Lasting relationships have been getting a bad rap lately from people that think that lasting love is impossible. Society has a microwave effect that’s caused people to love quick wins and instant results. So working on a relationship for many years is a lost virtue.
Why put up with an annoying partner when you can quickly find a new one on Tinder or hundreds of other dating apps?
But many long-term couples are gloriously happy together. Even after facing many challenges over decades of marriage or partnerships. In fact, scientists have found that a happy marriage can significantly increase your happiness and wellbeing as you age.
So, what secrets do long-term couples know that the rest of us are missing? Keep reading for our long lasting relationship guide that has all the secrets to building a lasting relationship.
1. Choose the Right Partner
The first tip to having a long lasting relationship is to choose the right partner. You can be extremely attracted to someone, yet extremely incompatible with them. Perhaps you have different values or different life goals. Either way, it will be impossible to stay together with them for more than a few months.
There are several books and articles on how to know someone is right for you. Most advocate that you must choose someone who can be a friend. Friends are people that we love, respect, and can be vulnerable with. Also, look for someone that has the same values as you otherwise you will clash on many decisions that you will need to make.
2. Set Boundaries and Guard Your Relationship
If you want a long lasting relationship, you will need to set boundaries as individuals and as a couple. Some things your partner does may be in complete violation of your values and vice versa. So you both need to clarify your boundaries.
You also need to protect your relationships from outside interference by setting boundaries with outsiders. Personal boundaries may include personal items that your lover isn’t allowed to use. You may also have some personal space requirements or things that you like to do alone.
Perhaps you may also need to set boundaries around how you spend your money. Boundaries that you set as a couple could include things like not cheating on each other. You may have to define what qualifies as cheating.
You may also need to set boundaries with friends and family around how they treat your partner. Another good boundary is to agree not to discuss intimate details of your relationship with anyone except each other.
3. Set Goals Together
Another great tip to building a long lasting relationship is to set and pursue life goals together. Your relationship is a long-term partnership. You can use your combined strengths to build a great life together.
Goals like financial independence, traveling the world, raising happy children and career moves are easier with the support of a loving partner.
4. Grow Your Forgiveness Muscle
There is a popular love quote that says “love is never having to say you are sorry”. This may be true in short-term relationships. Yet, in long-term relationships, you’ll say sorry countless times.
The ability to forgive is one of the most important tips for a long lasting relationship. You must also learn how to ask for forgiveness from your partner.
What is forgiveness? It’s letting go of all the negative emotions one feels towards someone that has wronged them. Forgiveness is more important for the wronged person. The negative emotions you feel about a person or situation can affect their mental and physical health.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you accept your partner’s behavior. They must face the consequences of their action and resolve not to offend you again. But holding grudges and resentment against one another for past mistakes will poison your relationship.
Some people feel that if you can’t forgive a partner for something they have done it is best to end the relationship. This is because the hatred and anger you will feel towards them will keep both of you in a prison of negative emotions.
5. Avoid Complaining and Blame Games
In a long-term relationship, you must see your lover as your partner and the other half of you. Aim for a solution rather than identifying a culprit when something goes wrong.
Instead of complaining about things that have gone wrong, work with your partner at finding a solution to the problem. Taking the complaints and blame games out of your union will help you have a long, happy and productive relationship. It also breeds good communication and boundaries.
6. Have Good Sex Frequently
For many people, sex is an important glue that keeps long-lasting couples together for such a long time. Sex is often frequent and passionate at the start of a relationship, but it tends to wane off as the relationship progresses. Women and men also have different sex drives and libidos. So when one wants sex, their partner may not be in the mood.
Long-term couples have learned to prioritize sex. They know how important it is to keep them connected. Women are often blamed for having a lower sex drive, so they may need to be more understanding of their partner’s need for frequent sex.
Men also need to learn how to turn their partners on so that they are more receptive to sexual advances. The most important part is that both people learn each other and aim to compromise for mutual pleasure. Learn here about how men can last longer in bed and pleasure their partners.
7. Embrace Change
One thing you can always count on in a long lasting relationship is that your partner will change. You should encourage your lover to grow because staying the same is equal to stagnating. So, another key to building a long-lasting relationship is to get excited when you see changes in your partner.
Perhaps the two of you loved drinking together, but they have decided to stop the habit. Don’t condemn her or make her guilty for doing so. Accept the change and see how you can continue building a legacy together despite her change in character.
8. Accept the Things You Can’t Change
While your partner will grow, there are some traits that you will need to live with forever. One secret of long-term couples is that they have learned to accept and love each other as they are. The freedom to be yourself is a gift that long-term couples give each other.
Your relationship is a safe place. It should allow you to be vulnerable because outside the home are different expectations. If your partner keeps criticizing you for your faults, you won’t feel safe to be yourself.
9. Seek Professional Advice
Many couples make the mistake of only getting relationship advice from friends, family, and even Google. This has contributed to the breakdown of countless relationships. If you’re facing a rough patch in your marriage, it’s best to seek help from a professionally trained relationship or marriage counselor.
If you have a faith-based relationship, you could seek advice from a counselor that practices your faith. If you plan on getting married, you should set yourselves up for success by going for pre-marital counseling. This will help you prepare for the relationship hurdles you will face in your marriage.
10. Have Separate Interests
Spending a long time with someone else can lead to boredom and taking each other for granted. You can prevent this from happening by developing interests outside of your relationship. You should both have hobbies, a career, businesses or other things you can do without your partner.
This will give you something to talk to each other about, as well as keep you out of each other’s hair. Knowing that you both have other people and hobbies to keep you occupied will prevent you from feeling smothered. The growth you get from your interests will also arouse curiosity in your partner and keep them interested in you.
11. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude for your partner and the life you’re building is an important secret of long lasting relationships. Many people would kill for the loyalty, trust, and love that long-term couples have. Yet many people take their partners for granted and think they can get something better outside.
Acknowledging the good in your partner and your relationship will keep you happy for a long time. But finding fault in your partner and voicing your discontent will lead to an end in your loving relationship.
Always be appreciative of your partner when they do something well or give you something. After all, words of affirmation are one of the most powerful love languages for building relationships.
Learn How You Can Build a Long Lasting Relationship
A long lasting relationship is a life goal that many of us desire and should work hard at attaining. Having a loving partner makes life’s journey easier and more fun. The key to building a long-term relationship is to find someone that you are compatible with.
The two of you must then decide that you are in the relationship for life and will work through any challenges that life throws at you together.
For more relationship tips, read the rest of our blog.