It’s easy to be fooled by the media and movies into thinking that once you’ve found ‘the one’ life is just one big happy ever after. There’s plenty of advice on how to meet potential partners but keeping a long-term relationship alive is a whole different ball-game. We’ve identified four cornerstones to maintaining a happy relationship over the course of time.
1 – What kind of love do you share?
We all know that during the first stages of romance love (and a lot of lust) is really all you need. But take a few steps forward and deeper needs must be met in order to experience long-lasting love.
Every relationship is unique but successful relationships share traits of empathy, compassion, forgiveness and trust. Long after the heady excitement has gone long-lasting love provides a feeling of connection with your partner.
Consider your daily life – do you show kindness to each other? Are you able to forgive each other easily or do you bear grudges? Do you trust each other?
2 – Is it really a Partnership?
Do you have shared goals? Do you have similar views on what your life should look like and more importantly are you working together to make that happen? If one partner dreams of the suburban idyll while the other see’s their future abroad then you are unlikely to be working in partnership. A successful relationship will always have elements of give and take but as you begin to build a life together make sure you’ve agreed on the blueprint.
3 – Do you have a physical relationship?
There is no doubt that regular intimacy provides a valuable source of fuel to maintain a long-term relationship. This includes both sexual relations and day to day physical contact such as kissing, hugging, or walking hand in hand.
Once the initial phase of lust has passed it is important to maintain a focus on your physical relationship – consciously reach out to each other and maintain your connection through touch.
4 – Do you like as well as love?
When you first meet someone everything they do appears interesting and exciting. But over time the novelty wears off and you begin to notice less desirable qualities, or irritating habits.
In order to sustain love you need to enjoy spending time with your partner, both alone and as part of wider social and family groups. Do you have shared hobbies and interests that draw you together? Do you treat your partner as well as you treat your close friends – confiding in them, not judging them, and genuinely enjoying their company? Would your partner choose to share particularly important news with a friend before you?
While each partner needs space and independence there should be a shared commitment to nurture your friendship along with your relationship.
Finally a shared sense of humor is an indicator that your relationship is strong. This is more than just sharing the same taste in box sets – do you both see the funny side of life or is one of you likely to take things more seriously. Laughter is vital as you travel together life’s ups and downs.
You can find lots more dating and relationship advice at www.strictlydating.com