We always hope that the bond we form with a partner will last for a lifetime. The truth is, relationships are hard work, and not all of those bonds will survive even when both partners are working towards that goal. If you want a relationship that will last, here are eleven rules for couples for a long-lasting relationship.
Rules for couples for a long-lasting relationship:
1. Don’t hit below the belt
When you know a partner well, you know both what makes them happy and what can really hurt them. Don’t lash out at their sensitive spots because you are angry. Sure, that extra padding on her tummy might not seem like a big deal to you, but if you use it as a lethal weapon when you’re arguing, you’ll soon find yourself without a partner at all.
2. Don’t lie
Staying honest during a long-term relationship is highly important. If you are continuously dishonest, eventually you’ll slip up, and you’ll be caught. Lying to your partner fosters (justified) mistrust, which is never healthy for a long-lasting relationship.
3. Let the past be
If your partner is a strong, upstanding member of society now, it’s unfair to constantly bring up a darker past because it suits you. Don’t constantly bring up their ex, or their history, to illustrate points that are happening now. Your partner doesn’t deserve that, and neither do you.
4. Don’t restrict your partner with too many rules
While you may think it your right to be the head of the household, if you suffocate your partner with too many restrictions, you lose much of the person you fell in love with along the way. Putting too many rules on finances, where they can go, and who they can see often makes them feel less like your significant other and more like a servant. It’s fine to have rules but make sure it is something you both agree on first.
5. Give as much to your partner as you get—and more
Your significant other loves you. Whether they show that by picking you up at 2 AM on a work night because your car broke down or simply by checking in on you throughout the day, showing you care is an important part of a long-lasting relationship. If only one partner shows affection all the time, it can create an imbalance that isn’t healthy for either partner.
6. Think about your partner’s long-term goals
Your partner isn’t just a person who is in love with you. They have their own ideas, hopes, and dreams. Many of those may fall in line with your hopes and dreams. A few may not. It is worthwhile to notice the things that your partner is giving up to be with you, and perhaps working out a way that they can still work towards some of those goals and desires.
7. Communicate effectively
Disagreements are a normal part of being a couple. If something is bothering you about your partner, it is best to communicate the problem as clearly as possible. This doesn’t mean screaming at your significant other to impress upon them how angry you are but to explain in detail what is bothering you.
For example, if your wife doesn’t start cooking dinner until 9 PM and you are starving when you get home, explaining that you’d like her to start a little earlier on the cooking may get you dinner at a normal time. If she’s peeved because you never do any household chores, explaining that instead of putting dinner off as a hint will make things a lot less stressful. Most disagreements can be resolved quickly if both sides take the time to explain themselves and to listen. So, communicate effectively with your partner if you want a long-lasting relationship.
8. Be your real self
It’s natural to want new partners to see the best side of yourself, but hiding the parts that make you unique will only damage your relationship in the long run. Even if you can maintain a facade for years, do you really want to spend that much of your life not being yourself? It’s always best to be your authentic self around your partner, and if they don’t like it, to find someone who does.
9. Notice the things that your partner does for you
When the nice things your other half for you becomes routine, they also become invisible. Washing clothes, packing lunches, or even doing the dinner dishes may seem like their responsibility—but keep in mind if it is your laundry and a dish you ate off of, it was your responsibility, to begin with. Noticing the things someone does, whether it is around the house or helping family or friends, noticing what they can have a huge positive impact on your relationship.
10. Live in the moment
As relationships grow more comfortable, you may date less and less in favor of spending time on the couch or just relaxing. That’s perfectly fine, but make sure that when you do have quality time with each other, you put your cell phones down and make the most of each other. Hiring a babysitter so you can sneak out to a restaurant by yourself is a wonderful thing, but if you immediately start scrolling through facebook as soon as you sit down, you might as well have stayed home.
11. Let your other half have some privacy
When you are constantly looking through your partner’s cell phone or reading their e-mails, you are as good as saying you don’t trust them. Trust is a necessary part of a long-term relationship. By constantly invading your partner’s privacy, you may even drive them to do the very things you are suspicious of in the first place.
If you follow most of these rules for a long-lasting relationship, you are well on your way to a healthy relationship. Don’t get caught in the everyday trap of taking your significant other for granted, and build on what you have instead of tearing it down. Relationships need work in order to become a solid foundation, and that work is in the tiny little things we do every day.
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