Continued efforts on all of these fronts will help your relationship have the staying power necessary to last forever and will ensure you won’t get burned the second time.
It’s simply human nature for many people to want to be in a solid, long-term relationship, whether it be in a committed marriage or with a life partner. Especially if you have already been married and it has left a sour taste in your mouth. But we all know finding the right person is only half the battle, though. The secrets lie in how to avoid making the old mistakes and how to help your relationship for extended periods of time, how to learn to foster each other’s hopes and dreams.
Here’s a list of 11 ways you can help your relationship last for life:
Find Someone “Like” You
Before you even enter a serious relationship, make sure you’re doing so with someone who has some staying power and you have enough in common that you’ll want to make it work long term. The more things you have in common with someone, the easier it will be to maintain with fewer headaches along the way.
Find that person who has a similar educational, religious and family background as you do, and you’ll have fewer arguments in the future. That being said, if you have already found your “someone” and want to stay with them, all isn’t lost. You just need to prepare yourself for a greater possibility of conflict in more areas of your life. But as long as you’re committed to working it out, you absolutely can.
Check for Criminal and Arrest Records in Their Past
If you’re just starting to date someone, also make sure you check their name for an arrest and criminal history. Trust us – it’s better to know up front if they have a criminal history that puts your safety at risk. If you don’t check ahead of time, you’ll definitely wish you had later.
Learn to Listen
This seems like a simple and easy thing to do, but most people don’t know how to truly listen to each other. Hearing someone is one thing; listening is totally different. Listening does not require any input from you and requires that you dedicate yourself to really understanding what your partner is trying to say to you. Even if you don’t agree on a subject, just feeling like your partner is genuinely interested and concerned with what you’re telling them helps to bridge the gap between you on a number of subjects.
Miss Each Other
If you never have any time away from your partner, plan for some. Take a solo trip or a trip with friends, and get away from each other a few times a year. This is especially important if you work with your partner. Living together and working together means the pot is likely to boil over more often since you don’t ever find yourself without them and every issue you may have to face with them on a daily basis.
Get Away From Technology
Put your phone away and turn off the television. Eliminate distractions so you can truly communicate and just “be” with one another. Constantly texting, surfing the Web and taking calls will make your partner feel like they aren’t necessarily the most important thing to you.
When something is bothering you, don’t bottle up your emotions. However, you need to express it without making your partner feel attacked. Communicate what is bothering you, why it bothers you and how it can be fixed. If you don’t know the answer, ask open-ended questions to your partner asking for input so you can come to a mutually beneficial solution together.
Pick Your Battles
Although communicating your needs and concerns is vitally important, so is picking and choosing your battles. Before you complain about something that’s irking you, consider the fact your partner may have had a particularly stressful day/week/month and just needs your support right now. Furthermore, arguing about things like socks on the floor may not be important to the bigger picture of your life together.
Don’t waste unnecessary energy on things that don’t really matter to the health of your relationship. There are things we all dislike about other people, and the truth of the matter is that committing to someone means you just have to accept some of those things and the fact they’ll never change.
Find a Relationship Mentor Couple
If you don’t have parents who have been married for a long time or another couple in your family you can go to for advice, search for one through friends or other groups you belong to. Sometimes hearing things from the perspective of someone who’s been there before can help immensely in feeling more connected to your partner and holding out hope for the two of you.
Lose a Fight
Let go of the need to always be right. It’s human nature, but detrimental to a relationship’s health – because two people on two sides of an argument can’t always be right. Someone has to be wrong, and you should take one for the team sometimes. It’s likely to make your partner less confrontational about minor things and helps you to let go of the issues that don’t really matter and don’t deserve your energy.
Take Care of Yourself
If you don’t feel your best, you can’t be your best for your partner. Take pride in your appearance, practice good hygiene, create a fancy look, dress up once in a while. Exercise and drink water. Eat healthier. Try yoga. Learn to love yourself so they can love you back.
Give Them Positive Feedback
Everyone likes to feel needed and appreciated, and it’s important to keep doing the things you did when you first started dating to make things last. Tell them they look nice and acknowledge their effort, thank them for something they did that day, or simply congratulate them on their latest accomplishment. It’s important to feel like daily efforts as simple as taking out the trash, doing a load of laundry or even just cleaning up after yourself is noticed and appreciated.
Carrying the load for two or more people is a lot of work, and it’s important for both people in a relationship to contribute to daily necessities and chores. Ensure your partner feels like you still want to be their friend, are interested in what motivates them, and that you want to make them feel loved and appreciated. Continued efforts on all of these fronts will help your relationship have the staying power necessary to last forever and will ensure you won’t get burned the second time.