gest post BY PATRICIA OSEI-OPPONG
Whether you’re at the point in your life where you would like to focus on pursuing a long-term relationship, or are in a relationship with long-term potential, it’s important to understand the key points that will help you get the long-lasting relationship you desire. Wanting it is nice, however, anything long-term requires work to keep it great.
So here are some essential points to help you along the way, and keep you blanketed in that happy, loving, long-lasting buzz!
1. Pursue solo activities
Doing those things you enjoyed, or enjoy, doing on your own will not only allow you to get back in touch with you (something you should be doing even if you are coupled up) but will also give you and your partner some important time apart. This is essential in maintaining that beautiful balance a long-lasting relationship needs; quality time apart equates to quality time together! Not only will you feel recharged, but it will also give you a chance to miss them, and the relationship, allowing you to return to each other, renewed, refreshed, and ready to go.
2. Maintain those key relationships
We get it, you’re loved up, but don’t neglect those other important relationships in your life. These other relationships, be it friendships or family, are vital to your overall well-being and happiness as they provide a supportive and loving network in your life. So often in long-term relationships, we find ourselves wrapped in all that romantic love that we forget to nurture the relationships already present in our lives. A long-lasting relationship requires that you have an invaluable support system outside of the two of you. Now is the perfect time to spend time watering and feeding those beautiful and equally important unions.
3. Keep Dating
No, not other people! Each other. Make a deal with your partner to date like you used to. Leave little to no room for complacency. Getting too comfortable to the point you forget to spend quality one-on-one time together is a sure fire way to start taking for granted your beautiful union, and unfortunately, that does not bode well for the long-term. Don’t let that happen! Book into a hotel, go go-kart racing, stay in and have a steamy night… whatever works. Make the effort to date again, and your relationship will thank you for it!
One of the things that will ensure a harmonious long-lasting relationship is the ability to listen to your love. Really hearing what they have to say and what is going on in their lives demonstrates the love and care you have for them, and your interest in their well-being. It can often be difficult to not want to jump in and help (read: fix) whatever it is that is bothering them. But now is not the time to go into Fix It mode. What they may need right now is just a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, so let it happen. They’ll appreciate it!
5. Keep talking
When a disagreement arises, and it will, make sure you talk it out. There’s nothing like leaving old issues to fester, eventually infecting and poisoning your relationship. Harbouring any kind of ill towards your partner will only lead to more anger, and resentment. So when things have calmed down, make sure to discuss it. Keep the lines of communication open. It will not only help to resolve issues quicker, but prevent the smaller ones from becoming bigger ones further down the road.
6. Pick your battles wisely
Talking things out, is great, but be aware of the pitfalls of starting and getting into arguments that could, and probably should, be avoided. If you feel the ensuing disagreement is needless, and will only aim to hurt one or both of you, perhaps it’s time to lay it down and walk away. Be honest, is it really that important to you that you are right? Do you really care whether you win this round? Probably not. It’s okay to walk away. There’s truly no place for ego in a long-lasting relationship.
7. Quit with the “Me Too’s”
Truth? You don’t really enjoy heading to the gym with your love at 5 a.m., do you? So why do it? The “me too” game is so high school and serves no purpose but to make you resent yourself and the relationship as you try to fake your way through a long-term coupling, hoping it will keep them around. Want something long-lasting? Be upfront about how you actually hate cats, or despise wine. It’s okay. These are admittedly small things, but if this relationship is going to last, they have to know who they’re shacking up with. And chances are, by now, they’ve probably guessed you hate going to the gym… at any time!
8. Discuss the big things
If you’re still unsure where you stand on matters of life (kids, money, etc), it’s imperative you discuss these. Be real, and honest about what you want. In a long-term relationship, it’s important to keep reflecting on who you are and what you require from a relationship, and not settling on important matters. This will ensure you and your partner are on the same page, and are able to continuously move forward. Pretending you’re “totally fine” with everything will only lead to bitterness as you try to falsely keep the peace by suppressing your true requirements. So do your love a solid, and be honest with yourself, and each other.
9. Stop the games
Trying to make them jealous, or going AWOL to get a reaction out of them is not a good idea if you want something long-lasting. Usually people use these games to stoke the fires in relationships and test boundaries, but these actions are almost always guaranteed to make the relationship short-lived, resulting in the downfall of something that could’ve been great! Ultimate destroyers of anything long-term, any sort of games in a relationship will inevitably lead to mixed messages, insecurities and mistrust. So if you truly want a long-lasting relationship, stop with the games.
10. Keep laughing!
Laughter is great! It’s therapeutic. It allows you to get silly and makes you happy. There’s nothing like laughter with your partner to cement those long-term bonds. At the very least, it shows you can still have fun together, and at the very most, it demonstrates your coupled ability to laugh through the difficult and trying times that being in a long-lasting relationship may bring. Being able to laugh together, at yourself and at each other will make you a stronger and more unified couple. Laughter is intimate, can be extremely sensual and comforting, and is a force against adversity, so have fun, and get laughing!