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How to Sustain a Long Term Relationship

By Edited May 24, 2015 3 5

Love SunSet
Being in a long-term relationship has its ups and downs. Lets face it, your partner, the person you are with won't always make you happy or give you those nervous feelings that you first felt when you met him or her. Falling for someone is the easy part; we try to figure this out in short period of time. After time, the dynamics of the relationship will change and the couple will decide whether the rewards outweigh the cost of being in the relationship. Its inevitable, the individuals will change, as they get older and so do experiences together as wants and expectations change with maturity. The breaker, this is the bench mark whether the relationship will last past the initial phase of the word love or his or her initial ideal of this person as a mate. Okay so you get it, relationships are hard but they don't have to be. Being with someone for so long is special and should not be thrown away.

Okay, you are in the market for a partner, the person who fits you and fulfills your immediate desires more than anyone else, including best friends, and family members. You will start the date and immediate critique everything this person does and says, even the way he or she sits. . The process of elimination is complex and within a short time, you would have made up your mind whether to invite this person close to you until you decide this person deserves to be close to you and commit to each other. Let's say for argument everything goes well, and say for instance you two sit real close to each other and even allow this new person to caress your skin. Now here comes the Triangular Theory of Love (Wikipeadia), this comes into play at this point in time as subconsciously you are deciding if this relationship could lead to Love. Then come the three factors according to Robert Sternberg, intimacy, passion, and commitment. There you have it, a relationship develops.

So it's been four months lets say and you have spent every waking moment with this person discovering more about him or her. You enjoy the time together, it's new, it's fresh, as dopamine rushes through the brain creating a production of adrenaline and brings euphoria (Jane's Brain Page). Last, you feel in love but in fact you feel infatuation; this is the state of being completely carried away by unreasoned passion or love, which feels like a sense of urgency, intensity, and anxiety (Wikipeadia). The relationship is still in its infancy and would likely not cause any concern whether or not it would survive. After a year, are the rewards and a cost beneficial to each person in the relationship (Wikipeadia) is the question. The couple will decide individually whether what they have discovered about this person outweigh the cost of the relationship (Wikipeadia).

So, this leads into the three stages in your life that you will meet someone and attempt a relationship. First stage, meeting someone you fall for but so young, beginning your real attempt at coexisting with someone. Second stage, middle twenties to forties, you have learned a little bit about life and can make a relationship work past a month, good job! At this point lets recognise that opportunities are there for the relationship to flourish. The jobs are there and you can both jump into the "scenery" of the city of go on trips, those are great situations to see how someone interacts with you and the environment. For example you have a sense what the person is like perhaps under the influence of alcohol. You see what they are like with the opposite sex in the bars or at the movies. The other person gets a sense of you as well. Remember however, that when you first meet, both of you might up a front or being polite and not yet yourselves. That's okay, in any environment we have to warm up to someone and get to know him or her over time and gain trust.

And we come back to cost and reward situation and now the infatuation is over. Now comes, is this going to work stage, after you have seen the other person's personal faults and the things that bug you about them. Ask yourself as well, are the three factors that make up love still there or at least one still there? So now, love takes work, is what I am trying to get here and respect orchestrates that. No longer does intimacy just come out of intensity and urgency. Nor does passion come with anxiety and having to be with the other person so bad. But one thing still holds strong and that is commitment. This feeling towards this other person is the bond that builds the ultimate respect and real love.

Love is exciting and meeting that potential mate brings an exciting a rush, we sometimes don't care the cost but the reward is just being with him or her. After the dating is over and a commitment is understood, comes a grey area of whether this will survive after you get to know each other. Can you two grow together, its harder when you are younger because as adults, your mentality will change and you might out grow you necessity for the other person. At least when you meet each other there is more ability to do fun things together and get know one another. Here comes the not so fun part, most likely the two factors in love are not there and just one stands, commitment. Is commitment enough, or do you look for that first experience you had with your partner but with someone else. You have made it past what so many others can't reach, are you gong to throw it all way for that infatuation and do it all over again. Without respect, there is no commitment, and without that, there is no longer love and this is when you know you leave and find someone who will respect you. But, being with someone for so long means something special and throwing away that for someone else might not be worth it in the long run.



Aug 26, 2008 2:19am
Great first article Wilson! Hope to see you writing more insightful stuff in the future.
Oct 6, 2008 8:58am
Super article. After being married for over 18 years I can add that communication is definately a key fact, also compromise!
Sep 16, 2009 1:20pm
Great advice on how to keep a relationship long term.
Aug 28, 2011 5:22am
This is helpful for everybody since most of us wanted to have a long term relationship...
Apr 16, 2012 9:53pm
Hi Wilson--Very nice congradualtions on a fine and insightful article.
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