There are some couples who seem to be able to weather pretty much any storm, who seem as happy now as they did back when they first met. Can this really be the case, or is it a front for the world and are they actually miserable at home? Although this can certainly be the truth of it, it isn’t always the case. Some long-term relationships really are just as strong, stable and happy as they were right at the start. If you’re wondering how this is achieved, here are some tips on how to do it for yourself.
If you can be totally realistic about how relationships work, you’ll stand a much better chance of sticking together. Remember that those first few crazy months of total infatuation and adoration will wear away, which is why it is so important to be with someone you like, rather than someone you simply find attractive. Over the years, that friendship will become far more important than looks, and it is what creates a much deeper, richer relationship.
It’s also important to realize that all relationships have their ups and downs and expecting that you’ll never have an argument or fall out, that nothing will ever test your love and your resolve, is totally unrealistic. Know that bad times will come and be ready and don’t forget that there are always good things about to happen too.
Work On The Relationship
If a relationship isn’t worked on, it will suffer. Think of it as a backyard that is untended – it becomes full of weeds, and it’s untidy and unhealthy. At that point, it can seem like the only way to fix it is to start fresh. If you work on your relationship constantly, you will be able to fix problems when they first arise and are small, rather than letting them become monsters that you find it easier to just walk away from.
Spend Time Together
Sharing quality time together as a couple is essential to maintain a good, healthy relationship. If that means letting someone else look after the children or pets for an evening, a weekend, or even longer, then do it – you need time to be together and reconnect, especially if you feel you’ve been drifting apart for a little while. Find some activity that you both enjoy and try it out together; you might find that you enjoy the same hobbies so you can do them together. Try something new and see what happens.
Spend Time Apart
It’s just as important to spend some time apart when you’re in a relationship. Not every couple will have the same interests all the time. Being able to do your own thing on your own is important. If you aren’t able to enjoy your hobbies, it could come to a point where you feel the relationship is stifling you and you begin to resent it. Make sure that you proactively put some time aside when you can.
Remember What You Have In Common
If you’re going through a rough patch in your relationship and always seem to be angry with one another or irritated by little things that you used to find sweet, step back and look at the relationship as a whole. Remember what it was that drew you together in the first place. Think back to how you used to be and what you used to do. Remembering the good times will put you in a better place to then re-look at what’s happening now and why things aren’t so good anymore. When you can do this objectively, it may be easier to fix the issue and get back to normal.
Don’t Try To Change Each Other
If you are trying to change your partner and your partner is trying to change you, this will put stresses and strains on the relationship that really don’t need to be there. It’s far better to accept one another as you are; after all, that’s why you got together in the first place. If you start a relationship expecting that you will be able to change the other person, or wanting to the right at the beginning, you are dooming the entire idea to failure before it even has a chance.
Not Everything Has A Solution
Sometimes you won’t agree on things. You’ll have different opinions. That can often be a good thing, because you are individuals, after all, and being able to express your own ideas in a relationship is a healthy thing to do. If this is the case, there is no point in having an argument about it. A debate is fine, and is healthy, in fact, but arguing over something that isn’t going to change is a waste of time and effort and can ruin a perfectly good relationship just because someone wants to be right.
If you have a problem with something in the relationship, then it’s best to be honest about it rather than risk stewing over it and feeling resentment. If you don’t mention the problem, your partner is unlikely to be able to fix it. Equally, if something is wrong with you, it’s far better to let your partner know so that they can help you with your issues. It could be that you have a drink or drug problem and need to look into professional help at drug rehab centers, for example. It could be that you’re unwell, or that you’re worried about something. Opening up and communicating with complete honesty might be hard, but it’s better for the relationship in the long term. Being there for each other during the tough times is also a real test as to whether your relationship is worth fighting for.
Respecting your partner is one of the most important things you can do to have a happy, healthy relationship. Regularly reminding your significant other how much you love them, how happy you are with them, what they mean to you will cement a strong relationship and make your bond deeper. Don’t be afraid to say I love you and really mean it. The thing to remember, of course, is that you expect respect in return – don’t let this be a one-way relationship.
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.