“So what’s the key to our longevity? It’s pretty simple. We’re happy together, we like each others’ company, and we’re still genuinely in love.”
– Inspiring words from a couple experiencing a Honeymoon Forever
To hang together as a couple for a lifetime: what a concept. Sounds impossible, you say? It’s no secret that a lot of folks don’t think that love can last. Just check out some of these less-than-optimistic comments from various people on the subject…
Jim, a divorced dad: “Its nuts out there and getting more complicated all the time!”
Sandy, chronically single: “Long lasting love? Are you kidding me? Just look at the divorce rate! It’s worse than ever!”
Thomas: “It’s just not like it used to be! I’m lucky if I can find a date!”
Debbie: “A lifetime with the same partner? I just can’t see it happening.”
Pretty sad but honest statements, huh? After all, if you’ve had a lot of breakups, divorces, and quick endings to romance, you might be thinking just like them.
And if you haven’t observed or known any couples who’ve managed to stick together through thick and thin, it’s certainly understandable how you might have a cynical attitude about love.
Well, despite all the pessimism out there, I’ve come to believe, through working with couples and through my own life experience, that life-long love doesn’t have to be an unattainable dream.
I believe that, with focused effort and two conscious minds working together, lasting love can become a real possibility for you – even in today’s crazy world.
But who really cares about what I believe? The burning question still remains: HOW DO THESE COUPLES DO IT?
How do couples stay together for so long? How are two individuals able to maintain a committed love that can last decades and decades? Well, here’s a list of ways (actually more like reminders) that may help you to stretch your romance into a lifetime of fulfilling love:
1. Make sure your “picker” works.
Right from the start, be conscious and discerning about who you pick to date and possibly partner up with. Pick someone you like a lot; somebody you feel has future potential.
Don’t give in to loneliness as your guiding principle when searching for true love.
And please, do the required inner psychological work on yourself, so you don’t hook-up with the wrong people over and over again. In other words, pick wisely, from a place of good mental health.
2. Humor for lasting love success.
Sounds so basic, doesn’t it? But, humor, well-developed or not, is vital to any long-term romance.
Daily laughter, and a shared sense of humor can routinely help a couple navigate through some pretty tough times. Without frequent levity, don’t expect relationship longevity – it probably won’t happen.
3. Accept your partner as is.
Acceptance is a virtue and always a great strategy for love success.
A person’s basic personality doesn’t tend to change over time, so what you see is probably what you’ll get. Sure, some things may change with the passing years, like jobs, friends, interests, goals, the body. But that person you’ve met, that basic “self,” will tend to remain the same.
So, practice daily acceptance and don’t try to change your partner…that is, if you’re looking for love to last.
4. Be nice and forgive.
Especially with your beloved partner, be nice and always practice a high level of mutual compassion—and that includes plenty of forgiveness, too.
Forgive, forgive, and forgive some more. Holding on to resentments (not forgiving), or unfairly laying your past hurts on your loved one, is a sure fire way to end any promising romance.
5. Make your relationship a high priority.
I believe, for a loving partnership to be successful, the relationship needs to come first. Of course, each person needs to have their own life, but the relationship needs to be way up there on the list for love to thrive.
Even if there are children involved, your relationship to your partner trumps all. That doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to the kids. It simply means that your partnership is unswervingly a very high priority.
As you and your partner go, so goes the rest of the family…
Here’s a no-brainer, but critical to any long lasting love—good communication.
Always keep the communication going. You don’t have to talk to each other incessantly or address every little thing that comes up. And silence can be golden, but don’t shut that communication off.
Honestly communicate with kindness, and respect. And above all, keep the lines open.
7. Have your own life, too.
Don’t count on your partner to be your end-all. Keep your work, friends and various activities just that—your own.
I believe that every love relationship is made up of three basic parts: “you,” “me,” and “us.” There’s your life, my life, and the time we spend together as a couple. There’s always plenty of opportunities for mutual sharing, and also those times when one’s individual life needs to be honored and respected by the other.
So, give each other space, as needed.
It’ll make being together all the more enjoyable!
Talk about a big relationship breaker!
It’s no secret that money can be, and usually is, a very big deal when it comes to a successful life-long partnership. This can be a tough one to deal with at times, but often needs to be addressed to keep the relationship healthy and thriving.
A few questions to be considered with regards to couples and money:
What’s my particular philosophy with regards to money?
What’s my partners philosophy concerning money?
Who’s responsible for the finances – who pays?
Do we both contribute to the finances or keep them separate?
Do we share equally?
Is there a true give and take of money in this relationship?
For more questions, see my article on money and relationships.
Let’s face it: money issues (like religion), are so personal and need to be delicately dealt with in a fair and conscious way. The point is, eternal love is possible, but only when both of you are clear about touchy things, like everyday finances.
And speaking of touchy things…
They say that sex is no big deal when a relationship is going well, but can become a nightmare if two people aren’t getting along.
I agree: lack of sexual intimacy, and this includes cheating behavior, is usually a pretty good barometer, a signal (sometimes a blaring siren), that there’s big trouble brewing in the relationship.
If you want your love with another to flourish, keep your eye on the physical intimacy aspect of your relationship, and be prepared to deal with issues around sexuality―if they do come up.
10. Get set for the long haul.
The honeymoon period, that beginning phase of relationship excitement, when everything seems to go right, can wane and occasionally disappoint, especially when day-to-day reality hits. It’s so critical that a couple work through this phase with concerted effort, and hopeful eyes toward the future.
Relationships, especially the ones that last, usually encompass a lot of good stuff and happy times. But with the good stuff inevitably comes some hard times, unexpected misfortune, and conflict.
In every lasting relationship, some rain must fall, right?
So, get set for the long haul, and be prepared to work with your partner, through all the good, bad, and some possibly ugly times. Hopefully, the mutual effort will pay off, and your shared love will last an eternity.
So, there you have it; my short list of ways to keep your love relationship alive and well.
I hope they help!
If you have additional ways to help love last a lifetime, please leave your ideas in the comment section below – they are always appreciated!