Why are relationships so complicated? Because they involve pairs of complicated people who have their own complicated thought processes and complicated emotions and complicated complications. Most people would have no idea what that previous sentence means, but fortunately our incredibly intelligent Her Beauty readers understand everything, including what it takes to make a relationship last for the rest of your life.
1. Understand That it is Okay to Agree to Disagree
When you’re in a relationship, disagreements are bound to happen when you have completely different point-of-views on things. It could be related to religion or even whether or not it is okay to eat meat. But you must recognize that there are situations in which you will never change your partner’s mind and that’s okay!
2. Focus on Trust and Forgiveness
It goes without saying that in order for a relationship to last forever, you can’t allow yourself to believe the other person is not worthy of your trust. The constantly feeling that they must be up to something will only sow the seeds of mutual resentment. Along the same lines, when your partner hurts your feelings, you should communicate this and forgive them.
3. Don’t Hide Who You Are
Honesty and openness are essential if you want a lifelong relationship. Your partner should know about your strengths and weaknesses, goals and fears (and vice versa). These are the things that will make you feel closer to each other. If you remain a mystery to them, they will eventually grow tired of trying to guess who you are and the relationship is going to be doomed.
4. Realize That It Isn’t Selfish to Look Out For Your Interests
A lot of times, when couples get into a relationship, one of them wants to play the role of people pleaser. As a result, they won’t say “no” to going to a baseball game even if they find it boring. Or they will keep agreeing to get dinner at that mediocre Italian restaurant. While life is occasionally about doing things you don’t want to, there are times when you should stand up for yourself. A lifelong partner would understand and respect this.
5. Be Willing To Discuss Both What’s Good and What’s Wrong
The foundation of a relationship that lasts forever starts with appreciating the good aspects while not ignoring the things that are creating tensions. You might be hesitant to rock the boat, but the truth is that pretending like everything is okay when it clearly isn’t will eventually become too much for either of you to handle.
6. Don’t Keep Bringing Up Old Conflicts
Remember 2 years ago when you traveled to Rome together and he/she acted like a jerk one of those days and it totally ruined the entire trip? Couples in lifelong relationships don’t try to open old wounds by mentioning negative things that happened in the past. Bating a partner is unproductive and will ensure that the relationship won’t last.
7. Don’t View Your Partner’s Mistakes as Personal Flaws
Nobody is perfect. Sometimes we show up late to things or we leave the cake in the oven too long. But instead of pointing out all of these things and trying to make your partner feel guilty or inadequate, try to find a positive way to spin these problems. For instance, encouragement instead of criticizing, and work on solving time management issues together. By working as a team, the relationship will remain a happy one.
8. Love Your Partner Even When You’re In a Bad Mood
If you’re having a bad day, never take it out on your partner. Find a way to deal with your frustrations before you see him or her again. Or better yet, use their emotional support to help you overcome whatever happened that caused the bad mood. It is also important to note that if your partner is the one who caused the bad mood, do not give them the cold shoulder or swat away their hand when they are reaching for yours. In lifelong relationships, the love is there no matter what.
9. Make Affection a Daily Routine
No matter how long you’ve been with your partner, never turn it into an “old couple” relationship. Find time to compliment him/her everyday. Hold hands where ever you go. Hug and kiss randomly. Dress up and go out on dates even if you’re married or headed that way! As long as the affection is there, there will always be that spark. This is what allows relationships to last forever.
10. Continue to Work on the Relationship
If you feel that your relationship is close to ideal, that’s wonderful. But it doesn’t mean you should grow complacent. Continue to find ways to improve your situation. Is there anything that is lacking at the moment that could potentially become a problem in the future? For instance, have you developed any hobbies together? Does one of you do all of the cleaning while the other one just sits there? By constantly communicating and remaining aware of the status of your relationship, it will stay strong.
11. Accept the Qualities that You Don’t Like
Does it annoy you that your partner is always full of sunny enthusiasm? Are you unimpressed with their taste in music? Being in a successful relationship doesn’t require you to have the exact same personality or interests. While you might find little things irritating (just as you can be certain that there are things about you that annoy him/her!), don’t let them come between you and the relationship. Deal with these qualities with humor or even affection and just accept your partner as a whole.
12. Be Best Friends
Of course this had to make the list. A romantic partner who is meant to be with you forever should also be the person who you would want to hang out with if given a choice. Do all of the things that you would do with a best friend: watch movies on the sofa on a Saturday afternoon, be playful, appreciate how much sense you make to each other.