “absence makes the heart grown fonder” is very true.
I hope this will help you in your current or future relationships. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day, and neither will a long-term relationship. Keep working on the puzzle and know that there will always be bumps along the road but once your foundation is strong you can get through anything.