We all know it’s not really how you got together, but how you stayed together. Whenever you see an old couple so romantically attached to each other as if their relationship was brand new, it makes you wonder—what is it about them that made their relationship last through decades or even a lifetime? Don’t you want to know how to make a relationship last?
What’s their secret? How can you be one half of a couple just like that? How to make a relationship last forever?
With divorce rates skyrocketing even more through the years, how is it that some couples still manage to stick it out through thick and thin?
[Read: How to be a good boyfriend – 33 traits that’ll make you the best ever]
[Read: How to be a good girlfriend – 27 ways to make him love you more]
Sometimes, learning a few basic rules of love is all it takes to transform a relationship that’s going downhill into something positive and beautiful.
If you can stop thinking of what you’re not getting from your partner, and start to focus on what you’re not giving to your partner, just that act alone can change the dynamics of a relationship.
So if you’re wondering how to make a relationship last, start with these rules to follow. The rest… will follow! [Read: What makes a good relationship? 30 signs of a perfect relationship]
When you are in a relationship long enough, you’ll realize that your own plans may have to go out of the window. Expecting that your relationship to go as planned will almost always leave you disappointed.
Life is notorious for presenting you with the most unexpected gifts, and as a couple, you should be able to make the most of these and enjoy whatever comes your way. [Read: 30 relationship rules for perfectly happy love]
Never ever take each other for granted. Sure, the dust may have settled on your relationship and you’re now into this comfortable routine. However, it doesn’t mean that the courtship stops.
Even if you’re both in the middle of whatever makes up your busiest days, still take time to stop and check in on each other and show your affection. [Read: How to court a woman – What it means and 23 gentlemanly ways to woo her]
With all the things that you need to get done on a daily basis, all the demands of your work and relationship, it’s easy to lose touch with each other. You may find yourselves just going through the motions and nothing surprises you anymore.
Find a way to change this—take that extra effort to surprise your partner with something breath-taking, from a simple heartfelt note to a romantically extravagant vacation. [Read: How to be romantic without being cheesy – It’s easier than you think]
Maybe you’re together for just a few months, a few years, or a few decades. You’ll see how time has changed your partner through it all. You’ll see how time has changed you too. Perhaps your partner has grown a belly or is leaning towards the thick side after giving birth.
Beyond all the physical and emotional changes, though, see your partner as they are, and fall in love with what makes them who they are today.
To make a relationship last, you have to do new things. Sometimes, relationships turn sour because couples fall into a routine they can’t get out of.
They want to play things safe, and this can often be their downfall. Don’t let the humdrum be your comfort. Dare to try something new and invite excitement back into your lives. [Read: Top 50 kinky sex ideas worth experimenting with at least once in your lifetime]
Fights and misunderstandings are inevitable. There may even be days that you can’t stand each other. However, always remember what endeared you to them in the first place and why you’re together.
Hold on to that, and always try to see the best qualities of the person you love.
Silliness can be the key to knowing how to make a relationship last. Laugh and laugh often. Goof around and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. These boo-boos are what make life brighter.
Even in the midst of a hectic day—or even in the middle of an argument—always look at the brighter side, and your problem won’t seem to be as serious as you both thought it was. [Read: 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]
Despite the proliferation of gadgets and apps that distract us from real, face-to-face interactions, find time to look your partner in the eye. Talk to each other—as in *really* talk. Make it a point to sit down or go out and be together without distractions.
Also, be present when your partner is sharing things with you. Let them know that you’re there for them whenever they need you. [Read: How to have a good relationship that gets better each day]
It’s not enough that you’re there. Many a relationship’s downfall is not in the lack of communication, but a lack of listening. Therefore, as a couple, you have to commit to actively listen to each other when one is talking.
It’s also advisable to listen to those things that are unsaid. This makes for better communication, something that most long-term relationships have managed to have under their belts. [Read: 14 ways to be a much better listener in your relationship]
To make a relationship last, grow as a couple and grow as individuals – even if it means doing things apart. Sometimes, the only way for each of you to grow is to do things independent of the other.
Once you trust your partner enough to give them space, you allow them to flourish as a person separate from you.
If one is not growing, then someone will feel left out or left behind, and the relationship will not last. [Read: How to give space and grow together as a couple]
A relationship can only function like a well-oiled machine if you are both prepared and capable of being there to pick each other up. There will be times when one of you may have personal problems, or one is going through something difficult.
As a partner, it is up to you to be supportive of the other. That’s what relationships are for—you go through life knowing for certain that someone is there, not only to hold your hand, but to hold you up when you’re down.
