Most people are pretty good at starting and forming relationships. It’s the keeping them that proves to be the tricky part. You probably know some people, and may even have some examples in your family of couples who met in school, married, and lived a life of bliss together for decades. It happens, and it may be that that’s what you want for yourself too. If it is, then read on, and you’ll discover five of the biggest secrets that keep couples together for the long term.
You’ve probably heard both truisms. “Opposites attract,” and “birds of a feather flock together.” Both are true to a point. You don’t want to find a clone of yourself and marry him. Your perfect man WILL have interests that you don’t share.
That’s not only okay, and to be expected, it’s absolutely essential that both of you have your own lives and interests (and we’ll get to that in just a moment). But where the big, important stuff is concerned, you need to be more or less on the same page. If you’re not, expect rough seas ahead.
Having Said That…
Of course, as mentioned above, it’s important to have, and maintain your own interests. Things you do just for you. Things that your mate isn’t a part of, except tangentially. Whether that’s gardening, or reading, or “girl’s night out,” the bottom line is that you absolutely have to keep and maintain your own space.
It’s part of your identity as an individual, and being a couple in a committed, long term relationship doesn’t mean that you stop being you as an individual. The most successful couples, the ones who keep their relationships fresh and active and vibrant, are the ones who have figured this out. It’s probably the single most important “trick” to long term relationship success.
Be A “Two”
I have a word for couples in a relationship. They’re a “Two.” Sure, they’re each their own person, but the most successful couples operate in tandem. In perfect harmony. There’s’ no question that she has his back and he has hers. Always and forever. You’ve probably seen at least a few couples like this.
Yes, they may bicker now and then. They may fight occasionally, but when life presents them with a challenge, or throws an obstacle in their path, they snap together like magnets and show the world what they’re made of. They never doubt each other, and they never flag.
They also never fail to build the other person up when they need it. Remember, a long term relationship isn’t just about sex and family. It’s about being there for each other in good times and bad. It’s about building a future together. An important part of that is to be each other’s “cheering section” in public.
If you’ve got troubles at home, keep them at home. The public face of your relationship is, and should always be one of commitment. If someone runs your man down, leap to his defense, and expect the same in return. It’s what successful life partners do. They’re there for each other, period.
The Little Things
Constantly remind each other why you fell in love in the first place. Life is a fragile threat of individual moments strung together by time. Cherish it, and the time you spend with each other.
Those times you spend apart when you’re pursuing your own interests are important in order to maintain your individual identity, yes, but also to make you more fully appreciate what you have when you’re together again. Never lose sight of that, and take the time to show your mate just how much he means to you.
Relationships are tricky, there’s no doubt, but lifelong relationships are the hardest of all. If you follow the advice above though, you’ll be well on your way to building a relationship that will stand the test of time.
Love, and be loved. Therein lies true happiness.
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