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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 May 22, 2020

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

1. A Positive Attitude

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

2. Confidence

All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

  • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
  • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

3. A Sense of Humor

It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

4. Ability to Embrace Failure

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

5. Careful Listening and Feedback

This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

  • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
  • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

7. Growth Mindset

Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

8. Responsibility

Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

9. A Desire to Learn

It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

The Bottom Line

Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

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Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

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