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As I’ve so often written, it’s no secret that it takes focused and mutual effort to keep a relationship alive and well.

From my experiences of dealing with lots of couples, I’ve found that successful relationships typically include most or all of these key elements:

 

Established trust

Positive and open communication

Respect

Honesty

Caring

Compassion

Mutual support

Humor

Fun

Spirituality

Shared experiences

Sincerity

Appreciation for the other   

It’s also no secret that even the most successful relationships typically include conflict, some negativity, and an occasional breach of trust.

No love relationship is perfect, but with the right kind of focused intention and concerted effort, you can keep your partnership alive and well – before it’s too late.

Based on some good social research from the 1990’s, more specifically, Relational Maintenance, “a variety of behaviors used by partners in an effort to stay together,” is a list of 9 practical ways to keep the love burning between you and your partner:

Teamwork

Teamwork helps couples feel closer and happier with their relationships. When problems are approached together, then love can not only survive, but can also last a long, long, time.

Unfortunately, many couples are too quick to adopt a “you” vs. “me” approach to problem solving, instead of an “us” strategy when dealing with those inevitable conflicts that arise in every relationship.

Keep it Positive

Relationships that are positive, where routine displays of upbeat emotions are common, usually ensure long-term love success.

But, let’s face it; it doesn’t take much to cause a relationship to go south. Even a bit of negativity can seriously divide partners.

When poisonous negativity comes rolling into the picture, anger and apathy can quickly become the norm, and the once-healthy relationship becomes seriously threatened or, in the worst scenario, heartbreakingly ended.

Consistency

The authors of Relational Maintenance tell us that consistency, especially when it comes to encouragement and emotional support, is vital to relationship longevity.

Conversely, if behavioral inconsistency is allowed to prevail, all sorts of problems can emerge, like destructive misunderstandings and paralyzing uncertainty.

Consistency in relationships will help mutual trust grow and true caring to endure.

Mutual Appreciation

At the beginning of most love relationships, mutual appreciation is high on the list. Then, once the honeymoon period wanes (as is the natural tendency), couples usually expect more from each other and are slower to acknowledge the important contributions made to one another.

As the Relational Maintenance folks remind us, “to keep a relationship happy and healthy, it is important to show appreciation on a consistent basis.”

Again, there’s that notion of consistency, so essential to the basic fueling of long-lasting partnerships.

Celebrate the Differences

We’re not automatons! We have innate differences between us, and that goes for all relationships.

Sure, it’s great to have a lot in common, but relationships that really last are the ones where each partner’s differences are celebrated, not disdained or suppressed.

Accepting the way your partner is, and not pushing for what you wish them to be, is always a great strategy for relationship success.

Don’t Always Stick to Routine

Shake it up a bit, and be spontaneous!

When you and your lover get into a daily rut, and the fun and excitement begins to turn into a dreary routine, (tenderly) grab your partner and change it reset it.

Nothing keeps a romance alive like the sharing of new and novel experiences. So be creative, and make plans to jumpstart your relationship now, before your partner slinks away out of sheer boredom.

Stay Open and Listen

When it comes to long-lasting romance, open communication is always where it’s at. Mutual sharing and honest conversations are vital to all relationships.

Too many couples attempt to control each other instead of listening to the others wants, needs, and desires.

When there’s little effort to understand or hear what a partner has to say, manipulative and judging behavior can easily take over – the death knell for any love relationship.

Take Time to Know One Another

I always tell my premarital couples to move ahead slowly, and to take the necessary time to really get to know each other. I’ve seen too many fast-track romances end prematurely, due to a basic lack of knowledge and understanding of the other.

Then again, it takes at least a lifetime to really know someone, inside and out.

Stay Committed

One of the biggest problems between people in relationships, is not only a lack of truly “knowing the other,” but the failure to commit and stay committed.

There’s nothing wrong with some reassurance, and routinely expressed adoration between partners. After all, the words, “I love you” will never go out of style.

And letting your partner know that you’ll always be there for them, will also go a long way to ensure relationship longevity – now that’s real commitment!

So, I’m hoping that these practical ways to keep your romance alive and well, will prove helpful and eventually lead you to something even better and truly attainable, eternal love – a true honeymoon forever!

*I’m sure that there are other practical ways to keep love alive and well, and I’d like to hear from you  about these other ways. So please add your remarks to the comment section below.

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