Relationship Advice: Tips from Relationship Experts on How to Build Lasting Love

happy couple

Here’s how to make your relationship a lasting one. |Jovanmandic/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

If you’ve always dreamed of having a loving, healthy relationship, know your desire doesn’t have to remain a dream. With patience and hard work, you can have the relationship you’ve always wanted. But how do you achieve that goal?

The Cheat Sheet chatted with relationship experts and therapists to get their best relationship advice. Here are the best tips from relationship experts on how to build lasting love.

Connect throughout the day

Do you remember when you first met? You may have been so excited to see each other that you used every spare moment to call each other when you were apart. It’s worth revisiting some of your old practices you engaged in when your love for each other seemed all-encompassing. Make an effort to connect throughout the day. Send a short text message or email to let your spouse know you’re thinking about him or her. Make a call during lunch to say, ‘I love you.’ These regular connections during the day will keep the positive feelings flowing and make your time together when you return home that much more meaningful.  —Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, licensed clinical professional counselor, certified Imago Relationship Therapist, and founder of The Marriage Restoration Project

Spoil your partner

You get what you give. So, do what you can to make your partner happy. Generosity is contagious. When you give to your partner, they will want to give back to you. Nowadays, the only arguments my wife Alice and I have are, “I want to do what makes you happy. No! I want to do what makes you happy.” Our life is so much more blissful when we spoil each other.  —Richard Matzkin, author of the book, Loving Promises: The Master Class for Creating Magnificent Relationship

Practice small acts of kindness

If your significant other can’t live without a cup of coffee in the morning, take a few minutes out of your morning to make him or her a fresh pot before work. If your partner is the main carpooler in the house, give him or her a break by taking the kids and their teammates out for an afternoon or evening. Get your partner’s favorite wine or beer and pour a glass when they get home. Take an interest. Ask about your partner’s work, friendships, hobbies, activities, etc. on a daily basis. Stay engaged in the areas of your partner’s life that might not directly involve you.  —Justin Lavelle, chief communications director for People Looker  

Be honest and adaptable

Happy couple

You can have the relationship you’ve always wanted. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Getty Images Plus

What makes a relationship last is when two people can share their honest feelings with each other without reservations. They also accept each other for who they are, focus on the other’s positive qualities instead of negatives ones, and consider each other a teammate. They face life’s toughest challenges together, appreciate each other, smile at each other and laugh together. They say “I love you” for no good reason, and know the art of forgive, forget, and move on. They treat each other’s needs as their own, and they know how to adapt to change and continue to grow.  —Scott Tsui, gay relationship coach and author of Lonely No More: 8 Steps to Find Your Gay Husband

Be realistic

In the first excitement of new love, it seems the good feelings will last forever. But the wear and tear of daily living and life issues can cause you to put your romance on the back burner, and let it fall away. The skills couples need to keep intimacy alive in a long-term relationship differ from new relationship intimacy skills, and they’re not obvious because people don’t talk about them. Like most couples, you and your partner may need to lower your expectations of easy romance and glamour and raise your level of communication, gratitude, and having fun together.  —Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka “Dr. Romance”) psychotherapist and author of How to Be Happy Partners: Working it Out Together

Be humble

The one most important character trait of someone in a lasting relationship is humility. In order for the relationship to handle the myriad challenges over the years together, parties will need to build capacity to put the other’s needs ahead of their own.  —Kira Nurieli, Psychologist and director of Harmony Strategies Group

Learn to resolve conflict

The most common reason relationships deteriorate, and end, is poor conflict resolution skills and unhealthy communication. It is not the issue that is crucial, but rather developing healthy skills to “hang in” with each other and deal with conflict. Most people either position defensively and attack their partner, run for cover, fall silent, or collapse into tears of hurt and helplessness. Be aware of your own issues. Be accountable and own up to your part of the problem. Don’t react immediately. Cool off first. Listen carefully without interrupting to understand what doesn’t feel good to your partner and with genuine interest.  —Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, author, The Self-Aware Parent, regular expert child psychologist on The Doctors, CBS TV, and co-star on Sex Box, WE tv.

 Read more: Your Relationship is Doomed if You Notice One of These Unhealthy Behaviors

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