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If You Want A Long-Lasting Relationship, You Should Keep Doing These 10 Things

If You Want A Long-Lasting Relationship, You Should Keep Doing These 10 Things

Whether you’re at the point in your life where you would like to focus on pursuing a long-term relationship, or are in a relationship with long-term potential, it’s important to understand the key points that will help you get the long-lasting relationship you desire. Wanting it is nice, however, anything long-term requires work to keep it great.

So here are some essential points to help you along the way, and keep you blanketed in that happy, loving, long-lasting buzz!

1. Pursue solo activities

Doing those things you enjoyed, or enjoy, doing on your own will not only allow you to get back in touch with you (something you should be doing even if you are coupled up) but will also give you and your partner some important time apart. This is essential in maintaining that beautiful balance a long-lasting relationship needs; quality time apart equates to quality time together! Not only will you feel recharged, but it will also give you a chance to miss them, and the relationship, allowing you to return to each other, renewed, refreshed, and ready to go.

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2. Maintain those key relationships

We get it, you’re loved up, but don’t neglect those other important relationships in your life. These other relationships, be it friendships or family, are vital to your overall well-being and happiness as they provide a supportive and loving network in your life. So often in long-term relationships, we find ourselves wrapped in all that romantic love that we forget to nurture the relationships already present in our lives. A long-lasting relationship requires that you have an invaluable support system outside of the two of you. Now is the perfect time to spend time watering and feeding those beautiful and equally important unions.

3. Keep Dating

No, not other people! Each other. Make a deal with your partner to date like you used to. Leave little to no room for complacency. Getting too comfortable to the point you forget to spend quality one-on-one time together is a sure fire way to start taking for granted your beautiful union, and unfortunately, that does not bode well for the long-term. Don’t let that happen! Book into a hotel, go go-kart racing, stay in and have a steamy night… whatever works. Make the effort to date again, and your relationship will thank you for it!

4. Listen

One of the things that will ensure a harmonious long-lasting relationship is the ability to listen to your love. Really hearing what they have to say and what is going on in their lives demonstrates the love and care you have for them, and your interest in their well-being. It can often be difficult to not want to jump in and help (read: fix) whatever it is that is bothering them. But now is not the time to go into Fix It mode. What they may need right now is just a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, so let it happen. They’ll appreciate it!

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5. Keep talking

When a disagreement arises, and it will, make sure you talk it out. There’s nothing like leaving old issues to fester, eventually infecting and poisoning your relationship. Harbouring any kind of ill towards your partner will only lead to more anger, and resentment. So when things have calmed down, make sure to discuss it. Keep the lines of communication open. It will not only help to resolve issues quicker, but prevent the smaller ones from becoming bigger ones further down the road.

6. Pick your battles wisely

Talking things out, is great, but be aware of the pitfalls of starting and getting into arguments that could, and probably should, be avoided. If you feel the ensuing disagreement is needless, and will only aim to hurt one or both of you, perhaps it’s time to lay it down and walk away. Be honest, is it really that important to you that you are right? Do you really care whether you win this round? Probably not. It’s okay to walk away. There’s truly no place for ego in a long-lasting relationship.

7. Quit with the “Me Too’s”

Truth? You don’t really enjoy heading to the gym with your love at 5 a.m., do you? So why do it? The “me too” game is so high school and serves no purpose but to make you resent yourself and the relationship as you try to fake your way through a long-term coupling, hoping it will keep them around. Want something long-lasting? Be upfront about how you actually hate cats, or despise wine. It’s okay. These are admittedly small things, but if this relationship is going to last, they have to know who they’re shacking up with. And chances are, by now, they’ve probably guessed you hate going to the gym… at any time!

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8. Discuss the big things

If you’re still unsure where you stand on matters of life (kids, money, etc), it’s imperative you discuss these. Be real, and honest about what you want. In a long-term relationship, it’s important to keep reflecting on who you are and what you require from a relationship, and not settling on important matters. This will ensure you and your partner are on the same page, and are able to continuously move forward. Pretending you’re “totally fine” with everything will only lead to bitterness as you try to falsely keep the peace by suppressing your true requirements. So do your love a solid, and be honest with yourself, and each other.

9. Stop the games

Trying to make them jealous, or going AWOL to get a reaction out of them is not a good idea if you want something long-lasting. Usually people use these games to stoke the fires in relationships and test boundaries, but these actions are almost always guaranteed to make the relationship short-lived, resulting in the downfall of something that could’ve been great! Ultimate destroyers of anything long-term, any sort of games in a relationship will inevitably lead to mixed messages, insecurities and mistrust. So if you truly want a long-lasting relationship, stop with the games.

10. Keep laughing!

Laughter is great! It’s therapeutic. It allows you to get silly and makes you happy. There’s nothing like laughter with your partner to cement those long-term bonds. At the very least, it shows you can still have fun together, and at the very most, it demonstrates your coupled ability to laugh through the difficult and trying times that being in a long-lasting relationship may bring. Being able to laugh together, at yourself and at each other will make you a stronger and more unified couple. Laughter is intimate, can be extremely sensual and comforting, and is a force against adversity, so have fun, and get laughing!

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Featured photo credit: Pool Fighters/Leafar via imcreator.com

More by this author

Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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