Think back to your first relationship. Is there any advice you wish you could go back in time and give yourself? You’re not the only one. Most of us realize far too late how to have a healthy, successful relationship.
This article will share loads of relationship wisdom to give you a head start on the road to a happy partnership.
Are you ready for relationship advice that could change your life?
Have Realistic Expectations of Love
Although we often think of love as a strong, everlasting, all-or-nothing feeling, science actually proves that’s not the case. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson carried out studies showing that feeling constant love for somebody is impossible. Instead, love happens in “micro-moments of positive resonance”, when you spend happy, connected time with someone you care about. 
If you feel like you’re falling out of love with someone, stop and assess your feelings. It’s biologically impossible to feel love all of the time, and it’s natural to sometimes feel irritated by your partner. Stop chasing unrealistic ideas of ‘true love’, and instead focus on enjoying the time you spend with your partner.
Before Working on Your Relationship, First Make Sure You’re Together for the Right Reasons
Not every relationship will work out. If you’re having doubts, it can be helpful to look at the reasons why you’re in a relationship. If you’re together for any of the reasons listed below, it might be time to rethink.
- You felt pressure to get into the relationship – either from your partner, family or friends.
- You just didn’t want to be single any longer.
- You felt like the relationship would make you look good, improve your social status, or help you gain popularity.
- You wanted somebody to ‘fix’ your problems.
- You were young and naive when the relationship began.
These reasons don’t have to be a definite reason to break up, but spending time thinking about them should help you to get some clarity on your feelings.
If It’s Really an Unhealthy one, Just Quit It
It can be hard to objectively assess your own relationship, but it’s worth taking the time to do so. If any of the following signs are present in your relationship, it’s a strong indication that something could be wrong.
- You feel like you and your partner bring out the worst in each other.
- Your partner doesn’t respect you saying ‘no’ to something.
- You aren’t able to compromise during disagreements.
- You feel threatened by your partner.
- One or both of you has lied during the relationship.
- Your partner is controlling or manipulative.
- You can’t envision a positive future together.
There’s only so much you can achieve by following relationship advice – in some cases, you might be better off ending the relationship all together.
When You Know It’s a Right One, Make an Effort to Keep the Spark Alive
Whether you’ve been together for two months or 20 years, making an effort to keep your relationship feeling fresh and exciting is essential. Dedicate time to ‘dating’ each other, even if you live together.
You could schedule a weekly or monthly date night, a weekend break every six months, or a weeks’ holiday every year.
Stick to your plan and don’t let work or other commitments get in the way. Working on your relationship is just as important as working on your career.
Stop Comparing Your Relationship to Others
No two relationships are the same. It might look like your best friend has the perfect boyfriend, or your coworker is in the ideal marriage, but you can never truly know what’s going on behind the scenes. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on what’s great about your own relationship.
Combine Love and Commitment
Love alone isn’t enough to keep a relationship alive – ask any elderly married couple. There will probably be times when you feel like you hate your partner, and that’s when commitment comes in. Committing to someone means sticking with them even when things are hard, and it’s key to a long-lasting relationship. If you’re the type of person to break up the second something goes wrong, try to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It could prevent you from making a decision you’ll regret.
You can’t predict the future of a relationship, but you can use wise relationship advice to give yourself and your partner the best chance of succeeding.
|||^||The Atlantic: There’s No Such Thing as Everlasting Love According to Science|