May 22, 2017

How to Keep a Long-Lasting Relationship from Your First Date

A fantastic relationship might come across like someone cast a magical spell that grants happiness forevermore. In reality, relationships take effort, time, and determination to keep the feelings of love alive.

Regardless of feeling, relationships can get better or worse depending on a variety of things. If you want to maintain a long lasting relationship from the first date until the end of your days, follow these tips.

Practice communication

The worst relationships are the ones when you never know what the other person is thinking. This creates undue tension that builds up until it has to be released, usually through argument. When the two of you can discuss anything in honesty, you have a foundation for a trusting relationship. Also, practice the following:

Active listening

This involves having the body language of someone who actually wants to hear what the other person is saying. Make eye contact. React once in awhile. Ask questions to clarify what you are hearing if you do not understand. For example, “I am understanding clearly that you are upset with me?”

“I” statements

Note the above example question. Always saying “you” sounds accusatory, which will only inflame your already angry partner. Another example of this is when you are asking why they did something you disagree with. Instead of saying, “It is your fault we lost that money,” you should say, “I thought we agreed to discuss first how to use our money wisely.”

Respect

When you listen to people who truly love one another and have a relationship set in stone, they speak to each other in a way that does not compare to how they speak to anyone else. Though they may jokingly call one another names, there is never any ill intent.

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Conflict resolution

Every relationship will have its healthy share of spats. However, a mature, lasting relationship will ultimately be able to rise above the challenge of conflicts.

Discussion, not confrontation

Every problem that you face together rather than getting split up over it is a testament to how you will weather things from here on out. Rather than point the finger, discuss what went wrong. Talk about how you can both fix the issue. Never expect perfection or mind-reading from your partner, because they do not expect it of you.

Compromise

Part of discussion means arriving at a point where one of you is going to have to opt for the short end of the stick. Compromise is not always fun, but neither are relationships. Still, if you love that person, you should be willing to do things their way once in awhile.

Be a team player

Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that your significant other has to dote upon you every second. The two of you should see your endeavors as a team effort. Even as one of you has a project to handle for work or school, the other should be willing to aid in whatever way possible – even if that means leaving one another alone.

Know where you both stand

Contrary to popular belief, many of the best relationships are when two people with few shared interests come together over what makes them unique. No one wants to date their identical twin. In that light, you will never agree on everything, and you will never want to do everything together. So, it is critical that you know one another as you would your best friend.

Values

Usually, the two of you will have similar values but place on them different emphasis. For example, you both might desire financial stability, but for you that may be fifth on the list after family and a social life. Meanwhile, your partner could be very profit-driven. This should not separate you. Rather, it should serve as a means of compromise.

Mutual and separate interests

Like your values, you are going to have hobbies that do not add up. You might like country music. They might loathe it and opt for heavy metal. Do not expect them to go to a country music festival with you. Trust them to have fun with their friends while you spend the weekend with girlfriends, singling western ballads. Remember, no one person can meet your needs. You should be complete within yourself and let them strive to be the same.

Passions

True story here. I met a male friend of mine at the bar the other day, and soon his girlfriend arrived. She sat down and we started discussing something about ballet. Now, it is well known my guy friend cannot dance, but his girlfriend loves it.

She turned to him and said, “I’m sorry, but everyone can dance better than you.” His response was absolutely the epitome of husband-material, “Yes, I hate it. But that’s why I love you, because you are so passionate about it.”

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So, what can we learn from my friends? That they keep things fresh and amazing. Nothing is routine for them, though they do have scheduled dates with one another. Every night out feels like the first time.

The respect and attention that they had for one another persist even after months and years of living together. That, to me, is where the real magic is. If the sparkle in your eyes and the butterflies in your gut never fade, you are doing something right.

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