Sexual attraction and feeling united as part of a team are essential to a healthy and stable relationship. In addition, there also needs to be respect, loyalty, honesty, and trust. The ability to resolve conflict by compromising is facilitated by having open channels of communication. It is also important to keep your individuality and maintain your self-appearance. Ensuring your emotional stability and emotional self-sufficiency takes the pressure off the relationship and will make it much easier to have lots of fun together.
In my day job I meet a lot of people of all ages and I love hearing stories about how they met their partner and how long they have been blissfully happy together. I am a huge soppy romantic! One thing I always ask them is ‘what is the secret to a long-lasting relationship?’ and here is what I have found…
- LOVE & PASSION. You need to love your partner and I am not talking about just caring for them, I am talking about the love that has tonnes of passion and actually being in love with them as opposed to just loving them. Sometimes couples may feel this passion fades after a year or two, but it all depends on your mindset and if you choose to turn the initial sparks into a slow burning flame. Sometimes you may have to work to keep the passion alive, particularly after you’ve had children and your whole world seems to revolve around them. In this case you need to make an effort to have date nights, get dressed up as you would of at the beginning of the relationship and remind yourself of who you are as a couple.
- RESPECT. You need to respect your partner – their dreams, ambitions, interests, and give them the space and support they need to achieve them. There is no respect if someone is telling their partner what to do or if they are keeping secrets or lying to them. if this situation occurs the relationship is not healthy and will be doomed. Respecting someone as a person involves understanding them, for example preferences, beliefs and opinions, and accepting them as they are.
- HONESTY. Don’t fabricate the truth, tell lies or keep secrets from your partner. In the end these things will find a way of revealing themselves and it will become clear that honesty is missing, as is good communication which is also imperative in a good relationship.
- OPEN COMMUNICATION. This really can be the difference in relationships succeeding or failing in my opinion. Good clear open channels of communication are needed to express the expectations and values which each of you hold. It is also needed to explain how you feel and what you need from your partner. For conflicts to be resolved effectively good communication is also needed; this will enable your relationship to go from strength to strength.
- TRUST. This is an essential ingredient in all relationships. If you don’t have any trust the domino effect will crumble your relationship. If there is no trust there will be constant questioning, over thinking, unnecessary suspicions and ultimately a lot of arguments. If you don’t trust your partner and it is irrational, then they will get tired of your badgering behaviour and feel trapped. The fun will be sapped out of your relationship, along with their happiness. If there is no trust and it is justified that means your partner has no respect for you, no loyalty and obviously there is no open communication. All of which are core to a healthy relationship. Whether it is justified or not it will leave you feeling very insecure and unhappy. No trust will inevitably mean game over!
- INDIVIDUALITY & INDEPENDENCE. Remember who you are as a person and do not give everything up for your partner. So, if you always supported a football club and watched every game or got your nails done every other Saturday continue to do this! Move to your own rhythm and do not give everything up just because you think you’ve found someone special. They will respect you so much more for having your own interests outside of the relationship. They also should have their own interests and it’s good to spend time apart pursuing these. It will give you the opportunity to miss one another. Remember that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and ‘familiarity breeds contempt’.
- SELF LOVE & APPEARANCE. It is a cliche but it’s so true – no one can really love you until you learn to love yourself. Be kind to yourself and let go of the past. Instead of punishing yourself for the mistakes you have made forgive yourself because nobody is perfect, and we have all made mistakes.
It is also so important that you keep maintaining your physical appearance. Do not let yourself go!! It can be hard at times (especially if you’ve had babies) but it is so important you take care of yourself as it keeps your mental health on point too. So, wear good fitting clothes, get your hair cut sharp, and don’t let your BMI creep up because no one wants to get into bed with a whale!! 😊
- LOYALTY. There is nothing like knowing your partner has your back. If loyalty is one of their core moral values, it brings a sense of security and you never need to worry about where they are or who they are with. Being loyal to you means they will always look out for you and they would never cheat on you; it goes hand in hand with trust.
- FEELING SAFE. Relationships should be free from all kinds of abuse; emotional, physical, or sexual. You should always feel safe with your partner and if you don’t then you cannot possibly be happy- you should leave them immediately.
- HAPPINESS & HAVING FUN. One lady said to me ‘it’s been an adventure for sure’ followed by how her husband (of 61 years) was a ‘silly idiot’ (which was said with great affection) and they had a ‘lot of laughs’. People are so much happier when they are having more fun. Having fun together will help you to bond and differences should then be easier to overcome.
- COMPROMISE. Often in a relationship the two of you might have different ideas and opinions and the only way to fairly navigate around these is if you both compromise. If one person gets their own way consistently it will lead to the other feeling frustrated and resentful. Equally, do not roll over and give in all the time – why should you? You both deserve to be happy. You will also be perceived as a push over and your partner may lose respect for you! So, if you want to minimise arguments and keep your other half happy learn the art of compromise.
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