If you’ve been in a serious relationship for awhile, nothing will scare you more than watching other couples you looked up to calling it quits, or your favorite couple friends trying to piece a broken relationship back together.When this happens, you may start to question your own relationship.
But instead of fearfully questioning everything, give yourself a moment to ensure your relationship is worth working for. Then, kick it into high gear and put in the extra effort to ensure your relationship isn’t the next one to end up in the dumps.
1. Be present
This one may seem easy, but in a world of constant communication and endless social media notifications, being present with your partner may be easier said than done. How often is your partner in the middle of telling you about their day when you get a text or absentmindedly realize you haven’t checked your Instagram feed all day? When this happens, your mind is elsewhere, leaving your partner high and dry as they spill on the drama of the day. To be present, you must fully engage with each other and in the moment.
2. Get ready to work for it
Just because you love each other doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a long, happy life together. Relationships take a lot of work. That means some days will be an uphill struggle where you’re constantly bickering or busy being hurt about something your partner did to offend you. If you’re both aware that relationships are hard, but you see the value in what you have, you’ll have the stamina to work at keeping the relationship alive when it gets tough.
3. Keep the fire alive
Not only do relationships require time spent connecting emotionally with your partner, but you’ll need to make sure that your sexual connection is alive and well. This may be easy at first. When you’ve first started dating, getting naked may be all you can think about, but over time your sex life may take a backseat to stresses at work, arguments, and just getting too busy.
Take the time to learn what pleases your partner sexually. Talk about it. Ask what he or she likes and be open to experimenting. Likewise, be verbal about what you do and don’t like. If you’re going to make it in the long run, it’s vital you know how to please each other.
4. Keep it fun
If you consistently make dinner at home, watch a movie together, and go to bed, you’ll quickly become bored. Put in the effort to make the time you spend together fun. Switch it up so that when you do stay in with a homemade dinner and a movie, it feels new and exciting. Explore new things and be open to different activities like going to concerts, taking salsa lessons, or going hiking over the weekend. Time spent together allows you to hit the refresh button on your relationship, so put in the effort to make that time fun for both parties.
5. Remember the good
When you first fall in love, you’re focused on your partner’s positive qualities. You may swoon over their musical ability or the ways that they challenge you to improve yourself. Over time, these qualities slowly become overshadowed as you start to dwell on your partner’s lacking qualities. Especially during a relationship’s rough patch, it is important to acknowledge what’s working and give credit for all the things that go well even in the midst of conflict.
Remember that for every negative feeling or interaction, there are five positive ones. Focusing on the good in the relationship and in each other is important in a lasting relationship.
6. Learn to compromise
One of the biggest challenges serious couples face is resolving an argument when neither of you wants to back down from your opinions. Long-lasting happy relationships consist of compromise — the ability to step back and acknowledge your significant others opposing view. Sure, you don’t want to be a doormat for your partner to walk on. However, your relationship will stay alive longer if both of you learn to not be too stubborn.
When you are having extra trouble resolving an issue, step back, take a deep breath, and try to come at it from a more constructive angle. The goal isn’t about you being right and your partner being wrong — it’s about finding common ground.
7. Don’t compare yourself too much to others
As we said in the very beginning, breakups around you may make you question your own relationship. While that is a totally natural reaction, you also have to remember not to get too wrapped up in comparing your relationship to others. At the end of the day, your relationship with your partner is unique and does not consist the exact same components as someone else’s union.
Remember how we said to stay present? That applies here too. Make sure you are keeping focus on what’s happening in your own relationship, and it will likely last longer.
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