Kaitlyn has a background in psychology and writes articles that teach you how to lean on your body, mind, heart, and on those around you.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re single, dating, engaged, or married, we all know that relationships can be complicated, messy, and a lot of hard work. And while you can’t control your partner, you can certainly control what you say and do.
Here are some tried-and-true tips that can determine whether your relationship will ultimately end in tears or last for the rest of your life.
1. Show Your Appreciation Every Day
A simple thank you, a peck on the cheek or any expression of gratitude is a brick that will help you build a strong foundation for a healthy relationship. When you’re in a long-term relationship, you may forget to keep making your partner feel appreciated. So do something nice for your partner at least a few times a week, if not every day.
Pick up some flowers on your way back from work, make their favorite dessert, fill up the gas so your partner won’t have to, etc.
When people feel appreciated and recognized, they’ll be more motivated to keep the relationship solid and growing. It’s all about positive reinforcement.
2. There’s No Such Thing as a Failed Relationship
Some relationships just weren’t meant to last. If a relationship ends before you’re ready for it to end, it’s not anyone’s fault. Try not to dwell on it or cling to something that most likely wasn’t meant to be permanent. Learn from it, let go, move on, and keep looking forward.
3. Take a Break From Each Other
No matter how in love you are and no matter how much you enjoy each other’s company, it’s important to take a break from each other. Spend the day with your friends, visit your family, or just spend some alone “me” time. It’s important to connect with people outside of your romantic relationship so you can maintain an independent identity. And when you return to your partner, you’ll both be able to approach the relationship with fresh eyes.
"When you feel like you’re getting too angry, walk away, cool down, and start again."
4. Fights Are Okay (But Fight the Right Way)
Conflict is normal in a relationship and doesn’t mean that your relationship is going downhill. But, how you argue will determine whether your relationship gets stronger or falls apart. Fight fair and don’t get defensive, critical, or call each other names. When you feel like you’re getting too angry, walk away, cool down, and start again. Focus on points where your goals or frustrations overlap so you can work from there.
5. People With Similar Values Make the Best Partners
You don’t need to like the same foods, have the same habits, or even the same hobbies, but your relationship will be more likely to succeed if you share the same ideas on the most critical aspects of life. How do you handle your money? How many children do you want to have? What’s your educational background? What are your goals in life? Couples in a healthy long-term relationship will know the answers to those questions.
6. Meet Each Other's Needs
This may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s something many of us forget to do. A healthy relationship is built on meeting mutual needs. When one person's needs are not met, the relationship will suffer. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to what your partner needs and make sure to put in the effort to express your love. It’s also helpful to check in with each other every once in a while to set some relationship goals together and make sure you’re both going in the right direction.
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7. Approach Conflicts Head On and With an Open Heart
Sometimes, when we’ve been together with someone for a long time, you may feel like it’s wrong to ask too much of your partner. You may also want to avoid some major issues because you don’t want to fight. But don’t underestimate your partner! If you let dissatisfaction or unhappiness fester, you’ll run the risk of poisoning your relationship in the long run.
So have that big discussion. If you disagree, work through it. If you can pull through and agree to work on those major issues together, your relationship will only grow stronger.
"Treat your relationship like a full-time job that you love."
8. Create a Life for Yourself
A relationship is about compromise, but not self-sacrifice. Don’t forget that you also have a life of your own that’s independent of your relationship. If there’s something you need to be happy, don’t feel like you need to sacrifice that to make your relationship work. You need to remember to provide for your own wellbeing too.
9. Take Care of Yourself, Too
On the same line of self-sacrifice, it’s also easy to forget about taking care of ourselves when we’re so dedicated to our partners. We may become used to ignoring our feelings, overspend for the sake of the relationship, neglect our personal surroundings (not tidying up, not organizing our life), and abandon our physical and mental health because we feel like we come secondary to our partner or relationship.
But giving yourself some love doesn’t mean you’re any less dedicated to your partner. In fact, when your partner sees that you’re taking care of yourself as well, they’ll love you even more.
10. Give Your Relationship 100%
Treat your relationship like a full-time job that you love. It’s so easy, especially for couples in long-term relationships, to give 100% effort at work only to put on all the brakes when they get home. For married couples, just because you have your partner down on a contract doesn’t mean you can stop trying. Complacency is not okay.
It’s so important to keep that spark alive. Make your partner fall in love with you all over again on a daily basis. Sounds like too much work? No one said love was easy!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: If we already do all of these, but our relationship still has issues in certain areas, what should we do?
Answer: No relationship is perfect and every relationship will run into issues at some point. Some issues may never be resolved, and that's okay. If you're happy together more than you fight, I'd say you're doing well. Don't get too hung up on the small details.
That being said, if you feel like the issues you're struggling with in your relationship is too much for the both of you to handle, please don't hesitate to talk to a professional or a trusted person about your problems.
© 2018 KV Lo