When it comes to the details, no two relationships are the same. However, when it comes to having a relationship that stands the test of time, there are a few common factors that make it more likely to happen.
If you want to keep your relationship strong for the long-term, you should focus on:
As many times as you may have heard it before, here it is again. Being able to communicate, to be open and honest with a partner, is so important. You need to feel welcome to express yourself and your concerns without fear of judgment or reprisal. And your partner needs to feel the same with you.
The biggest challenge here is figuring out how to keep communicating even when you have a disagreement. While you may not agree on something, you should still try to keep an open mind and understand where the other person is coming from. Both of your opinions are valid, whether you agree with them or not.
Shared Sense of Humor
This may not seem like that vital a relationship factor, but it is actually an extension of all-important communication. Having a shared sense of humor means more than just laughing together. It also implies a certain shared world view and way of communicating. It means you understand each other at a very basic level.
And yes, it does literally mean laughing. In good times or bad, being able to laugh at things can be what gets you through. Being able to laugh at the same things can be what gets you through things together.
Respect & Common Values
You don’t necessarily need to feel the same way about everything. But having similar thoughts about the things that are really important to you can be…well, important. How essential is to you to have a partner that shares your political views? Religion? How to raise a family? If someone doesn’t share your view of something that’s kind of a deal-breaker at the start, it can only became more of a problem as time goes on.
But what happens when the opposite happens, and opinions you both shared at one time diverge? It’s important to note that people’s values can change over the long-term. That’s just life, and likely nothing personal. Hopefully the basic respect you feel for each other, based a lot on your preexisting understanding and communication skills, means such changes won’t ruin your relationship.
While passion is fantastic, it is not necessarily what will carry your relationship for the long-term. For that, you really need to like each other. You need to be friends, as well as lovers.
That being said, cultivating an air of romance and surprise will go a long way toward keeping your relationship from falling into a rut. Fan the flames every once in a while to keep things fun and fresh. After all, you’re not just friends.
On any number of sitcoms and soap operas, the only way a character can seem to prove they love someone is by having a jealous fit. Not doing so implies that they take their partner for granted, and should have expected them to wander.
Such fictional shows of drama may be exciting, but they definitely should not inform behavior in real-life relationships. In real life, following your partner around, tracking their phone, or storming in on what turns out to be plans for a surprise party isn’t romantic; it just shows that you don’t actually trust your partner.
Overall, a long-term relationship means that you two are in this together. You two are supposed to be each other’s sanctuary. This can only be true if your partner is also your best friend, someone you respect and trust, and with whom you can talk openly and laugh often.
For more information and advice about finding and maintaining strong relationships, be sure to read articles on the subject on the PeopleFinders blog. And if you’re just starting out, see if there’s anything your potential romance is or isn’t telling you with a PeopleFinders people search.
Image attribution: Photo by Diego Cervo – www.shutterstock.com