Many couples split up because of disagreements about money. When you can, sit down together and discuss your financial situation. Define what your financial goals are as a couple and where you both want to be in the future.
Money is a necessity, but it’s utterly unnecessary to fight about money. It really helps make relationships last. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]
You don’t want to feel like you’re alone or being held back in your relationship. You want to have a voice in what you want to happen, and your partner certainly feels the same way.
To make your relationship last, your commitment to each other also means that you’re willing to go through life together, through whatever happens, as partners and with one goal.
There will be times when you may overreact or make a wrong judgment. This could start a disagreement, but before things blow out of proportion, learn to own up to your mistakes.
It’s during times like this that the last thing you need is your pride. Don’t let your partner feel awful about a mistake that you know you can fix with a simple “I’m sorry.” [Read: How to apologize and say sorry to a lover when you know you’re wrong]
There will definitely be many kinds of problems that will arise as you go through your life together. There will be times that one of you will go through a hard time and will come to the other for help.
Instead of criticizing or blaming, offer constructive advice that will actually help them solve a problem. If you can’t find a solution yet, then at least make your partner feel better. [Read: Rekindle your relationship – 17 ways to sparkle in love]
Don’t hold grudges if you truly want to make your relationship last. When one of you is at fault, be brave yet humble enough to admit it.
If your partner has done you wrong, be gracious and forgive. Your partner, like you, is human and will have moments of weakness. Don’t let a mistake dictate the future of your relationship and imprison you to the past.
Make it a point to tell your partner how much you appreciate them. Do this every day – that’s also how make your relationship last.
From the simple way they turn the coffee maker on so you can have your coffee to the way they never fail to cheer you up in your darkest days, saying something as simple as “thank you” will go a long way to make them feel appreciated. [Read: 16 ways to show your appreciation for the one you love]
Don’t forget your individuality too. Love yourself as you love your partner. While you can give your heart to them, always leave room for yourself too.
Allow yourself the same love, laughter, happiness, and forgiveness you afford your partner.
Every couple has fights. It’s just human nature. Whenever you have two people *or more* together, then it’s inevitable that conflicts arise. That’s not bad, and it can actually be good.
What actually matters is how you work through the disagreements.
Don’t yell and call each other names. Instead, be calm and rational when you work through your problems. You have to see yourselves as a team, and not enemies who are fighting against one another. Working through conflicts effectively can really strengthen your bond. [Read: Relationship arguments and 27 dos and don’ts to remember]
Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for another person. However, empathy is being able to see a situation from someone else’s point of view. In other words, “walking in their shoes.”
You have to try to see how your partner is looking at things, especially if it is different than yours. That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them, but you should convey that you are trying to understand them and that you care how they feel. [Read: How to be more empathetic and 16 ways to make anyone feel heard and understood]
When you are in a relationship, you can’t be selfish. You can’t just take, take, take and expect them to give, give, give.
When you do this, your partner will become resentful that you only care about your own needs. You need to care about theirs, too. So, you need to put your partner’s needs and desires at least equal – if not before – your own. [Read: 15 signs of a taker in a relationship – Are you a giver or a taker?]
Everyone has a different sex drive, but in order to have a healthy and successful relationship, you both need to be compatible in the bedroom.
If one person wants to have sex three times a day, and the other one once a month, then you will have a disconnect. You want to try to get in sync so you can keep your emotional and physical intimacy strong. This also includes non-sexual affection and touch as well.
Everyone likes to feel good about themselves, right? And what better way than to hear wonderful things from your partner?
You have to tell them how sexy or smart they are. Compliment their new clothes or haircut. Not only will it make them feel good, it will make you feel good too! [Read: 17 relationship deal breakers you need to fix to be a good partner]
As time goes on, it’s easy to just assume that your partner will always be there. Many people just take others for granted and don’t appreciate their presence in their lives.
But you never know what tomorrow will bring. So, appreciate everything they are and everything they do right now. Don’t ever take them for granted.
Despite whatever unimaginable things that may come your way or try to tear you apart, always choose love.
The love you have for each other will be the beacon that will guide you through the storms of life. Hold on to that and your relationship will last even against all the odds.
Love will always endure. When you and your partner truly, fully, and completely love and respect each other, things will have a way of working out.
[Read: What is true love? 22 signs of real love to know if yours is real]
If you follow these suggestions, life may hand you the toughest challenges, and although there’s no perfect recipe for a perfect relationship, you will persist together and no longer wonder how to make a relationship last!
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