A long term relationship takes work, like a lot of work, like serious work.
A lot of people are under the false assumption that true love works itself out, and while true love sure helps you stay motivated to put in the work, you can’t just fall in love and think everything is going to be ok forever.
Love can conquer anything, but only if that love motivates you into action. So I have thrown together a list of the top 10 things that you must do in a relationship for it to be successful in the long haul.
- Love with all your heart.
The first thing that needs to be present for long term relationship success is love. Many of us are too afraid, or too jaded, to allow ourselves to be opened fully to another person, but if you truly want a longterm relationship to keep the sparkle of the notebook forever, you are going to have to be brave enough to risk it all and love someone with all of your heart.
It takes vulnerability to give your heart to someone, and that takes a lot of courage, but loving fully is the only way to make a love that will last.
- You must trust, and be trusted.
As I just mentioned, love is scary and takes a lot of vulnerability, and the only way to feel as safe as possible opening up fully to someone is with complete trust in one another.
This means you must keep commitments, never lie, do your best, and be honest even if it hurts.
Of course, it is all in presentation, but we can often find creative ways of expressing critical opinions in a loving way. For example: if you see your partner is doing something wrong, don’t just tell them they are wrong, but lovingly suggest they try it another way.
Make a habit of being honest about everything. Only through a relentless commitment to honesty can we cultivate and develop real trust in our relationships.
- Respect one another, ALWAYS!
A HUGE component of successful relationships is mutual respect.
Often times people disrespect their partners by not placing value and importance onto the things their partner places value and importance on. We all have different ideas of right and wrong, and we all have established ways of thinking and doing things, but when our opinions or beliefs differ from the person we love, we must learn to respect them regardless of their beliefs and actions.
For example: yelling at someone because they left their shoes on the floor is disrespectful and will likely cause the person to lash out at you; however, if you approach them with respect and make a request to not leave out shoes, you will likely have a much better result in the end.
You must respect your partner’s difference and allow them to be as they are, but you should also respect them enough to try and meet them half way if something is important to them as well.
Going a long with respect, a big part of relationship success is always finding ways to compromise and find solutions to problems that benefit both parties involved. It is tempting to tell people what we want and when we want it, but we must realize that our concerns and wants are not all that is important in a long-term relationship.
We must learn to constantly be on the lookout for disagreements or arguments so that we can be ready to meet the other person half way. Often times meeting in the middle is the surest way to defeat and stop an argument or disagreement.
- Mutual appreciation
Giving someone appreciation is a sure fire way to make someone feel happy, loved, and content; likewise, receiving appreciation for something we have done well, builds our confidence, makes us form stronger connections, and encourages us to do even more next time.
Example: you come home and get in an argument because you are spending too much time away from home, we can view this as an attack, or we can appreciate that we have someone who cares enough to want us around more often, it all depends on if you look at from appreciation or from anger.
Appreciate your partner as often as possible and they likely will do the same for you.
- Have each other’s backs.
Along with compromising and respecting one another, we must also make a commitment to ALWAYS have our partner’s back. Even if they are doing something we view as wrong, we must stand by their side, believe in them, and help them up when they fall down.
There are few things like knowing that someone is there for you no matter what, through thick and thin, even if the entire world is against you, they will be behind you.
If you love someone, stand with them, even when the world stands against them, it doesn’t mean you have to agree with what they are doing, but you can still support someone going through a hard time.
- Do the unexpected…sometimes.
Part of keeping things new and exciting through long term relationships involves doing new things and having new experiences. Of course, we are all tired and want to go to bed after work, but if you value your relationship you must make time to try new things together.
If it means doing something you are afraid of like skydiving, doing something you don’t want to do like dancing, or just going to a new restaurant and going for a walk together for lunch, creating new memories and amazing moments together is one of the best ways to ensure your passion for another stays hot over time.
- Have fun together, laugh often, don’t take life too seriously.
Everyone likes to laugh, have a good time, and let loose sometimes. One of the ways to keep your relationship fun over many years is just to have fun and laugh.
Tell your partner stupid jokes, dance around like a drunk person, or just let go. Don’t think you ever have to “grow up”, we all need to be mature and take care of our responsibilities, but never take yourself too seriously to let go and have a good laugh.
Trust me, the more you can laugh, act crazy, and laugh together, the happier you will be over time.
- Stay connected.
Part of the exciting experience of falling in love is simply learning someone new and getting to know a person.
Make an effort to ask your partner how their day went and really listen; listen to their stories about childhood; ask them questions about things you don’t know about them. You can spend a whole life time with someone and you’ll never know EVERYTHING, so just ask questions and keep falling in love with the person you love a little bit more every day.
- Change yourself constantly, and allow your lover to change too.
Time changes us all: it is inevitable. One thing is certain, stay with someone long enough, and everything will be different. Your interests, likes, dislikes, beliefs, and attitudes all can and will change overtime.
Learn to love your partner for who they are not what they are like right now. If you fall in love with an object (the person you idealize in your mind) instead of actually falling in love with someone for who they are, it will be very hard to adapt to change.
Understand upfront that the person you love will most likely be a different person in 10 years, and allow them to grow and encourage them to grow into a better person; at the same time, try to better yourself each day and grow into an even better partner for the person you love as well.
If you can both grow together, both try to grow better each day, and both allow the other to grow into whatever they may, your bond will be unbreakable.
These 10 tips will ensure your love can last forever, but it takes two to tango and it takes a commitment to these principles over a long period of time, not just a short term focus.
Remind yourself frequently and never be afraid to love. What do you do keep things going smoothly in your relationships? Have any other tips for our readers? Leave a comment below, or leave us a comment on Facebook and let us know what you think.