Relationships can be difficult. With divorce rates being so high nowadays, maintaining a long-term, healthy relationship may seem impossible, but it’s not. Here’s how you can keep your relationship happy for many years to come!
Learn how to Fight Right
Some may believe a strong relationship has little to no fighting, but that’s far from the truth. Even the happiest couples fight, but it’s not how often they fight that’s the problem nor is what is being fought about; it has to do with how they solve it. Communication experts find that everyone has their own “communication style:” Avoidant, aggressive, assertive, or submissive. Avoidant people tend to, hence the title, avoid the issue and often ignore their partner when in the middle of a fight whereas someone who is aggressive may resort to yelling and acting in ways that would only worsen the fight.
When couples have an opposing communication style, it makes it harder for them to work things out, which is why one should learn to understand theirs and their partner’s communication style to find a compromise in between. A submissive person may learn to open up more, an aggressive one could learn to count to 10 when they become angry, and an avoidant partner may learn listening skills or at least communicate through writing. In general, an assertive person is typically the ideal communication style one should strive for.
Having a different style than your partner, though, doesn’t mean you aren’t meant to be together, but it does mean that perhaps a change is needed. In fact, a great majority of couples separate due to fighting, though most of which fight because the other partner won’t listen or doesn’t want to mend the argument the way they want to. In most cases, being aware of your communication style is a quick and simple fix to the relationship.
Go with the Flow
Sure, it’s nice receiving nice gifts and going out on fancy dates, but in actuality, most couples tend to be happier in the relationship when things are more casual. This is not to say that you shouldn’t buy your partner gifts or take them out every now and then, but do know that sometimes staying in on a rainy day watching movies and munching on popcorn makes the best kind of date.
In other words, the perfect relationship isn’t perfect after all, and it sure doesn’t require anything anything special or luxurious to be considered happy. Showering your partner with expensive gifts and always taking them out to fancy restaurants is a no-go. Everything in moderation.
Being Yourself is the Best
I’m sure we all have been told just to be ourselves, but this advice definitely applies to intimate relationships. How many of us changed who we were or acted differently in front of the person we liked? Probably most of us. This is yet again another problem with many relationships. Eventually, the real person you are will reveal in front of your partner, so why try to hide who you truly are?
If anything, relationships should change you into a better person, not into the fake person you want your partner to see you as. After all, you wouldn’t want your partner to fall in love with the fake you; surely you’d want them to love you for the person you really are. Being human isn’t so bad anyways!
Know that Relationships go Through Constant Phases
Being in a long-term relationship, one would know that relationships go through an endless amount of phases and are always changing. Just about everything knows, though, that the “puppy love phase” ends fairly soon after the relationship begins, but there are also other phases as well that vary from couple to couple.
There will be times where you will grow more attached to your partner, moments where you are more distant, and even times where you will see them as your best friend. Don’t worry if your mushy gushy feeling aren’t there constantly; it’s normal to feel a variety of different emotions and connections towards your partner, and in fact, quite healthy.
You may not even notice most of these phases, but they’re definitely there. Especially if you meet your partner at a young age, you’ll notice all the big and little alterations throughout your relationship as you two grow and change. A healthy relationship, though, will be able to get through each and every change.
Don’t Hold High Expectations
Relationships shouldn’t be about how much money each partner spends on each other or how nice each date is. Relationships shouldn’t be based on materialistic possessions at all. After all, relationships are all about love, care, and support, so why place such high expectations on your partner? The more you expect, the more you’ll be disappointed and unhappy within your relationship.
As mentioned before, it’s best to go with the flow in relationships and not worry about the little aspects of the relationship. Nitpicking and finding every fault in the relationship as well as holding high expectations are definitely things you want to avoid. Say, for instance, you expect your partner to spend $500 on a piece of jewelry for you, but instead you find out that they spent $50. See how something like that could cause disappointment? That’s because you brought it onto yourself, placing a high expectation only to be disappointed when that expectation was not met.
The point is, be grateful for everything in your relationship, even the small things. Just because your partner loves you doesn’t mean they’re willing to spend a fortune on you, and quite frankly, they shouldn’t have to in order to prove they love you.
Know that Romance Means Different Things to Different People
How many relationships have you been in where you were disappointed because your partner wasn’t “romantic enough?” Probably quite a few. You may have a warped believe of what romance is after seeing all those mushy gushy love stories on Hallmark or from watching too many romance films and chick flicks. In reality, everyone has their own views on romance, both guys and ladies. In fact, gender has nothing to do with it; it varies from each person’s personalities and the ways in which they express themselves.
In general, though, being romantic may have a completely different meaning to your partner. Maybe you’re all about roses, manners, serenades, and sweet talk whereas your partner views lots of cuddling, bonding through video games, or even going jogging together as romantic. The typical “big screen” romance isn’t even prevalent in most relationships, or at least not on a constant basis. Some partners may even be more or less expressive with their feelings than others, which is another thing that greatly affects the physical affection they might display for one another.
There will be moments in your relationship that will be more or less romantic than others, but that’s the beauty of it. Constantly being treated like a king or queen may get tiring, which is why moderation is everything. Embrace both the romantic moments as well as the non-romantic moments, and remember that bonding can be done in a variety of ways.
Keep your Relationship Private
Not everyone needs to know every little aspect about your relationship. For instance, the recent fight you and your partner just got into, how far you’ve gone in the relationship, or even how many times you and your partner broke up in the past. Things like this should be private. Of course, everyone is different and may be more open with some things more than others, but it’s a good idea to keep things on the downlow to avoid rumors or nosy people from trying to interfere with your relationship.
Your business is your business. Rather than making a Facebook post announcing that you and your girlfriend just got in a massive argument or going off and telling your friends every detail your relationship holds is not always best. Just be careful, and think before you say.
Don’t Compare your Relationship to Others
Of course when you’re in a relationship of your own, you’ll notice other relationships around you and how they communicate and bond together. Your friend proposed to his girlfriend after one year, or maybe your cousin goes out to the movies every Friday night with their boyfriend. Don’t let these situations fool you. Every relationship is different! Do your own thing, go on your own dates, and don’t assume that all partners should be committed to each other after one year.
In other words, comparing yourself to other couples is the wrong thing to do and will only make you unhappy with your own relationship. Just because you and your partner are in a long distance relationship, prefer going to concerts over the movie theater, or bond in different ways than others doesn’t mean your relationship isn’t a good one. Every couple will vary, and that’s a good thing.
All this information about relationships may seem exhausting, but it’s really not if you’ve found the right person. Overall, proper communication, being yourself, not expecting much from your partner, and knowing that each relationship is different and unique are all important things to know for a long-term relationship. The happiest couples don’t feel the need to buy expensive gifts or go on fancy dates on a nightly basis; in fact, relationships are strongest when the bond is naturally formed. In general, cooperation, support, understanding, and compromise are all important concepts to learn when in a relationship that will keep you and your partner going for years.