In our society today, long term relationships have become very similar to Churchill’s riddle How to Maintain a Happy Long Term Relationship with Your SpouseCredit: dreamstime/image23443233inside a mystery inside an enigma.  It is something that we all want but current divorce rates tell us that somehow what we all want is not what is happening.  Of course, no one has the blueprint on how everyone or indeed anyone can achieve happiness in their long term relationships, but here are a few tips that should help you maintain a happy long term relationship.

  1. Base your relationship on friendship.  When you are friends, you respect each other and this respect is the key ingredient in any relationship, emotional or otherwise.  Building a relationship on friendship allows you get to know your partner without the extra intensity that relationships bring.  It is certainly a good way to start if you want to build a happy and long lasting relationship.
  2. Don’t cheat. It seems really obvious but you’d be surprised how many people blow the best thing to ever happen to them on a meaningless encounter.  Respect your partner and don’t cheat.  Even if they forgive, they cannot forget.  Over time, the trust in your relationship is eroded.
  3. Be spontaneous.  When we get comfortable in your relationship, we tend to fall into a routine way of doing things.  Routine certainly has its uses but it can turn mundane and contentment can turn to questions of what’s out there or what if, which is not a good thing for your relationship. So avoid mundane, do things to surprise your partner every once in a while.  It does not have to be a grand gesture, in fact it is the little things that count the most.
  4. Make time.  How you intend to build a long lasting relationship without spending any quality time together is another mystery.  The simple truth is that if you don’t spend any time together alone as a couple then you’re inevitably going to drift apart.  Relationships need intimacy in order to succeed so regular contact is essential.
  5. Tell your partner you care, and mean it.  When you’ve been together for a while, most people tend to take it for granted that they care for their partner.  This is not going to cut.  Do not leave room for doubt in your partner’s mind by letting them assume you care, say it.  If your partner does not know that you care about them, disillusionment can set in, so make sure they know how you feel.
  6. Don’t hold back. Don’t be embarrassed to show what you feel for your partner in public.  Whether it’s when you’re out with friends or in a room full of strangers, make sure you aren’t neglecting your partner because ‘people might see’.  If anything, showing intimacy for your partner in front of others makes your partner proud and pleased that you aren’t embarrassed to be with them.
  7. Keep your individuality.  It is important for you to maintain your individuality as a person, not just for you but for your relationship. Have some me time,even if all you’re doing is reading a good book and drinking alcohol.  Your relationship will be better for it.
  8. Make time for your friends.  It may seem cool and comfortable to spend all your time with your partner but making and spending time with your friends can be essential for your relationship.  It will give you space from your relationship, help validate you as an individual not ‘half of..’ and give your partner time alone as well as the urge to go out and have their own me time.  It’s a win-win.
  9. Make date nights. As time goes on and your relationship and family grows, you might lose sight of the early days of your relationship and the magic they had.  Planning and going on dates will remind you of those days and keep the spark alive.  It will also relieve the routine of your days and bring you closer as a couple.
  10. Set goals.  It is vital to the success of any relationship that both parties in a relationship understand where the relationship is headed.  Setting goals will help you do that. It can be difficult to have a detailed conversation about ‘where the relationship is headed’ especially if you suspect that you and your partner do not have similar goals.  But talking about where you want to be and what you want to have achieved in 5 or 10 years will help both you and your partner understand what you each need from the relationship and whether you can fulfill it or not.  This understanding and the willingness to achieve it is what is vital to the longevity of your relationship.

A long lasting relationship is what all of us dream of but the statistics tell us that a lot of people are facing disappointment. Nothing is guaranteed but taking heed of these ten things is definitely pushing you in the right direction and helping you beat the odds.