Let’s set aside everything we’ve seen on TV and in movies for a minute and simply think what it means to be in a relationship. When the first phase of the relationship filled with hormones, passion, and excitement passes we are left with more than just a few questions and many couples become slightly disappointed – this is definitely not what they show in movies. What no one likes to talk about is that relationships require work, some more than others. When you go to a gym you don’t expect your body to become instantly gorgeous, don’t you? Just like that, when we jump into a new relationship, some time will pass before you and your boo will become a formidable happy unit. You might need to do some heavy-lifting for that, so to speak. Here are 6 simple habits that will keep your relationship warm, happy, and long-lasting.
Sometimes you have to let the conflict be
There’s this utopian idea that a perfect couple in a perfect world doesn’t have any issues whatsoever and if those do emerge – they immediately solve them and live happily ever after. Well, that’s a myth and it might actually hurt your relationship. According to research, couples in healthy long-term relationships actually have unresolved issues and some have been with them for years! While unsuccessful couples often try to resolve every little conflict that comes their way. Here’s the thing – there will always be place for an argument, something that irritates you or your partner, but that doesn’t mean you have to fix it, fix them, and make the world a better place. Some things are simply not worth fighting over!
Be truthful, even if it hurts
Truly healthy and happy relationships are built on trust. If you can’t trust your partner to say what he or she feels and you yourself can’t be truthful all the time, afraid to hurt your partner’s feelings – then things aren’t going to end well. If she asks whether that dress makes her look fat and you think that gaudy orange piece of garment should burn in hell – just tell her about it (maybe in kinder words, but still). And if you feel like he’s ignored your needs or hasn’t been there for you when you needed it – don’t be afraid to tell him that because otherwise how will he know? This is the type of communication that builds a strong bond between people. You might not feel all that happy at first, but believe me, you will eventually!
Be apart because it’s normal
I’m not talking about going on a month-long vacation with your friends leaving your loved one behind, but doing things that don’t involve your partner is completely okay. Having different interests is okay because, after all, you are different people. Living joined at the hip like twins will only lead to a co-dependent relationship, and that’s beyond unhealthy. We’ve seen it so many times – a guy or a girl gets into a new relationship and completely disappears from previous activities, family meetings, friends gathering, and whatnot. While it’s okay to be infatuated with each other in the early stages of a relationship, later on, it will only lead to trouble. Sacrificing your time and interests for the sake of a relationship has never made anyone happy!
Don’t try to change them because it doesn’t work
We all have flaws, including the man or woman of your dreams. When we are blinded by love they don’t seem as obvious to us, but later things start popping up and we’re left with a dilemma – do we accept those or do we do something about it? Truth is you can’t really change a person, that’s not how relationships work. It will happen only if he or she wants or needs that! If you feel you can’t live with your partner’s flaws – it’s not a good sign. Before anything else, we need to learn to accept our partner as he is, the full package. His social awkwardness, her fixation on weight, his love of geeky socks, her passion for selfies. If you love the person – you’ll adjust, and they will also adjust to make things more bearable for you. The same goes for your little flaws!
You may still like other people – just let it go!
Yep, despite what most people believe being in a successful relationship doesn’t mean you won’t be occasionally attracted to someone. Whether it’s an actor in a movie or your yoga teacher, biology can play tricks, especially in the later stages of the relationship when the novelty of your partner wears off a little bit. Most people instantly feel guilty for any such thing, but the trick here is not to dwell on it because the more you think, the more power it has over you, the more you concentrate on something that isn’t really relevant. Just live through it and let it go! It’s an emotion, it happened, but now it’s passed like a wave and you’re still here pretty much in love with your partner. While you can’t control those sparks of thoughts and emotions, you can control your actions, and that’s what matters in the end.
Be there for each other
As simple as it sounds, it involves a few more complicated emotions and actions like dedication, affection, empathy, respect, and willingness to find time for each other. Yep, each of those could make a separate point on the list, but only when they all come together the true miracle of a happy relationship happens. You respect your partner, which means you value his various sides, talents, ideas, works, inspirations, and input in your relationship. You also respect his time and you are considerate about the balance you both have to maintain between your personal lives, your intimate relationship, and the relationships with other people. You both have empathy, so you are tuned into each other’s states and no matter how you feel yourself you always notice what’s going on with your partner. A few words of support can go a long way! You are devoted to each other, which means you admit you’ve chosen each other and you’re not afraid to try and build something together. You are dedicated! Be there for each other and your relationship will last for al lifetime.