Girl meets boy, boy meets girl, and with instant chemistry, real love blossoms. A few musicals later and you have yourself a happily ever after, right? Unfortunately, real life relationships aren’t as simple as Disney would have us believe, though we could all do with a few random musicals throughout our day.
Relationships aren’t static, and their survival depends on you. With the divorce rate nearing 50% what can you do to ensure your relationship lasts through the years? Just what are the secrets that lead to a lasting relationship and growing old together? Assuming that you are both committed to making this work-these five secrets will help you last.
Still single? These secrets to a long lasting relationship apply to any long-lasting relationship in your life, like with your friends and family.
Secret #1: Be Intentional
This is the most important secret I can tell you! Couples are intentional while they pursue and woe each other, but stop being intentional once the ring is on, I dos are said, and their lives fall into a comfortable routine.
The key to a long lasting relationship is never set it on auto-pilot. There is no autopilot option. You either invest and work on your relationship, or drift apart.
Throughout the years, the pressures of everyday life will slowly creep in, and your to-do lists will grow. Neglecting your relationship and putting it in the backseat while you tackle kids, careers, and life changes will prove disastrous. Instead, make it a priority to be intentional about your relationship.
Here are few ways to be intentional:
1. Show Each Other Affection Frequently
2. Make Your Partner A Priority
3. Make Time for Personal Quality Time Together
4. Don’t Neglect Each other In The Bedroom
Secret #2: Your Partner Will Never Be A Mind Reader
Don’t expect your partner to read your thoughts, even if you’ve been together long enough that they should be able to guess. If something is bothering you, don’t sweep it under the rug. Share it with your partner but make sure they also know what is great about your relationship.
You would hate to have a friend that only pointed out what was wrong with you, right? So don’t take your partner for granted and assume they know what you appreciate about them. Tell them what they are doing well.
We often expect the other person to know our needs and wants because we assume they process emotions and thoughts exactly as we do. One of the worst things you can do is assume that your partner is just like you. That he or she processes their emotions the same way, you do.
You have to accept, from the very start, that you are two very different people. So, if you have something to say, say it clearly, kindly, and honestly.
Secret #3: Keep Communication Lines Open
If you need a hug, for example, you can use either fume silently while waiting for your partner to figure it out and finally give you one, or let them know that you would appreciate one. In the first scenario, you are likely to experience more stress, rejection, and irritation, without giving your partner a chance to meet your need.
In the second scenario, your partner may still fail your need, but you have given them an opportunity to meet it, and more often than not, they will.
Secret #4: Work To Understand Your Communication Styles
Another way to keep your communication line open and working is to drop any communication barriers you have put up. Analyze to understand what each of your communication styles is and then respect those differences.
For example, you may come from a family where a heated debate was the norm, and you love to talk things through to their conclusion. Your partner, however, may prefer to avoid any conflict. The more you try to bring up the topic, the more they seem to distance themselves.
Focus On What is Being Said, Not How.
And if your partner is trying to share something with you that is not in your style or comfort zone, cool down and focus on what your partner is trying to say, not how he/she is saying it. Try to capture their emotions, body language, and tone of voice. Learning to hear each other will help keep your relationship strong.
Secret #5: Learn Each Other’s Love Language
If you’ve never read Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages,” you will understand that there are five love languages (ways that you feel loved). You can have several of these, but usually, there is a hierarchy of what makes you feel loved the most.
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Acts of Service
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Quality Time
5. Physical Touch
A common mistake often made is to love someone the way you feel loved. If you feel loved when your mate gives you words of affirmation, then you may be tempted to reciprocate by affirming them when they would be much happier if you did the dishes (acts of service).
Learn what makes your mate feel loved and it will help your relationship last through the years. By actively applying these 5 secrets you are sure to see your relationship strengthen, deepen, and last through the years.
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Featured Image Courtesy: Thought Catalog (www.thoughtcatalog.com)