I consider my last relationship the one that was supposedÂ to teach me what I really wanted from a partner.Â It was 5 years of not really getting what I needed and it wasnâ€™t until I was out of it that I realizedÂ certain things.Â Â The things I realized, though,Â werenâ€™tÂ justÂ myÂ personalÂ needs;Â I also gained understanding ofÂ universal themes for creating and sustaining a healthy, long-lasting relationship.
10 Tips for a Healthy, Long-lasting Relationship
- Honesty â€“Â It all starts with honesty. Itâ€™s the foundation that a relationship is built on. Some conversations will be tough, but that doesnâ€™t mean they shouldnâ€™t happen. There are certain things that may be deal breakers, no matter how much you like or love each other.Â Ie. One of you wants kids and the otherÂ doesnâ€™t. Iâ€™m a firm believer inÂ laying your cards on the table. If the person youâ€™reÂ interested in doesnâ€™t run away, theyâ€™re a keeper.
- Pick your Battles â€“Â Maybe he doesnâ€™t put the cap back on the toothpaste or you donâ€™t put laundry away right awayâ€¦ are these really things worth fighting over? I see no point in starting wars over trivial quirks. Do I think couples will never argue and will always get along? No, BUT you can absolutely lessen any potential tension whenÂ youÂ take the time to pick your battles. Part of a healthy relationship is realizing there are no perfect people and accepting your partner for who they are. Constant nagging is a relationship killer.
- Never Stop DatingÂ â€“Â Sure, snuggling under blankets at home is always nice, but going out like you did in the beginning keeps things exciting. Plan fun dates for each other; from the classic â€˜dinner and a movieâ€™ to stand up paddle boarding to sailing at sunset. Experiencing things together keeps you close to one another. If you stop dating, youâ€™ll lose interest. Period.
- Keep the lustÂ â€“Â Make a conscious choice to look at each other withÂ the same lust filled eyes you did when you first started dating. When Iâ€™m in a relationship, I only have eyes for the person Iâ€™m seeing.Â You could put George Clooney in front of me and Iâ€™ll still be looking at my man like heâ€™s Zeus.Â Be loyal and passionate about your partner,Â always. Sex is important. Sure itâ€™s fun, but itâ€™s also a very personal, spiritual connection.Â Make time for it.
- Be Best FriendsÂ â€“Â Your lover should also be your best friend. Theyâ€™re your person. The one youâ€™ve chosen to take on your journey to the finish line. Be comfortable talking to each other about everything. Go on adventures together. Laugh at and with each other. Cry in eachÂ otherâ€™sÂ arms. Understand what makes them tick. Remember little details. Without this dynamic, youâ€™ll just be an exclusive booty call.
- Support Each OtherÂ â€“Â Be each otherâ€™s biggest cheerleaders. Support fuels the fire to make dreams come true.Â Thereâ€™s no better feeling than achieving something as a team. While relationships should be an equal give and take, sometimes we need to lean on our partners a little and vise versa.Â Push one another to be better. Motivate and inspire each other to work hard, be better, and be happy. Contribute all the good vibes you can muster and consider each other in all life choices, no matter how big or small. Itâ€™s a partnership.
- Say What You FeelÂ â€“Â Silence is damning.Â I live by the age-old adage that you should tell peopleÂ how you feelÂ before itâ€™s too late. If you loveÂ someone,Â tell them. If your boyfriend looks handsome, tellÂ him. If youâ€™re grateful for everythingÂ your girlfriend does for you, tell her. Donâ€™t leaveÂ your partner guessing how you feel about them.Â You can show people how much you love them through action, but everyone enjoys to hear these things from time to time as well!
- Be SpontaneousÂ â€“Â Hop in the car for a late night drive to the ocean or book a last minute weekend getaway.Â The excitement of doing something spontaneouslyÂ togetherÂ will set your souls on fire and keep your relationship feeling fresh.Â Sometimes the most spontaneous moments are the most romantic.
- Slow DownÂ â€“Â We tend to be GO, GO, GO and we all really need to learn to stop and smell the roses.Â Donâ€™t let careers and errandsÂ stop you from enjoying each other. Dishes can wait. Laundry can wait. Enjoy a lazy SundayÂ full of naked sleeping, coffee, movies and everything slow and steady.Â Give yourselves time to reconnect and decompress together without worrying about mundane adult things.
- Donâ€™t Forget Who You AreÂ â€“Â Togetherness is a wonderful thing, but you canâ€™t forget that youâ€™re an individual person.Â Youâ€™re allowed to have alone time even when youâ€™re in a relationship. You canâ€™t be there for someone else if youâ€™re not there for yourself. Itâ€™s ok to go hiking by yourself or for your partner to read a book in another room without you. Learning to restore your individual energies will only make the time spent together more meaningful and the energy of your relationship more passionate.
Everyone has individual needs and wants they look for in a partner. Itâ€™s very important to know what those things are so you donâ€™t end up in an unfulfilling relationship.Â Unfortantely, a lot of this is learned from dating over the years. Learn lessons from failed relationships, understand what you want and why you want it, and donâ€™t settle for anything less than the love you desire.Â Thereâ€™s someone out there for everyone; someone that is worth putting in the work for. Relationships ARE work, but I think tips like these may help make them a bit easier. Thanks for reading!