Long-term relationships are all about establishing good habits, both as an individual and as a couple. If you’ve got a new partner, or happen to be looking for one, then this New Year make sure you adopt these 4 practices to help you on the journey. They may sound easy and some of them really are, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. They’re still going to demand a bit of patience, lots of clarity and a big dollop of honesty from everyone involved.
Know your ultimate goals
One element of a long-term relationship is ensuring that those involved are headed in the same direction and want the same things from life. As simple as this may sound, it’s extremely common for people to assume that their goals, whilst different at the start, will magically merge at some point in the union. It’s also very common for people to go with the flow or adopt a laid back attitude of just seeing what happens. This all sounds wonderfully relaxing and New Age, but actually, it can be the death knell for any relationship where longevity is a goal.
There’s no need to be manic about the pursuit of whatever it is you have in mind, or to seek perfection from every potential love match you’re introduced to, but do ensure that these 3 things as a minimum are crystal clear 1) what you want 2) what they want 3) the exchange of this information. You may be searching for fun and frolics, marriage, children or to become a stay at home dad – it doesn’t matter. Whatever the ultimate goal, know it – then you can relax.
Most of us have heard the saying don’t go to sleep on an argument, and whilst this can sound like a trite and unimaginative piece of advice, it doesn’t stop it being a highly effective strategy for long-term love. It should however go a lot deeper than just a focus on arguments, stretch it to include any unspoken words of love, any thoughts that are bothering you, or feelings you’re finding it hard to express.
Always communicate about even the slightest thing that has the possibility of improving your partner’s day for the better, or which stops negativity from festering and making an exaggerated appearance later.
Do things together
Making time to cultivate hobbies and passions together is essential in a long-haul relationship. Spending time doing nothing new, or not making an effort to expand your horizons and develop yourselves as a unit, can make for a very dull life. When you step out into the world together, support each other and even have a little healthy competition (if that floats your boat), you’ll have more to talk about than how work was that week. Never limit or box recreational activities into something you just do with friends, always attempt to include each other, if it feels right.
Know when to end it
This sounds really counter-intuitive within a blog about how to nurture habits that have a positive impact on creating long-term relationships, but it’s one of the most crucial lessons you’ll ever learn about protecting your interests. Don’t be someone who stays in a dead or dying partnership simply because you’re too scared to leave, you think you won’t find someone new, or you feel you should just settle and stick it out. The key to a long, healthy relationship is being with the person who makes you happy, who respects you and whom you feel and act the same way towards.
The sooner you leave a relationship that you know in your heart is going to have to end sooner or later, the quicker you can move on to finding something positive and better suited. There’s no shame in being sure about exactly what your time is worth.