10 Healthy Relationship Habits For a Long-Lasting Relationship

Relationships are hard work. In the beginning, love flows freely
between two people. Your every move is symbiotic, your bodies fit
perfectly together, and you finish each other’s sentences. However, as
time goes by, the space between you grows wider. Your bodies are back to
back. You’re living in different worlds under the same roof.


 

Your
busy life keeps you active all day. Your relationships with co-workers
are more intimate than with your partner. Lunch dates are longer and
happy hours more frequent. You’re so busy texting that you can’t
remember the last meaningful conversation you had. When was the last
time you laughed together in bed without your phones?

Soon, you
doubt your love. Your eyes start to wander. You’re choosing your daily
outfits based on what your co-workers will think. Your partner’s desires
and needs are at the bottom of your to-do list. However, it doesn’t
have to be that way. With a little bit of commitment, nourishment, and
care; you can keep your love as warm and cozy as it was in the
beginnning. In fact, the longer you’re together, the stronger your love
is.

You can keep your spark ignited by doing things differently.
Your love is still there, it’s just hiding beneath the surface of your
distracted and tech-filled life.

Jump-start your day with these ten little habits that will make your love last forever.

1. Wake up every day and think, “What can I do to make you happy?”

It’s
not that you have to spend your whole day thinking only of your loved
one, but this question is more of a habit that locks in an attitude of
prioritizing your partner’s needs over your own. You might think that’s
unfair and say, “What about my needs?” However, if you put your partner
before yourself, you’ll soon notice that (if you’re with a person who
loves you too) you begin a back-and-forth give-and-take sharing quality
into your relationship.

2. Pick your battles.

You don’t have to fight about everything that upsets you. Learn how to pause. Take time to choose to be wise. Ask yourself, “Is this really important, or can I let this one go?” Most of the time, people fight
about small and unimportant things that aren’t worth fighting over.
These petty fights cause distance and set off a negative thought process
of doom and gloom. Don’t say things like, “Oh, this relationship will
never work,” or “You’re such a selfish, inconsiderate jerk.” Once you
tread this path, it just goes on and on. It will never end.

If
you’re going to jump into battle, be sure it’s something worth fighting
for. You can’t make it through a relationship without a fight. It’s
unrealistic to expect that two people living together will always agree,
never get their feelings hurt, and always be in control of their
emotions. However, a long-lasting relationship knows that before,
during, and after the fight; their love is stronger than the argument
they’re having.

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“Many couples tend to equate a low level of conflict with
happiness and believe the claim ‘we never fight’ is a sign of marital
health. But I believe we grow in our relationships by reconciling our
differences. That’s how we become more loving people and truly
experience the fruits of marriage,” says Dr. John Gottman, a marital therapy researcher.

3. Practice empathy and compassion.

You’re
not the only one who’s going through hard stuff. Your partner is too.
Since you’re not together most of the day, you don’t know what’s going
on in your partner’s life. Did something happen at work that upset them?
Is there something they’re worried about that they haven’t talked to
you about? Take a moment to think about the burden your partner is
carrying. It’s also important to understand that your partner is not
you. Your family history is different. If your partner is an only child,
you can’t expect them to have the same family social skills as you do
if you have three siblings. Allow for each other’s differences and
respect them.

4. Appreciate each other.

It’s easy to fall
into comfort zones of repetitive behavior. You take each other for
granted. You have expectations. Yet, you forget to tell each other how
much you appreciate the way he picks up his dirty socks, brings you a
cup of coffee, or clears your plate from the table. You might appreciate
the little things, but how often do you verbalize them? Everyone needs
to feel appreciated. As Esther Perel explains in
her TED talk, when you are free to imagine and appreciate and maintain a
fresh perspective you can keep desire in a long-term relationship.

5. Follow your strengths.

Like
a good business, a relationship needs job descriptions. Be in charge of
the area that you’re stronger in. Admit that your partner has
strengths. Allow them their area of expertise. Each player brings their
strength into the relationship, building a strong team. As you should
with any well-functioning team, be supportive. Notice when your partner
needs a boost. Be encouraging, loving, and supportive. Even the
strongest and smartest person feels insecure at times (although they
might not admit it).

6. Be present with each other.

Your busy life is filled with
distractions. Your head is in your phone (and so is your partner’s).
You’re going in one direction, your partner in another, and your
relationship feels like two college friends sharing a dorm room. It’s
improbable that anyone will put down their phone, but try to set aside
phone-free time. Talk to each other again. Ask your partner how their
day went. Share the events of your day. Take time to enjoy each other’s
company. Most important of all, don’t forget to cuddle.

7. Stop Complaining.

Negative comments bring a dark
cloud into your life. No one is perfect and neither are you. Appreciate
what you’ve got. Don’t let what you want, ruin what you have. Small
complaints affect your attitude. It’s easy to fall into a bad mood and
make your partner feel worthless by constantly complaining about the
“little” things that aren’t perfect. Never complain about your partner
to a relative or a friend, unless you are in dire straits. In that case,
seek professional help. Sharing your partner’s flaws with friends and
relatives shows their negative traits. You are causing others to judge
your partner without seeing the full picture. If you tallk about your
partner behind their back, be certain that it’s only for you to work
through your own emotions, decisions, and choices.

 8. Look for the good.

When
times get tough, you become blinded with negativity. All you see is
darkness. Everything is wrong and nothing is right. That’s when you have
to disengage from the darkness, and think about all the good things
your partner brings to your life. All those fabulous qualities are still
there, they’re just harder to see. People are naturally judgmental.
It’s a necessary life skill that often becomes abused in our
relationships. It’s easy to become critical and make your partner feel
that they are not good enough. Remember the good times, especially when
times are tough.

9. Be the best of friends.

Share your
lives. Talk about your worries and concerns. Be there for each other.
Show up when you’re needed. No one knows you as intimately as your
partner. After all, they are the person you share your bed with. Once
you’ve found your soul-mate, you’ll know it. Once you experience this deep connection, make sure you work hard to maintain it.

10. Let go.

When you hang on to old negative emotions,
memories, and arguments, you bring the past into your present. Harbored
resentments are damaging to your relationship. If you remember every
time your partner said or did something that upset you, you will never
feel free to experience the love of the present moment. You’re still
living in the past. Forgive and learn to move forward. Don’t keep score
of all the times you hurt each other. If you want your love to last,
don’t keep a relationship scorecard.

Long-lasting love is hard work, but definitely worth it!

 

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